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Open Sewer Dangers

Updated: May 28, 2020

Recent find in an older home: Unknown drain in the basement.

I tried tracing the sewer line based on the layout. Normally, most inspectors, agents, and buyers might shrug at seeing a drain in the floor. After all, many older homes tend to have multiple drains for washers, water heaters, and generally plumbing in case of leaks or floods. The client and I decided on a test: having the agent flush a toilet upstairs while we stayed below. Here is the result:

On another inspection, again in older home, I found a serious leak in the sewer line at the contact point with the foundation wall. Water was pooling in a growing area, preventing inspection of the rest of the crawlspace. Also note un-insulated pipes; no earthquake brackets or positive connections for the posts and beams; loose/hanging down insulation.

Finally, Buy a New Home and Nothing will be Wrong! Right?

Well this new home, direct from builder, had a blocked sewer that overflowed from this toilet and ground floor bathroom. Whoops. Good thing I tested multiple taps. Good thing the buyer scheduled me before the final walk-through. Good thing the Supervisor was there to fix it!

Don't Panic Inspections. 425-247-1789. Collin Pointon. Lic#2239.

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