kitchen sink drains to sump pit


Old 08-16-11, 09:25 AM
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Unhappy kitchen sink drains to sump pit


We have recently bought a 55 year old house in Louisville, KY. It's a ranch house with a finished basement. I discovered that my kitchen sink upstairs drains into the sump pit in the basement. (And I'm guessing that the dishwasher, too.) We have a kitchen and a bathroom in the basement, but they DON'T drain to the sump pit, so it is especially puzzling why they connected the upstairs kitchen to the sump.

Neither the seller not the inspector mentioned this. Is this even up to code? The sump pump dumps the water onto the driveway.

As for who is responsible, if it is not up to code: I'm guessing I'm on my own. We have lots of expenses with the new house, so I really don't want to run into another thousand dollar repair. I'm pretty handy - is this something I may be able to tackle myself?
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Old 08-16-11, 10:25 AM
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Not a pro, but this does not sound good to me. The sump pump is to prevent water from flooding the basement when the water table is high. It would merely discharge ground water to your driveway.

It is not designed or meant to pump particles of garbage which would come from both the sink and dishwasher. Something is definitely wrong with this picture. I would get a plumbing inspector and depending on the findings, consider hiring a lawyer if there was a failure to disclose a hazardous condition.
Old 08-16-11, 07:07 PM
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It may or may not be a reasonably easy fix depending on where the sewer drains are in relation to the kitchen sink. I'd assume pretty far away or else whoever hooked it up would have done it right the first time around.

Some country houses do drain "gray" water outside the house, but usually it's from a washing machine where the water really isn't that dirty. I'd think a sink, with the grease, soap, and whatever else doesn't usually qualify as "gray" water.

As for the inspection, it will primarily depend on how obvious the condition is. Is the pipe visibly on the outside of the wall draining into the sump pit? Or does it go through some hidden areas which required one person to run the water and another hear it drain into the pit? There's always a disclaimer in the inspection reports about only being able to report on things you can see.

That said, you could possibly have a case against the prior homeowner IF they knew about it and it's obviously illegal for your area. Of course, retaining a lawyer may not be worth it in the long run.

Feel free to post some pictures if you want some opinions from the fine folks here...
Old 08-17-11, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for the responses. No, you can't see the pipes, and I admit that this is easy to miss during sn inspection. I know the inspector is not responsible, and the previous owner would never admit they knew about this.

The sewer pipe is reasonably close in the basement, but I'll have to take apart the kitchen cabinet to see the situation clearly. I'll keep you guys updated.

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