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Old 12/9/06, 5:35 PM
Steve Meyer Steve Meyer is offline
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Default Sump pump.. legal installation?

Good Afternoon:

As a condition of purchasing our new home (about five years ago) the builder agreed to put in a sump pump, as there was standing water in one corner of the crawl space underneath during heavy rains.

Since then, it has faithfully come on during periods of heavy rain, but I realized I had not heard it rumble at all after our heavy record Oregon rains this November.

I opened the crawlspace door (in our bedroom closet, the opposite side of the house from the sump pump..); sure enough there was standing water.

I crawled over to take a look, having never actually seen the sump pump, or its installation before. The pump sits in a drilled 5 gallon HD bucket, and its cord is attached to an 25' indoor/outdoor extension cord. The cord runs the length of the house, comes up through a drilled hole in the floor and into the cabinet under the kitchen sink, where it is plugged into the same outlet as the garbage disposal.

I don't know why the pump has quit working, but at this point I am more concerned with the installation of the pump itself. Everything I have read states to NOT use extension cords with a sump pump (it says so right on the tag attached to the power cord on the pump itself), and also to plug a sump pump into a GFCI outlet, which it is not.

I have not contacted the State of Oregon to ask about code requirements yet (just dried off..), but would appreciate any insight from "those in the know" in this forum.. is it reasonable to ask the builder, five years later, to come back and install the pump correctly (if it isn't now..)?

Is this installation something that would've/should've been noted by a home inspector?

Thanks in advance,

Soggy Steve in Oregon
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sump-pump-legal-installation-sump-pump.jpg   sump-pump-legal-installation-sump-pump_extension-cord.jpg   sump-pump-legal-installation-sump-pump_extension-cord_outlet.jpg  

Last edited by Steve Meyer; 12/9/06 at 6:02 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12/9/06, 6:37 PM
Joe Funderburk, CMI's Avatar
Joe Funderburk, CMI Joe Funderburk, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

The installation is sub-standard. Yes, the sump pump is required by building codes to be protected by GFCI.

Is it "reasonable" to contact the builder 5 years later? No, unless your state requires builders to be responsible for defects for that period of time or your builder provided a 5 year home warranty (not likely).

You should have gotten a home inspection PRIOR to buying the house or at the latest before your warranty expired. Unfortunately, you may have to bite the bullet on this one. Live and learn.

PS. No type of pump lasts forever.



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Last edited by jfunderburk; 12/9/06 at 7:26 PM..
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Old 12/9/06, 6:50 PM
Charley L. Bottger's Avatar
Charley L. Bottger Charley L. Bottger is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

I agree with Joe on the most part
You can ask anything including the builder to come back but he is going to laugh at you.

Your biggest mistake was to allow this builder to place the pump under the home in the first place; as foundations if designed properly are not suppose to have water pentration.
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Old 12/9/06, 6:55 PM
Paul Hinsperger, CMI's Avatar
Paul Hinsperger, CMI Paul Hinsperger, CMI is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

Soggy Steve,

- First priority is to get the water out of there. Check for power, replace the pump, etc but get the water out asap

- A sump pump should not be plugged into an extention cord.

- An extention cord should not be passing through any hole drilled in the floor. Extention cords are for tempary use only. Five years is not temparary

- You have a sump pump minus the sump. The bucket appears to be sitting on top of the ground. It would increase its effeciveness (ie a dryier crawl space) if it was in a pit.

- The 5 gal pail isn't a problem if the sump has enough room to sit flat and the float can move freely without getting caught. Most sump pumps I see would not operate effectively in the limited size of a 5 gal pail. Check with your local building offical to see what they require. I would not be using a 5 gal pail if it were my house

-A drain pipe should not be used to support the electrical.

- You should be having a peek in the crawl space at least once a year. Five years is way to long. If you find something that doesn't look they way it did the last time you looked call a professional.

Last edited by phinsperger; 12/9/06 at 7:00 PM..
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Old 12/9/06, 8:13 PM
Charley L. Bottger's Avatar
Charley L. Bottger Charley L. Bottger is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

I totally agree a sump pump should not be operated on an extension cord but the pump was a cheep temporary fix to get the house out of warranty and off of the
builders back he was probally laughing all the way to the bank that all he had to do to sell this home was to purchase a $100.00 sump pump and a $10.00 extension cord. In reality true French drains probally were required to resolve the water issue permanently. A sump pump in my area is just a temporary fix for a crawl space water problem.
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Old 12/12/06, 3:35 PM
John Allingham John Allingham is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfunderburk
The installation is sub-standard. Yes, the sump pump is required by building codes to be protected by GFCI.
That depends where you live. Up here a GFCI is not required.
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Old 12/12/06, 8:27 PM
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David C. Macy David C. Macy is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Meyer
Is this installation something that would've/should've been noted by a home inspector?
It sounds like Steve had the home inspected. Yes your inspector should of noted these problems. After 5 years time it would be hard to claim litigation.
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Old 12/17/06, 8:34 AM
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David P. Valley David P. Valley is offline
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Default Re: Sump pump.. legal installation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jallingham
That depends where you live. Up here a GFCI is not required.
Not required here either. But I can tell you, that particular installation is shoddy.
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Last edited by dvalley; 10/7/07 at 5:42 PM..
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