Chicago Home inspector (up to ankles in water)

By
Home Inspector with Elliott Home Inspection

A few days ago I decided to take a shower upon waking up as per normal routine

when I noticed my feet were splashing around in a puddle.

I did not think to much of it till it seemed to actualy be getting to the edge of where the shower door strip is located ,which did not take long

Not only do I like to take long showers , which last untill the hot water is gone from my 40 gallon hot water tank,

but the shower stall floor is only a couple of inches deep , and was built in that way buy a previous owner

who actualy went to the trouble of forming the shower stall floor with cement and an epoxy based coating.

This is great since if you ever had or took a shower in a typical cheap stand up shower stall that they often sell at a DIY center such as Home Depot , Lowes , or  Menards you would notice that the PVC type material they are made with has a tendency to retain dirt which is hard to scrub off.

I believe this occurs due to the small scratches which embed them selves through scrubbing and regular use.

Any way I could see the water was ready to over flow on to the bathroom floor , Home inspector (up to ankles in water) and I jumped out of my hot comfotable shower to grab a plunger figuring I could dislodge what ever was stuck there .

Well the plunger did no good at all and I had to dis continue by shutting off the shower only to smell , the toilet.

Turns out I was pushing waste right out of the bottom of the base rim where the toilet touches the floor. 

Ok here is part of the story I did not mention as of yet.

My shower and bathroom that I was using is in the basement and if you never had

a basement shower the one thing different

about them is the fact  you need something called a ejector pump   

My first thought was oh no something  got caught in the pump and clogged it up.

Well once dressed and having mopped up the mess with bleach so as to dis -infect, I went straight to the utility room where the ejector pump is located.

I listened for a humm indicating that the impeller was stuck which is a little propeller like devise which sucks up the waste and grinds it before pumping it up to a level where gravity can do it's job and flow it out to the public sewer .

No noise upon which I grabbed my trusty voltage ticker and found there was juice getting to the plug for the pump.Then I took  my volt meter out just to confirm I was not picking up stray voltage.

Well I could have opened the sealed  basin or pit where the ejector pump sits , but could not see much point to doing so as the problem was either the pump itself or a float which you may compare to what sits inside most toilets and has a simular function.

I called a local plumber that had been used before.Good guy I had used several years ago and found by accident when driving to work at the time as I was running late the day a basement had flooded after a hard rain in the early morning.

He came out with his son and wasted no time getting the cover open ripping out the old one and replacing it with a new one.

Took just over an hour and $450.00 later I was up and running back to normal.

see pics below for an idea of how these things work.   

pump

 

ejector pump illustration                                                                                

Comments (24)

Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Thanks.

I know the warrenty is one year on the pump and three on the switch.

Nov 09, 2007 02:59 PM
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

It's hard to say how long a pump should last. It depends upon what  it is pumping, how often, etc,

 

Nov 09, 2007 08:04 PM
Joseph Lang
Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Home Inspector, Southern California
Bob, sounds like it was a crappy situtation  ;-"
Nov 10, 2007 01:56 AM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA

Bob, great post.  Your day must have gotten better after that...it couldn't get much worse.  My guess on sump life is that if they run all alot, they will burn out faster...sort of like an attic fan.  Also, if they never run, they dry out and don't last either.  I hate the ones with integrated float switches that you can't test the pump separately on.  

Nov 10, 2007 02:15 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Bill.

Do they still make all in one ? as my plumber said they were all two plug for testing now.

Nov 10, 2007 05:21 PM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA

Bob, I don't know if your plumber is right. If so we'll see them eventually go away.  But they are like a bad penny.  Keep showing up.

Nov 10, 2007 07:54 PM
Christopher Currins
CBC Home Inspections - Godfrey, IL
Metro East Home Inspector - IL.
Maybe you should start cutting you're showers back to 30 gal. of hot water. LOL
Nov 11, 2007 12:19 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Chris what I would like to do is get a bigger tank or a tankless for endless supply.

I actualy like 160 degrees.Yeah I know it burns the skin.(most people)

 

Nov 11, 2007 03:16 PM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA
Bob, you and I would turn the cold water tap on a little when 160 is a bit too hot.  The fear I have is that parent who runs a child's bath water and forgets to check it before dropping the child in.  That why I can see why the new faucet assemblies have temp regulators.  Of course you could set the lower temp at the water heater.  Where's that?
Nov 12, 2007 12:49 AM
Geno Petro
GenoPetro.House - Chicago, IL
Bob...I just checked out your blog for the first time. What you write is very interesting to know. Having just went through a sale of my own it was amazing to see how many more things showed up on the new  Buyers inspection report than I examined the place with my own inspector four years ago---and most of it had to do with water; sump pump, injector, heater, faucets, etc.
Nov 23, 2007 05:31 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hey Bill...Damn you posted that comment almost two weeks ago and I missed it.

Yeah ...rules are made to protect the weak and innocent.If their were no rules we would both be out of biz.

Hi Geno:

I recognise you from that Bistro pic as I see it everytime I go to local.

It is funny how ten inspectors will all catch alot of the same things yet also find things the others did not.

Living in Chicago you more than likely either saw the piece on channel seven or read it in the Dailey Herald regarding the shortage of building and home inspectors working for the gov.

These guys spend maybe at best 30 minutes on site.

So if us private guys miss things imagine what those guys miss.

They are protected against prosecution and I am sure many get positions politicaly.

A while back they even hired a sixteen year old kid.Any way don't be a stranger and feel fre to contribue.

Always looking for the agent veiwpoint.Any thing involving water is a biggie in our world as it causes the most damage.

Nov 23, 2007 02:31 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Bob

I was hoping to find a new post by ya.

Have miss seeing ya, reading your post's and comments.

Hope evey thing is going fine for ya!

Have a good one

Dale

Feb 28, 2008 09:03 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Dale I have been on board making a few comments , but you are right that I am overdue to post.

I just have not any great ideas and do not start a thread just to talk about a rusty hinge .or a loose screw (usually found in my head) haha

Feb 28, 2008 04:22 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Bob

I don't think there are any loose screws in your head my friend.

May be you could do some post's about thing folks could see and do in Chicago or in IL.

I know theres a lot to see and do in your city and State.

How about the some on the rich history of Chicago.

Google likes seeing local post and picks them up.

Have a good one

Dale

Feb 29, 2008 12:02 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Thanks for the idea Dale.

I may do some of that as I have never posted local since I first joined here.

There is a lot going on in real estate.

I have been a little busy as I have gone full time Inspector recently and had some changes made on my sites , plus trying to get going on a new consumer site, working on the upcoming summer art fair season also .

Been doing quite a bit of studying every day as I never feel I know enough and am determined to learn all there is in this darn business.

Its amazing how much info we take in Dale.Just today I had my first property with csst installed as feeds in the walls and I had to go spend time researching the stuff.

Sure I know what it is before but as you know there is always more to the story ,such as can it be directly connected , ground, extentions, protection and so forth.

To anyone whom thinks Inspection is an easy gravy train (wrong)

Mar 01, 2008 03:47 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Bob

my friend

I hope you will have the time to

post something about your fine area.

You are 100% right about inspections is not an easy gravy train at all.

Have a good one

Dale

Mar 03, 2008 10:12 AM
Matthew Heavener
ERA Heavener Realty Co. - Jacksonville, FL

EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am glad I don't have smellivision!

Mar 11, 2008 06:10 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

It is times like this I am glad not to be a plumber.

Mar 11, 2008 11:01 AM
Sandra Workman
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Kankakee, IL
BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS
Yuck!!!  Unfortunately I've seen it myself.
Mar 12, 2008 02:37 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection
Guess it is easy to figure why they need to seal them tight.
Mar 12, 2008 05:18 PM