OK, I give up....What is it?

I found this at my last inspection. It was a pit in the concrete floor of a garage. The relatively cubic shaped pit was lined with sheet metal. It had a sheet metal lid as a cover and a concrete lid with handles to cover it all up. Inside the pit was a metal bucket bolted to the bottom of the metal liner. The bucket had a hinged lid with a hasp. There was a little moisture in the bucket and the metal box, with some corrosion. There was no obvious drain or plumbing associated with it. The home had been vacant for about a year and a half. Has anyone seen anything like this? I wrote it up as an unexplained storage pit, and recommended that the former owner explain it and warrant that no hazardous materials were present.

Smith 062a.jpg

Smith 061a.jpg

Is there any possibility it’s the access to a backwater valve for the sewer?
Is the property on a hill with homes above it?
These are used to prevent backup of sewage into the home in the event of a bockage downstream of the house. They are a large check valve. IMHO

Although not an ideal location it resembles a floor safe. Most that I’ve seen have a door with tumblers.


Actually, a secure hiding place was my best guess. The home is situated on a hill side, but it is on an 8 acre site with no other structures, and I don’t think it has any association with an on-site septic system.

I found a safe smilier in shape and size in a newer garage floor but had a combination wheel that was rusted stiff!