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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Lombard, Illinois
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    Default Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    I run into this from time to time. Home built in the 1990 with a bathroom in the basement and no ejector pump. All systems drain just fine. Should this be written up as missing ejector even thought all is working? Could in the future home owner expect any problems.

    Thanks in advance.

    Inspection Referral SOC
    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    5,005

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    If its on sewers then the waste line must be below the basement floor, which means if flows to street sewer via gravity.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    The house only needs a sewage/ejector pump if the sewers are overhead. Gravity will take the bathroom waste outside.

    However, if the outside sewer gets blocked for some reason the back-up in the basement will be extra nasty. I would tell the buyers to invest in a TV sewer scope by a licensed plumber.

    Here is my link at my website on the subject. I also made a video on Youtube.

    http://www.inspection2020.com/TV.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDhSXCZJ5n8

    FWIW, I got threatened with a lawsuit once for not warning a client that sewers can back up because of tree root blockage, etc. and the results are very unpleasant.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    It would be a wise move to install a one-way valve on the main waste line so sewer back ups won't flood the basement.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Lombard, Illinois
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    The house only needs a sewage/ejector pump if the sewers are overhead. Gravity will take the bathroom waste outside.

    However, if the outside sewer gets blocked for some reason the back-up in the basement will be extra nasty. I would tell the buyers to invest in a TV sewer scope by a licensed plumber.

    Here is my link at my website on the subject. I also made a video on Youtube.

    http://www.inspection2020.com/TV.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDhSXCZJ5n8

    FWIW, I got threatened with a lawsuit once for not warning a client that sewers can back up because of tree root blockage, etc. and the results are very unpleasant.

    Mike thank so much. This is extremely helpful. Have super 2014 thanks again.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Mike thank so much. This is extremely helpful. Have super 2014 thanks again.
    Yes you are welcome too!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    2,778

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    I run into this from time to time. Home built in the 1990 with a bathroom in the basement and no ejector pump. All systems drain just fine. Should this be written up as missing ejector even thought all is working? Could in the future home owner expect any problems.

    Thanks in advance.
    Fidel,
    I read the question and it confused me a little. Is it a standard practice, your local, that all bathrooms in the basement have ejector pumps? I ask since you prefaced that you run into this from time to time. Making me think that, lack of an ejector, it is the atypical situation.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
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    261

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Mike thank so much. This is extremely helpful. Have super 2014 thanks again.
    Any time. Good luck this year.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Fidel,
    I read the question and it confused me a little. Is it a standard practice, your local, that all bathrooms in the basement have ejector pumps? I ask since you prefaced that you run into this from time to time. Making me think that, lack of an ejector, it is the atypical situation.
    It's a good question and it is unusual. Just about all post 1960 construction I see in the Chgo. area has overhead sewer so it is odd that a 1990 house does not have this. Like Fidel I do see it sometimes in newer homes but it is rare. I don't know if any localities require it.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    FWIW, I got threatened with a lawsuit once for not warning a client that sewers can back up because of tree root blockage, etc. and the results are very unpleasant. Mike Lamb

    - - - Updated - - -
    I would only add this. Always look at the sewer discharge pipe, if you see trees inline recommend it be scoped. In addition, any slabs I do, I always recommend it.

    As Mike has pointed out he was sued, I've read about this happening to other inspectors. cya

    Steve Gaudet
    Gaudet Inspections LLC | Protect your investment and have it inspected! call 603-714-8628


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
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    133

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Fidel,
    I read the question and it confused me a little. Is it a standard practice, your local, that all bathrooms in the basement have ejector pumps? I ask since you prefaced that you run into this from time to time. Making me think that, lack of an ejector, it is the atypical situation.
    Hi Garry,

    I just wanted to understand when the pump was needed. Ray gave me the answer I was looking for. See his response. The house that I just did, the basement was completely finished and included a bathroom, shower,toilet and sink. All flush perfectly. Couldn't see any of the plumbing and how it was routed. Didn't see a ejector pump. So I was curious to determine if one was needed.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    I managed to get sued once over not reporting that a sewer line had been Rotorooted. Three years and about $20,000 later I won. Won? That's what the said.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Gaudet View Post

    As Mike has pointed out he was sued, I've read about this happening to other inspectors. cya

    Steve Gaudet
    Gaudet Inspections LLC | Protect your investment and have it inspected! call 603-714-8628
    I was not sued. Just threatened. It was a wake up call, however. If you do this long enough you make mistakes and hopefully the mistake does not result in a lawsuit. No one has sued me in 18 years.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    The condition of Sewer lines cannot be determined by this inspection alone, therefore, I recommend the sewer lines be video scoped to determine condition.
    This is not a CYA statement. It is however information that educates the client on the limitation of the inspection and what can/should be done.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
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    133

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    The condition of Sewer lines cannot be determined by this inspection alone, therefore, I recommend the sewer lines be video scoped to determine condition.
    This is not a CYA statement. It is however information that educates the client on the limitation of the inspection and what can/should be done.
    Hi Rick, Happy New year. The recommendation to video the lines is standard on all my reports even if the home is only year old and there mature trees around.

    Fidel F. Gonzales
    RELIANT INSPECTION SERVICE
    http://www.reliantinspectionservice.com

  15. #15
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    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Hi Rick, Happy New year. The recommendation to video the lines is standard on all my reports even if the home is only year old and there mature trees around.
    Very good. It's on mine also.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo. area.
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    276

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by fidel gonzales View Post
    Hi Garry,

    I just wanted to understand when the pump was needed. Ray gave me the answer I was looking for. See his response. The house that I just did, the basement was completely finished and included a bathroom, shower,toilet and sink. All flush perfectly. Couldn't see any of the plumbing and how it was routed. Didn't see a ejector pump. So I was curious to determine if one was needed.
    It's actually quite simple. Water (or anything that's in it) doesn't run uphill. In some areas (Chicago being one) the public sewers are installed at a higher elevation than the basements of the houses they're serving. Anything coming from the 1st floor or above uses gravity to run to the sewer as it should. They run into a problem however, when they install a bathroom in the basement. They've then got to figure out how to get the sewage up to the elevation of the sewer lateral that will take it to the public sewer line, and that's where the ejector sump and pump come in. They temporarily hold and then pump the stuff up to the level of the sewer line. Therefore, if the basement fixtures are working okay, the sewer is either downhill from said fixtures, or there is an ejector sump and pump if it is not. I would suggest that if this is brand new construction, or a newly installed basement fixture that has never been used, a few flushes might be in order to determine that things aren't backing up.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump


    Some towns have in-ground (gravity sewers) with out any plumbing tied into them in the basement level. Claridain Hills s one that comes to mind. If there is any plumbing in the basement it is ran to a pump and pumped into the toilet stack. The reason this town requires this is their city sewer system backs up frequently.

    Now as for overhead sewers and gravity sewers requirements in the State of Illinois, it is up to the local city to make the requirements of which type of system they prefer. In Lombard, IL gravity sewers are just fine, same as in Chicago. In Chicago if the neighborhood is known to flood, it is required to install a flood control system.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
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    876

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    The condition of Sewer lines cannot be determined by this inspection alone, therefore, I recommend the sewer lines be video scoped to determine condition.
    This is not a CYA statement. It is however information that educates the client on the limitation of the inspection and what can/should be done.
    Personally, it sounds like a CYA statement. I would suggest telling the client that the condition cannot be determined and that video inspection is an option. I would save recommending scoping the sewer for times when there is a potential concern. Too many CYA statements in reports weaken the report.

    A few years ago I performed a structural inspection on a house with major rot in the crawl space. The HI did not find the access opening (in the floor of the closet adjacent to the front door). He recommended further evaluation, which is fine. I asked the client why he did not have this evaluated before buying the house. His answer was that he also recommended further evaluation of the roof, electric, plumbing ,heating.... The client just thought it was all CYA.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    I would think if an inspector is going to recommend further investigation he/she would be wise to state the reason why FI is required. Just stating FI for the sake of covering ones backside may not be enough in a courts view. i.e. Mr. client the crawlspace was not accessible due to sealed hatch, since the inspection is non-destructive, this area should be further investigated by entering prior to close of title...


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Personally, it sounds like a CYA statement. I would suggest telling the client that the condition cannot be determined and that video inspection is an option. I would save recommending scoping the sewer for times when there is a potential concern. Too many CYA statements in reports weaken the report.
    You say CYA,
    I say, it's to inform the buyer on the limitations of a home inspection.
    So why do I (routinely) recommend a video inspection?
    My post was #13, 3 people had already posted that they had been sued or threatened to be sued before my post. So, it seems too me that a sewer line is a relatively common problem. The cost to dig up and replace a sewer line can easily be a few thousand, while the cost of a video inspection is around $200.
    BTW
    The only time I have been threatened with a lawsuit was because of a sewer line.
    Nothing became of it, but it did make me think.
    The buyer spent over $5k replacing the sewer line. Had I recommended a video inspection they may have had the seller replace the sewer line.
    I don't think recommending a video inspection is CYA, I think it's acting in the interest of the buyer.
    Do I recommend a video inspection every time, No, but more often than not I do.

    I also recommend a shower pan test on every tiled shower.
    Again, this is not a CYA. I have seen enough leaking shower pans to know that they can and sometimes do leak. The cost to re-tile a shower can easily be $2-3k.
    Both, the sewer line problem and a leaking shower pan are costly too repair, but both can be discovered by additional test/ inspections. Therefore, I think it only prudent to recommend these test be performed.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    You say CYA,
    I say, it's to inform the buyer on the limitations of a home inspection.
    So why do I (routinely) recommend a video inspection?
    My post was #13, 3 people had already posted that they had been sued or threatened to be sued before my post. So, it seems too me that a sewer line is a relatively common problem. The cost to dig up and replace a sewer line can easily be a few thousand, while the cost of a video inspection is around $200.
    BTW
    The only time I have been threatened with a lawsuit was because of a sewer line.
    Nothing became of it, but it did make me think.
    The buyer spent over $5k replacing the sewer line. Had I recommended a video inspection they may have had the seller replace the sewer line.
    I don't think recommending a video inspection is CYA, I think it's acting in the interest of the buyer.
    Do I recommend a video inspection every time, No, but more often than not I do.
    Agreed. It's a CYCA (Cover Your Client's Ass).

    Since a fireplace can burn a house down, I also recommend a Level II inspection for fireplaces (the NFPA also requires it). The condition of the chimney liner is important and it's something I cannot see during an inspection just like the underground sewers.

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  22. #22
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    Mar 2007
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Basement bathroom with no ejector pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    Agreed. It's a CYCA (Cover Your Client's Ass).

    Since a fireplace can burn a house down, I also recommend a Level II inspection for fireplaces (the NFPA also requires it). The condition of the chimney liner is important and it's something I cannot see during an inspection just like the underground sewers.
    Good point

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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