Can anyone advise me as to what this pipe may be for? There was no sump pump in the house and the furnace was vented through the roof. Client asked and I’m at a loss.
Yeah, sump pump would have been my first guess. Any chance there could have been once hidden somewhere? After that, maybe being used as a conduit of some sort for some yard lighting or cable TV? Really, no way to know… there are too many possibilities to count.
How can you be at a loss if you did the inspection? Didn’t you see what it was connected to?
It’s just a pipe until you can identify its purpose.
It might help if you described the material, what happened when you dug next to it, what the other side goes to, and looked like. If it was warm. Cold. Neutral.
I would of thought sump pump as well. I have seen sumps covered with a floor treatment (usually carpet) and an access lid.
I took a picture of this at the inspection and didn’t think too much of it. My client asked me about it after the fact. I went back and looked through all my pictures and sure enough there is a sump pump in the house. It was boxed in in the finished basement and covered with workout equipment. Thanks for the help and sorry for the dumb question I’ll be sure not to overlook that again.
Perhaps there’s a lesson here.
And you may want to go back and inspect the item you didn’t originally find, or advise the buyers so they can take steps.
And OP, ask yourself, Am I ready to do this?
Occasionally (like fairly often) we do have to move something to do a proper inspection. Don’t do anything extreme in the moving things department and consider your liability before you touch anything.
Plastic pipes typically seen outside the home:
Water heater pressure relief valve discharge pipe
AC condensation drain pipe
Conduit for Landscape Irrigation equipment
Drain for whole house water filtration system
Sump pump drain or discharge piping
Low voltage communication cable
That is all I can think of for now
I don’t think I’ll change careers just yet
I overlooked the (hidden) sump pump… I went back this morning and inspected it.
Learn from it and move on, and as I already said I wont make that mistake again.
There is never a dumb question. You just reinforced a valuable lesson of taking lots of photos. This is especially true if you get an annoying home buyer or realtor who ask questions during the inspect which can pull you off focus. Many times when I clean up my reports at the end of the day I discover something new in a photo and so glad I took it.
Well, sometimes you may see a drain for a washing machine going to a dry well rather than going into the septic system.
In one of the areas I inspect (Oregon) there is a question on the seller’s disclosure that specifically asks about a sump pump. I’ve always figured it’s because it’s kind of an important thing to know and something an inspector may not find. We can’t be expected to see through concrete walls and floors. In the situation being discussed, had the pipe been routed in a hidden location or otherwise not observable (common in my area) there is no way an inspector would know it’s present (que the angry phone call accusing the inspector of being a blind fool).
On a related note - One of the chapters in the book I wrote a few years ago (listed in my signature) is titled, “Seller’s are a Bunch of Lying Scumbags.” It’s meant as kind of a joke but there certainly is some truth to it.
I see a lot of basement finish-outs where a sump pump is hidden, finished over and the O/S pipe is underground and not visible to the HI … Look on listing OR disclosure when in doubt OR if its an “INGROUND” basement (not walkout) … LOOK real carefully
I have found a few grey water drains by running hot water at sinks, tubs and laundry and then going outside with a thermal camera.
Don’t beat yourself up. These old-farts miss stuff all the time, like their glasses, for example Question everything, that’s the key.
It is the rare HI that starts this career doing every inspection perfectly. I’ve heard guys say that they were competent after 50 inspections. I guess I was a slow learner. In hindsight, I was past 200 inspections before I was getting somewhere around competent and I was over 2000 before I could be described as “pretty good.”
The learning never stops. After 22 years, I am still seeing something different or new. Some of that is changes in technology and building practices, but some of it is seeing the amazing creativity of DIYers. And rarely anymore (I’m happy to say), I still find that something I thought was true, turns out to be wrong.
Having a naturally inquisitive mind really helps in this biz. If you are not naturally inquisitive, then you have to have a very large check list that you mechanically follow on every inspection.
So, you learned and will know better. That’s how it works for all of us.
And btw, whenever I see a buried sump pump discharge pipe, I try to find where it daylights. If I can’t find that, I write that up.
Onward and forward…