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Old 03-27-2018, 07:24 AM
 
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you know the deal , nothing is a problem until it is a problem . then the idea is to try to pass it off to someone else and claim ignorance of what you bought ..

in caveat emptor states like ny it is always assumed the buyer knows or should have known , by asking specific questions and not leave it to a visual and functional inspection report to describe every system in the house . especially because the concern is that things are working , not what the systems hardware consists of . .

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-27-2018 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
So.... is there an access point in these pits? Manhole cover or something to tell you where the pumps are? Or do you have to find it and dig it up?
Its like a Septic System, except that you don't have the leach field. The drain field is the municipal sewer. So, in most areas you flush your toilet right out to the sewer, some places you flush to what's basically a septic tank, that then pumps to the sewer.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
Its like a Septic System, except that you don't have the leach field. The drain field is the municipal sewer. So, in most areas you flush your toilet right out to the sewer, some places you flush to what's basically a septic tank, that then pumps to the sewer.
Functionally you're right... it might be similar, but it appears to be quite different as a matter of inspection and disclosure. When someone buys a place on a septic system here (I'd hope most places) the existence of the septic is disclosed, and it is located, pumped and inspected as part of our purchase and inspection process. Buyers have the right to go look at it, and understand how it works. We do it all the time, here, and I really encourage my buyers to go and look and understand their septic system. It shouldn't be a mystery because knowing more helps you take care of it and avoid problems.

I am surprised that so many think it's normal in this case to have underground and invisible pumps that perform a vital function of the house where a seller wouldn't be required to at least point out where they are and what they do.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:33 AM
 
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i bet i can come up with an infinite list of things that are important to the house but if they are working fine there is never a lot or even any details about them given unless specifically brought up . . it may not even have all the details on the septic . some run via gravity , some with pumps , a report may just read septic system -passed
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
I would not rule out going after the home inspector for negligence. The fact that you stated the breakers were not labeled and that was not included in the inspection report is a HUGE RED FLAG FOR ME. You owe it to yourself just for peace of mind to consult a qualified real estate attorney.
I'm not sure if it was a full 10 years ago or not, but standards for home inspection have been nationalized. And whether the breakers were labeled or not is an OBSERVATION that is on their checklist. As noted, doesn't mean it wasn't considered acceptable and to-code when the box was installed or last modified, but it's definitely on their list of things to observe now.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
i bet i can come up with an infinite list of things that are important to the house but if they are working fine there is never a lot or even any details about them given unless specifically brought up . . it may not even have all the details on the septic . some run via gravity , some with pumps , a report may just read septic system -passed
Septic systems are inspected as a matter of routine, and the more complex the system, the more important the regular required inspection and maintenance is. Some require annual maintenance, some every 5-10 years. Some work when the power is out.... and some don't! Important to know!

I don't know if there should have been any inspection or maintenance of these pumps or not, but if they are hidden underground, it would be super helpful to know where they are, so we're not doing a big treasure hunt with a backhoe because the toilet is suddenly backing up.

I agree with comments above that it shouldn't be a dealbreaker... it's just an important thing to know about as the new homeowner.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Alaska
222 posts, read 143,706 times
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I know it sucks but here was our scenario - bought a home on septic and well. Had home inspected, everything was fine. Moved in February 2009. We converted the top floor of the two story workshop into a MIL appt and my mom moved in with us June 2009. That fall/winter had the wettest year on record, septic field started to fail. Come to find out that it was in one of the lowest areas of the property and with high water tables to begin with, the added deluge of rain that fall/winter created a bad situation, but the real kicker, when the septic company pulled the paperwork, was that the system was only designed for a 3 bedroom home. We bought a 5 bdrm home.

So they had done additions that resulted in two extra bedrooms, didn't upgrade septic, we moved in as a family of 6 and shortly after added another +1 = system failure.

We had to shell out $7500 for a new system. We didn't pursue any legal action, paid it and moved on and it was a life lesson. Even now looking back, I would never have known to pull the paperwork because I had zero experience with something of that nature. Now I do.

What you would've done had you known is not relevant anymore because you did buy the home, and it's been almost ten years. You would be out more time, money and sanity in trying to pursue any type of legal action.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:48 AM
 
9,290 posts, read 11,138,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
they are installed like a sump pump would be. there is usually a cover over it and a vent pipe where they are located ..
Newer ones will have a flashing light giving you an indication that something is wrong before the sewage backs up. The "holding tank" will hold a few hundred gallons but after that it either backs up in the closest bathtub/shower or overflows into the yard. The worst obstacle is a power outage. You will have running water (municipal) but no way to get rid of it (sump pump runs on electricity).
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:49 AM
 
64,529 posts, read 66,075,955 times
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our septic back up had an alarm on it.we found our pumps were submersible and in the septic tank.there was never a report where it told us where they were .
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:53 AM
 
9,290 posts, read 11,138,237 times
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Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
I would not rule out going after the home inspector for negligence. The fact that you stated the breakers were not labeled and that was not included in the inspection report is a HUGE RED FLAG FOR ME. You owe it to yourself just for peace of mind to consult a qualified real estate attorney.
10 years later?

What happens if the home inspector says "the stickers where there 10 years ago!"......case closed.

6000 repair after 10 years is $50 a month, 12.50 a week, 1.78 a day......whats that 10 cents per flush, per hand wash, per shower, per load of laundry?

I'd bet losing the lawsuit won't make the OP feel any better but their wallet will be lighter!
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