Pump Me Out

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Out door pump One of the biggest fears I find with anyone buying a home is does the basement have water. No one wants water in their basement, not even a teeny bit. I personally have had two homes that have had water in the basement. It ain’t no fun.

The other afternoon I was inspecting a small cape in an area near the water, as in the ocean. The house was not on the water but in close proximity. While walking around the outside I find a pump installed at the front corner of the home. Interesting, I have only seen this a few times. The buyer tells me there is another one in the back yard.Rubber boots are never a good sign

Really!

Two pumps and we’re not in the house yet.

The stud of the bunchThe basement looks like a pump show room. Two installed sump pumps, a few that appear to have bit the dust or should I say drowned, and an assortment of portables. The stud of the bunch was a newer 3.5 horse power, gas powered unit. That baby had a 2 inch hose attachment. It will move a LOTof water in a short period of time. The best touch of all was two pair of rubber boots against the wall. Nothing says water problems like a pair of big rubber boots.

The basement was partially finished. It looked as if the wall board had been removed because of water damage. No surprise there. There was a closet built in under the stairs. I opened the door and the water stain told the reason for all the pumps. It was several feet up the wall. I would speculate a pump failed and the water coming in was too great to handle with the small units that were in place.

High water mark. Notice the spare hoseThe buyer wants to finish the basement into a man cave. He wanted to know if I thought the new pumps outside would keep the basement dry.

Well I ain’t touching that one with a 20 foot pole let alone a 10 footer.

My advice is always that there is no way to tell, until you live in the house. Obviously there have been water issues, so there should be no surprise if water comes in. There is also no way I can, as a home inspector, predict what will occur in the future or if the system is adequate. I do however have a pretty good idea what could happen based on what I see.

My advice was, don’t build a man cave in the basement.

 

 

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
240,481
Faith LaRosse
Springer Realty Group - Wyomissing, PA
Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties

Ahh the dreaded man cave---it can completely blow a deal right out of the water! (in the basement?) lol

Jul 21, 2011 12:43 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,513,377
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Where there is smoke there is fire...where there is a pump there is water. Seems logical!

Jul 21, 2011 12:50 AM #2
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

HA!  My advice would be, "Don't buy a mold factory". 

Jul 21, 2011 12:53 AM #3
Rainer
55,780
Peter Schattenfield
Turning Point Estate Services LLC - Wilton, CT
Estate Dissolution and Preparation (203)388-8092 CT.

James, I have used CT. Basement Systems for both of my homes. Each time we "cracked" the slab and surrounded the perimeter with pipe and stone. The key element is having a battery back up attached to the sumps. I found out the hard way how important that is. The type of conditions that flood the basement are the same type that knock out the power that runs the sumps. back up power supply is a must have.

Jul 21, 2011 12:54 AM #4
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1,295,281
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Jim - That was  worse than any I have seen in a while!    I am not a fan of CT Basement Systems, but they have a function here....  I think fix it from the outside first - unless you are in a depression, and then there's only one way to get the water away- dig like Peter said - inside.

Jul 21, 2011 01:07 AM #5
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1,333,700
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Plenty to be worried about with that one.  How about filling it 3/4 of the way with concrete and making a "man-tunnel":)

Jul 21, 2011 03:06 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Did you pull the RED FLAG out of your pocket, throw it down and say, "Offsides!"  I'd say that just might be a basement with a history!

Good advice on the man cave!

Jul 21, 2011 10:57 AM #7
Rainmaker
490,607
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim,

Ain't that the dreaded question. I think you had a pretty good case for most likely will happen. Quote me "you should have waterproof electronics down here" ; ) Those are the water features you really don't want.

Jul 21, 2011 02:06 PM #8
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Faith, I do not dread the man cave :)

Gary, In this instances lots of it.

Lenn, That would be very good advice.

Peter, That is a point I make with every buyer who is looking at a home with a sump pump. It's only going to quit when you are using it.

Dagny, Every home is some what unique, some work inside, some better out.

Charlie, I was thinking indoor, super sized hot tub :)

Jay, None of the history looks too good either.

Don, Water proof everything in that basement.

Jul 22, 2011 01:14 PM #9
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

I laughed out loud at those rubber boots.  Nice touch.  

Jul 25, 2011 02:30 PM #10
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Reuben, Gotta love 'em :)

Jul 31, 2011 03:16 AM #11
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

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