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septic or well?


John Dirks Jr
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I don't quite understand your relation of the well head to a septic sump pump. In these parts its not uncommon to have a municipal water source and a septic system.

We are fortunate enough to orient our drain fields to resemble elephant burial mounds.

Your picture is typical of most sump pump outlet installations.

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Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

Lift pump is what I thought it was. At least that's what came out of my mouth when the client was standing next to me. I guessed that one right.

How would one test a pump like that?

I couldn't find a well head anywhere in the yard. I saw them in the neighbors yards, but not this one. What's up with that?

With no visible well head in the yard or basement, you can't rule out the possibility of a shared well, wich would obviously create numerous concerns. I think it is unlikely that the picture represents a well head. Is there any water equipment(bladder, switch, gauge, etc.) inside the home that would suggest that the water comes from a private source?

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It may be a shared well. In this case the well could be in the neighboring lot. Was there a pressure tank on the property? A pit that was well hidden could account for no visible casing or pump house. In our area well pits are being forced out and would be good information for ones client. Another location is in the basement, if you have them. These are commonly point wells which are out of favor in our locality and another good mention for ones clients. Most lending institutions will approve lending on a home with a point well.

I would stay away from any comments on the septic system. The electric is a good observation but the evalution of the pump would be stepping out from under your home inspector 's hat and putting on a new septic inspector's hat. Unless you want to wear that hat, not recommended.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Septic lift-station pump cord. Lift station collects effluent, pump pumps it up to highest point of septic field. Gravity does the rest.

I've never seen one outside. Is that a normal thing around your area Jerry?

Chad...most every septic lift-station in these parts is outside, and that sure looks exactly like such...right down to the dual pump cords.

In another life/dimension, I had the pleasant task of overseeing the repairs for about 45 septic fields that had all failed, most for different reasons. I've had a lot of experience with that kind of sh*t.

John...you could test the pump by bypassing the switch cord-plug and plugging the pump cord-plug directly into the receptacle.

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I will vote for a septic lift station. Very common in my parts and they look like that. Some have an alarm on the inside of the home and some on the outside. The ones on the exterior tend to be on newer homes.

But, if you're not 100% sure just simply say that you are not sure what the heck it is and that the owners need to be questioned about it. That's about all you really need to say, outside of the electrical connection.

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OK, stupid question.

I would think that the system that started this post should have a GFCI, but what about a hardwired system that was not accessable at the exterior? For example, I have a lift station at the end of my system at home. It pumps the output from the sand filter up to the storm sewer, and the top of the collection tank is at least 5' below grade. The pump and wiring are therefore only accessable via backhoe. Should this have a GFCI receptacle at the alarm in the house or at it's breaker, or is it better that it not?

Tom

BTW, it is direct burial cable from the alarm, in conduit through the wall and to below grade, unprotected after that. I have no idea how it is routed through/around the rest of the septic system as I was unable to be there when it was buried.

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