wow...first time for this

First time this ever happened to me…inspected this 1966 single story home today…fairly decent shape…hadn’t been lived in for a few months…

Check out the kitchen sink…noted a leak at the faucet when running the water…no biggie…then noted that the water was not draining out of either basin…ok…I let it go…came back an hour later and water was still at the same level…

Bathroom sinks all were fine…tub real slow draining out but did drain.

Get down to the basement…it’s all finished. even the ceilings which made viewing all plumbing lines out of the question.
Place had a retro sump pit installed…looked like a large clay pot stuck in the ground…nice wood cover over it…had water standing in it, so I tested the sump…worked fine…drew water down…then I’m standing there and here drip, drip, drip…WTF??? I look up at the basement well window and water is coming down the window, onto the wall and pooling up???..I figure maybe the sump discharge is too close to the outside of the home and may be clogged with ice (it’s cold here…-4 at the inspection) So I run upstairs and stop short at the kitchen floor…water all over the place??? I look in the sink and it’s empty except for a ton of dirt at the drain…pop open the cabinet and water is all over the place…The sump line didn’t go to the outside…it discharged into a clogged waste line and with nowhere left to go, it came up thru the drain in the sink…AND up thru the drain for the dishwasher (you know those that are just hooked over the top of the end of the drain pipe?..anyways, it was quite a mess to clean up…sellers agent arrived (along with my client) to the mess and pretty much cleaned it all up for me…but I was sure scrambling there for a moment trying to figure out what the hell happened!!!

I guess someone will say the clogged sinks showed caution is needed , but what a shock.
Any concern of damage to walls or floors that might come back at you?

naaah…the water that came into the basement followed the hole for the supply line just above the window in the basement…the rest spilled onto the floor. (carpet BTW in the Kitchen)

Sump plumbed to interior waste line? Call Holmes on homes Iv’e seen it on his program before. Now about the waste from the sink entering the sump system, could that be a problem? You need to reccommend that the system(plumbing waste piping) be scoped out by camera and evaluated by a plumbing expert.

The check valve on the sump discharge prevents it from going back into the crock. But I did recommend the waste lines be scoped for any issues.
That said, it may be allowed, but pumping it to the exterior would have prevented what happened, from happening…remember, the discharge from the sump is under induced pressure…the rest of the home is only under gravity pressure.

sorry to hear that Kevin

Read this post. I’ve run into quite a few sump installs from the 1960’s era up here in NH where the sump effluent is tied into the interior drain at one point or another; that’s now illegal with huge fines, something like $10k, speaking only on municipal inspector warnings; I’d have to word something a lot stronger than that. Code check says it’s ok under certain constraints, but maybe check with local town code official?

To the best of my knowledge most Municipalities prohibit the discharge of ground water from sump pits into the sanitary drainage systems. The Intrnational Building Code now wants sump pits from elevator shafts to go into the sanitary drainage system.I guess we’re going backwards again.

I wasn’t ground water he was talking about it was waste water, Like a home made grinder pump (in a clay pot) but maybe there is a whole in his pot that would allow the ground water in also. Was it tied into a 1 1/2" or 2" line instead of the 3" or 4" or am i missing something here? I don’t think a grinder pump is illegal as long as it empties into the main drain line and has a back flow preventer. the could also be a back-flow preventer installed upstream of the grinder pump so this doesn’t happen again.