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bi level home with sump pump advice

my husband and are looking to buy a house and liked a bilevel home with a sump pump. the house is 50 year old and slopes down at the back. we're just worried that the home may be predisposed to water issues/flooding, hence the sump pump. thoughts? TIA
Maria
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November 21 2012 - US
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Answers (6)

I just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing--a sump pump is used for problems with ground water.  A sewage ejector pump is used on a house's septic system where maybe a bathroom or other facility is below the level of the main line.  A sump pump is less expensive than a sewage ejector, but should not be used in place of one.  Assuming we are talking about a sump pump—check carefully for signs of mold in the lower level of the house.  Lift the cover of the sump and take a look.  Is there water in the sump or is it dry?  If there's water in the sump, then the pump is needed.  A float switch turns the pump on when the water level is high enough.  Lift the float to see if the pump at least turns on.  Or maybe the sump is dry.  The pump may have been installed more as a precaution then out of a real need.  Or maybe it was needed at one time, but then the grading changed over the years and the need was eliminated.  Good luck. [Website deleted by Zillow moderator.
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November 29 2013
Depending on the reason for the pump. There are sewage pumps for pumping uphill to field lines or sewage system and there are submersible pumps for getting rid of ground water. If it is for the ground water, more often than not, there will be a preexisting problem, which if not completely remedied, will mean there will be mold issues. I would definitely recommend getting a qualified professional to inspect it. 
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November 28 2013
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SQIAR (http://www.sqiar.com/solutions/technology/tableau) is a leading global consultancy which provides innovative business intelligence services to small and medium size (SMEs) businesses. Our agile approach provides organizations with breakthrough insights and powerful data visualizations to rapidly analyse multiple aspects of their business in perspectives that matter most.
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November 28 2013
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where are you looking?thanks
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November 22 2012
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It is hard to know if the sump pump is there due to a preemtive recommendation by an insurance agent, contractor or inspector or if it is there due to past issues with water.

You can look for past clues of water intrusion. If you are concerned, you can ask the owner to provide a CLUE report that will show any losses due to water intrusion that have been claimed in the past 5 years. Many bilevel houses of this age have no issues with water coming into the house as long as the foundation is in good shape and the grade of the outside property is correct. I would ask the owner if they have ever put in french drains and when the sump was installed.

If you like the house, wait until you get more infomation before crossing it off for the sump. Sumps are somewhat common. In my looking, many I've seen have been as much for owner piece of mind than for ongoing issues. So ask more about it and see what the story is for this house.
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November 22 2012
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my wife and i looking at a home similar to your situation. sump pump bilevel home. will post what i find.
b.k
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November 21 2012
 
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