Sump pumps play an important role in keeping basements dry. So, when a sump pump isn’t installed properly or is poorly maintained, a strong bout of heavy rainfall or a burst pipe can cause extensive damage to your home. To ensure your potential new home is protected from basement floods, let’s take a look at what home inspectors look for in a sump pump.
What Does a Home Inspector Look for in a Sump Pump?
Sump pumps work best in conjunction with a perimeter drain and dehumidifier, but those components aren’t necessary to have during a home inspection. A home inspector, instead, looks for the following elements:
- Pump Basin: A sump pump should have a perforated pump basin that accepts the flow of water while blocking debris and silt.
- Sealed Cover: The cover should be properly sealed on the sump pump to prevent tripping hazards and keep sub-slab gases from seeping into the home, which compromises air quality.
- Backflow Preventer: The pipe’s interior should have a backflow preventer that keeps water from flowing back into the basin after it’s been pumped.
- Vacuum Breaker: A vacuum breaker is placed at the exterior pipe to prevent groundwater from penetrating the pipe.
A home inspector will also study the electrical source, ensuring there’s a dedicated outlet for the pump and that there’s a backup battery in case of a power outage.
What Are the Most Common Problems Found with Sump Pumps?
Whether the homeowner installed the sump pump or it’s been poorly maintained, there are several things a home inspector can find wrong with a sump pump. Some of the most common problems found include:
- Discharge Location: If the discharge point is too close to the foundation, it can result in a cycle of water returning into the basin.
- Waste Pipe Discharge: If the sump pump discharges water into the waste pipe, it can result in a sewer or septic system backup which enters the basement through the basin.
- Extension Cord Location: If the sump pump is plugged into an outlet across the basement, it can cause a tripping hazard.
A home inspector will also check the basement for signs of water damage to see if there’s any evidence of the sump pump previously malfunctioning.
Knowing what home inspectors look for in a sump pump can advise you what to look for when buying or selling a home. Since it’s crucial to achieve moisture control in your basement, you must hire an experienced home inspector to ensure it is properly functioning. At Homeinex Corporation, we will inspect a sump pump as part of our basic home inspection. If you require a qualified home inspector, contact us today.