This past week has been non stop rainfall here in Colorado Springs. The home we
own was built in 1986. Up until 2 days ago, I had no idea there was a sump pump
in the home. I heard a loud noise coming from the basement and after inspecting
every possible nook and cranny, looked outside and saw an over abundance of
water spilling out onto my concrete patio ( which by the way is about 5 in. away
from my window well, therefore into my window well. This posed no threat because
the water wasnt leaking into the window) After googling it I came to the
realization that it was a sump pump and read what its sole purpose was. Made
sense with all the rainfall we got in one week. Fast forward to today. I went
into my basement and my entire bedroom was drenched in water. Just the carpets.
The walls all appear to be intact and there is no erosion or bulging what so
ever. This of course, prompted me to do some research on sump pumps and the
proper installation of them and why there is NOT a splash block connected to the
valve the water comes out of. My question is: I have read that a sump pump must
have a splash block, whether concrete or plastic and it must not be place d next
to your foundation that will divert the water away from your home. Ours DOES NOT
have a splash block and it has had a splash block. Now, we have water pouring
into our room in the basement which is cause by the lack of a splash block and
are now having to file an insurance claim with USAA. Are all homes(irregardless
of age) required to have a drain of some sort? When we bought the home, it
passed inspection without there ever being a splash block. Will our homeowners
cover this seeing as how it is considered part of the home? We surely had no
clue about sump pumps and splash blocks being a first time homeowner. And with
it passing inspection, there was no need to question it. Like I said in the
beginning, we had no idea the house had a sump pump much less what it did or how
it was to be installed. So, here we are with a bedroom soaked in water and based
off of my research, Im starting to believe it has to do with the lack of a
splash block. Can anyone give me some imput please. It would be greatly
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 9:44:04 AM UTC-4, Walter wrote:
A splash block isn't the core issue. The core issue is that the water
needs to be taken far enough away from the house so that it doesn't
just percolate back to the foundation again. Usually that means piping
it 10 to 15+ feet away and making sure that the grading carries it away from
there, not back to the house. I've seen a lot of sump systems where
there is no splash block at the end of the pipe. I guess good grass is
tough enough that the water doesn't erode the soil. It would also depend
on whether it's a pump that rarely runs or one that runs much of the time.
If the existing pipe just ends within a foot or two of the house and
you put a splash block on it, it's not going to do much to prevent the
water from still being too close to the foundation.
As to the insurance claim, unless you have flood coverage, you may
be out of luck. I guess you can argue that it wasn't ground
water that was the proximate cause of the problem, but rather the
fact that the sump line was improperly terminated too close to the
house. Which I guess raises an interesting question. If a basement
floods because the sump pump failed, will typical homeowners cover
that? I know if there is just an exceptional rain event that causes
it, then unless you have flood insurance they won't cover it. In
any case, I guess you'll find out what they say.
On Mon, 11 May 2015 07:53:46 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
What was the cause? AFAICT, he didn't say it was a flood but a lot of
rain. How does that require flood insurance?
My understanding of a flood is a stream or river that rises until it
overflows its banks and that water enters the house. That means the
entire distiance between the house and the stream has to be coveed by
Exceptional rain event. Rain event? That sounds like newspeak. I
think it has to be a flood, not just a lot of rain.
I guess so, and OP don't go into the converstaion assuming there's a
problem. Assume it's covered as it probably is.
Whether the badly done sump pump discharge makes a difference, I don't
know. Much insurance insures people for things they could have
prevented. and their failure to prevent it doesn't lessen their
coverage. It depends what the police says.
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 7:24:17 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:
Because it's excess ground water, due to the heavy rain,
from a source external to the house. To the insurance
folks, a lot of rain that winds
up entering the home via the ground, is flooding. If it entered
via a broken window, missing shingles, then it would be covered.
Which is why I raised the question if anyone had experience
with sump pump failure, water damage and if homeowners covered
that. There you can argue that the proximate cause is the sump
pump failure, which was part of the house, not the rainwater.
That might be covered, not sure.
The insurance policy writers have a broader definition:
Water Damage ~ if waters leaks through my foundation am I covered?
Most property forms, including the typical Homeowners (HO-3) policy, under
SECTION I - PROPERTY EXCLUSIONS, exclude "water damage" caused by:
Water below the surface of the ground, including that which exerts pressure
on, or seeps or leaks through a building, wall, bulkhead, sidewalk, drivew
ay, foundation, swimming pool, hot tub or spa, including their filtration a
nd circulation systems, or other structures.
As the previous poster said, you must get the water that is pumped out way
away from your house. If you have a neighbor, they also probably have a su
mp pump. Look and see what they do, and ask around your neighbors. If one
house in a neighborhood needs a sump pump, others also likely have the sam
e situation. Frankly, you sound rather naive to not have known about a maj
or home ownership item like a sump pump.
On Mon, 11 May 2015 08:05:03 -0700 (PDT), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I woudln't say that, if he'd never come across one before. I had never
seen one before, but mine was obvious in the corner of the basement.
However maybe the OP can get a book from the libary on homeownership
problems, because I'll bet there are a lot of things first time owners
don't know that are just waiting to bite them.
Inspectiions don't cover everything. That pilot who flew his plan into
the mountain had been inspected.
And new problems arise
OP look into whether you have to drain your garden faucet inside your
house before cold weather, what you can put down the toilet (hint,
nothing but excrement and toilet tissue, not even some of the things
they say on the packaging can be flushed. Etc.
Your concrete patio should be sloped to drain the water away from the
house and should be able to withstand the pump discharge without
You may have another problem if the sump pump is not intercepting and
discharging the basement water infiltration to the outside.
A foundation contractor should be able to analyze and recommend
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 11:47:11 AM UTC-4, Mr. E wrote:
I missed the part about it discharging onto the concrete patio.
That's still a bad idea. Patios are generally for use as patios
and I don't think most people want sump pump discharge water
randomly discharging at any time on it. He's in CO, so it's
also subject to freezing, which could make for an interesting
winter. But I guess if he can live with that, the patio extends
far enough from the house, then a splash block or just extending
the pipe another foot or two could work.
In the winter I guess besides an ice hazard on the surface,
enough ice could build up to make the water go the wrong way.
But maybe it never runs in winter....
It depends where you live, and whether your basement is entirely below
grade or not.
Please use paragraphs next time. There is a reason the rest of the
world uses paragraphs.
I'll bet that no place requires splash blocks.
And you don't require one either. I see their purpose mostly as
preventing a mud puddle at the end of the pipe, and secondarily moving
the water 2 feet from your house but 2 feet might not be enough.
What you need is a means of getting the water away from your house.
That could be a splash block or a pipe or tube, on the surface or
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 7:12:04 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:
We can't see how it actually looks. It's possible it sticks out
over the patio far enough that the home inspector thought it was
OK. There may be another problem, like lack of sufficient grade
on the patio too. I would think that if this is a normal patio
intended for use, that a competent home inspector would have
flagged putting the sump pump discharge so that it flows over
the patio. I sure wouldn't find that acceptable.
I don't think he said how long ago he purchased the house.
He might have a case against the home inspector, but I don't
think they give up easily and they always have all kinds of
protective disclaimers in their contracts. Things that amount
to saying I'm really not an expert at anything, even though
you're paying me like I am.
Walter, you're over thinking this. If you're not dumb, play dumb to
your insurance company. Either people have a rider for being stupid, or
insurance companies like to cover stupid people.
I've been involved in numerous jobs where people have took off to
Florida during the winter, and they shut their heat off while gone. You
can only imagine what happens, but far worse. I've seen people overflow
their kitchen sinks because they got caught up in a soap opera.
Bottom line, insurance companies pay out for their stupidity. Not
saying you're stupid for not knowing something. Just the insurance
company shouldn't penalize you for something you had no knowledge of.
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 8:04:16 PM UTC-4, Nemo wrote:
I agree that insurance covers stupidity, like you've cited.
I think Walter's problem may be that the typical homeowner's
policy excludes flooding from ground water. If you want that,
you have to buy specific flood coverage.
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