Is a sump pump a bad sign?

I am house hunting and recently I came across a house I really like and I am thinking of making an offer. The house is a 40 year old ranch with a basement. A small room on one side of the basement contains a crawl space, although I suppose it really isn't a crawl space since you can walk in it. Inside the crawl space room there is a damp smell and a sump pump in the floor. There's also a big mound of dirt in the crawl space with a plastic sheet over it. There is no damp smell anywhere else in the basement.
I'm wondering if this is a bad sign of serious moisture problems and would be really bad when we try to sell the house in the future. Can anyone give me his or her opinion?
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Depends on the area of the country you talking about. Where I live in Arizona deserts, finding what you described would be "RUN not walk to the nearest exit". Other places like Florida where the ground water table is pretty high maybe not. Do the neighbors have similar installations?
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I don't know anything about the neighbors' houses.
The house is in the Atlanta area. Marietta to be exact. We are moving from Florida where nobody has basements.
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Talk to the neighbors. After all, if you buy the house, you'll be living right next to them anyway.
I'd worry more about the mound of dirt and plastic sheet. Ever seen The 'Burbs?
Pagan
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In article

Being a resident of the area, and having shopped specifically for homes with basements just a few years ago, I can tell you that it's very common, almost essential, you should be glad it's there, and it doesn't detract from the house in the least.
If you happened to be living in the house next week (Katrina), you'd know why houses with basements in North Georgia (clay) have sump pumps.
--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
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The damp smell should worry you more than the existence of a sump pump.
1. pull the cover off the pump and look inside. Is it dry ? or full of water?
(if full of water and it hasn't rained in months, you may have a water table problem)
2. look at the area where the pump outlet drains, is the ground wet or soaked in that spot ?
Even in houses with storm and sanitary sewers it never hurts to have the sump as a backup.
Weepers can plug up, sewers can (ugh) back up, A sump at the lowest part of the floor will drain out anything it needs to, or sit and wait until it's needed.
AMUN
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I don't know why you are questioning about a home in that area having a sump pump. If I had a home with a basement, ( I don't care if it was on a top of a mountain with steep sides all around the house) I would want to make sure that the home was tiled around the foundation and the tile ran into a sump with no less than a 1/2 HP pump installed in it. If the basement smells musty, no problem buy a dehumidifier and run at 35 to 40 % that will take care of it. I would view a home that has a basement with a sump as a big plus. A home with a basement that has no sump, I will bet that when a big rain comes it will have a seepage problem. My 2 cents worth

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Here in Chicago, in the land of basements, sump pumps are quite common.
How much you need to worry about water infiltration as more to do with the grading of the lot and how the house sits on the land than it does with the presence of absence of a sump pump.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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A sump pump is the norm in many places. Follow the output of the sump and see if it shows signs of frequent dischatrge. If so i'd shy away from the property.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote in wrote:

Hmm. That might be hard to determine since it has been raining here a lot lately and the ground is already very wet.
Thank you, everyone, your your advice.
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I'm with the others. The sump pump isn't a problem, it is a plus. Do, however, find out before buying just what that heap of dirt is doing in there.
Harry K
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less-than-full basements were quite common, and depending on frostline or local soil conditions, the walls for the crawlspace may go down nearly as far as the basement itself. The 'walkable space' he refers to is merely the inside of the trench dug way back when for pouring the footers and laying up the walls of the crawlspace. Space like that usually didn't get a real door, just a inside or outside cubby for access. (My 1956 childhood home was like that.) Around here, on mid-20th-century houses, it is not unusual to see crawlspaces like that that were dug out, and a second set of footers and more wall added, with a 'shelf' about 2 feet deep all around the outside, leading back to the original walls. Almost nobody uses partial crawlspaces any more- it is either a full crawl on a entry-level or high-water-table house, or a full basement. On a 200k + house, the cost difference is insignificant, especially the way basements are dug these days with huge excavators. On a 1950s house, usually on a small lot, the digging was usually a short-reach backhoe, and there was still a lot of hand work.
aem sends....
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like the pump is doing it's job. If that's the worst feature of the house, I wouldn't sweat it.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Is that because a home in Atlanta shouldnt have frequent discharge? I don't see a problem with a frequent running sump unless you know something specific that this shouldn't occur in Atlanta?
My sump is like leaving a 100w light bulb on all day just about. Not all that bad. Plus its good to know the hydrostatic pressure is being removed, which is the real concern.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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Deuteros wrote:

In many if not most parts of the US, sump pumps are required in all new construction. Where I live I would not buy a home without one.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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