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  1. #1
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    Default sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    I inspected a 1946 home which was extensively renovated and allegedly had new perimeter drains installed. This sump pit was found in the basement full of stagnant water. There is no pump . If the home has all new perimeter drains, why do we need this internal sump. What is the recommendation to the potential buyer?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    The level of the water is below the drain. Looks like this sump pit needs a sump pump to finish the job.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    If that was my pit, I would likely fill it in, no longer needed. But I can't tell you if this one is no longer needed. That depends on a lot of factors, mostly invisible.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    If that was my pit, I would likely fill it in, no longer needed. But I can't tell you if this one is no longer needed. That depends on a lot of factors, mostly invisible.
    John, Why would you fill it in? Especially since it is filling.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Poorly placed/installed. I wonder if the footing has been damaged as the pit is right up against the wall as the pit does no appear to be lined to stop fines from washing in from the footing area.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    I would have a pump installed. That's what the pit is there for.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Let me start off by saying I have no idea how stuff is done up in BC, so whatever I say here after could just be nonsense.
    Based on experience and what we do around here I'd have to say someone is full of it. Nothing about that looks new, not even the clay pipe coming in at the corner. I would consider that more of an old water collection cistern rather than a legitimate sump pit.
    - The pit does not appear to be sealed, i.e. the concrete; so the owner would be looking at some amount of deterioration or seepage over time
    - Assuming the water level is rising up to the clay pipe then the clay pipe is the discharge? The big rusty, cruddy looking elbow on the right side of the pic is the inlet or is water rising up from the bottom? If the clay pipe is the discharge, where's the water going? Is there a backflow preventer in case of heavy rain?
    - What kind of perimeter drain tile was installed, what kind of connection was made between old pipe and new pipe, was a sock and compliant back fill used?
    - That seems like a lot of stagnant water to have sitting in the basement, why isn't there a pump, if there were a pump where would it discharge to?
    - Are downspouts tied into this perimeter drain?
    Lots of questions. If I were looking at this around here, I would guess someone is trying to sell a bridge. It doesn't look legit. Warn your client and tell them to ask for more info in writing.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Good points Markus.

    I'd be questioning and confirming that new perimeter weeping tiles had been installed. The clay tile entering the sump is definitely not indicative of an upgrade. The tile is typical for a home of the age.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Quote Originally Posted by Nels Osterby View Post
    I inspected a 1946 home which was extensively renovated and allegedly had new perimeter drains installed.
    That word "allegedly" sure seems to stick out. I too would ASSume nothing and raise a few questions. If the basement was part of the renovation then I'd have even less to go on with everything covered up. And because I get into such things, I'd probably figure out what the dew point was down there.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    The sump pit (old original) was not wart of the exterior contract for drain tiles.

    The exterior drain tiles are designed to move water away from the exterior of the foundation they do not directly remove water from the interior of the foundation.

    If there is water rising on the interior of the foundation, from any source, it will be trapped at the level of the exterior drain tile (in general).

    Many people think that exterior drain tile system will resolve all issues of water in and under the basement floor level. Sad to say that it will not.

    You can test to determine the causes of the water in the sump pit. It may be that a sump pump will be still required to remove the water generating under the floor slab.

    Many (my experience is most) companies do not determine where water is coming from they just want to install a system that will remove it.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    John, Why would you fill it in? Especially since it is filling.
    I think water is coming in thru that old clay tile. There is a wet streak there, no?
    But then I don't know enough about the outdoor situation to be sure. Markus is right. More info is needed.

    We often see a partial fix of the perimeter drains, one side and then out to the street, because the city will demand a hookup to the storm drain. Go around to the back and there's the old clay tiles, no digging was done back there. A normal (bad) practice here was to run all the downspouts into the perimeter foundation drains, basically keeping the foundation soaked for most of the year. All the sludge from the gutters ends up in the drain tiles.
    New home construction, there will be a separate drain system, solid white pipe, to carry the water from the roof off to the storm drain. A perforated pipe goes in around the footings, with a separate cleanout or two. If I don't see those separate cleanouts, just downspouts and a bit of white pipe showing, I will call for a drain inspection.

    They should get a drain contractor to snake those drains.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  12. #12
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I think water is coming in thru that old clay tile. There is a wet streak there, no?
    But then I don't know enough about the outdoor situation to be sure. Markus is right. More info is needed.

    We often see a partial fix of the perimeter drains, one side and then out to the street, because the city will demand a hookup to the storm drain. Go around to the back and there's the old clay tiles, no digging was done back there. A normal (bad) practice here was to run all the downspouts into the perimeter foundation drains, basically keeping the foundation soaked for most of the year. All the sludge from the gutters ends up in the drain tiles.
    New home construction, there will be a separate drain system, solid white pipe, to carry the water from the roof off to the storm drain. A perforated pipe goes in around the footings, with a separate cleanout or two. If I don't see those separate cleanouts, just downspouts and a bit of white pipe showing, I will call for a drain inspection.

    They should get a drain contractor to snake those drains.
    Exactly my point. From where ever that pit is filling from, it IS filling. I thing there should be a pump there.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for the great help.

    Nils


  14. #14
    bill saunders's Avatar
    bill saunders Guest

    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    i came to this site looking for an answer to what to do with my interior sump now that i have replaced it with an exterior sump (this may be your situation). i had a combined sewer that connected under my house ...that is, my sewage and rainwater/perimeter water (sump water) connected and travelled together to the combined sewer manhole near the street. I replaced the interior sump with one outside so that i no longer have perimeter or roof water coming inside. the pipes that used to lead from the perimeter draintile to the sump are still intact (old clay tile) but my new perimeter drains are much lower (~8 inches) so no new water should come in (unless there is a spring or some water source under the floor slab). i have not disconnected the outlet of my sump from the sewer line (gravity system so no pump required) and my backflow preventer is in good shape...i am unsure as to whether i should fill the sump with drainrock and cover it with concrete leaving it still functional with very little liquid holding capacity or if i should plug the connection to the sewer and fill it (abandon it completely).... just leaving it with water in it and the old wooden lid is not an option for me (this is what someone may have left you with). check it during a heavy extended rainfall for any inflow to determine if any of the old system is still putting flow into the sump (it is also possible that they may not have gone deep enough with the new perimeter drain pipe...


  15. #15
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    Default Re: sump pit full, house has new perimeter drains

    Quote Originally Posted by Nels Osterby View Post
    I inspected a 1946 home which was extensively renovated and allegedly had new perimeter drains installed. This sump pit was found in the basement full of stagnant water. There is no pump . If the home has all new perimeter drains, why do we need this internal sump. What is the recommendation to the potential buyer?

    Is that a cast iron elbow connected to a drain pipe? Is so it appears that the water from the internal perimeter drains would need to fill the pit to drain out of the cast iron pipe. Filling the pit would stop the system from functioning. This would work better if the cast iron pipe was lower.

    Than again, maybe I am not seeing this correctly.


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