General Flaws with Sump Pump Systems
These are common defects or safety concerns that we see with Sump Pump systems during many home inspections in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.
For almost all home inspections that use a sump pump system; improvements for safety, performance, or both are often recommended. Below are a few common flaws in these systems.
Possibility for External Freezing
In colder climates, if you use a hose for a discharge tube, you will need to unhook the hose in the Fall to prevent water from freezing and clogging the line. If the line gets clogged with ice, the pump will burn up trying to discharge the water continuously.
Dumping the Water Next to Your Foundation
Where does the water go when the sump pump drains the water directly next to the foundation from outside the house? It goes back into the pump drainage system! This may seem very obvious, but experience has shown that it may not be the case as this is a very common glitch. The drain hose from the collection system should end at the point where the water drains away from the building.
Small Drian Pipe
Sump pumps usually have 1-1 / 4 "or 1-1 / 2" outlets for their discharge. The size of the drain pipe must match. Therefore, do not use garden hoses. If the drain pipe is small, the pump will operate longer each time the power is turned on, shortening the life of the pump. Some small pumps may come with a garden hose adapter, and are the exception of this.
The solution to this situation is simple. Use a larger tube. Use ABS or PVC pipes indoors. Outside the house, it's not that important. Hardware stores sell 25-inch corrugated tubes for around $15, and it's easy to connect them.
No Check Valve
After the pump has stopped, a check valve should be attached to the drain line to prevent water in the drain hose from flowing back into the drain pan.
This is also a simple fix. Check valves cost about $15 and are easy to install.
Missing or Loose Sump Basin Lid
This is a safety issue as small children with loose basin covers can drown if they fall into the pit. The solution to this situation is very simple. If you do not have a cover, install it. If the cover is loose, make a few 3-inch screws for drywall and pull the screws from the lid to the side of the sump basin. A general rule of thumb is to make sure that the cover can support a person's weight for obvious reasons.
Ideally, the sump cover should also be airtight. This will help prevent radon gas from entering the home, as well as moist air.
We Inspect the Sump Systems
The licensed home inspectors at LiteHouse Services Group LLC inspect every sump system as part of our home inspections in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas. We make the recommendations you need to keep your home and your family safe!