Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Why does it sound like someone is peeing in my crawl space?

Before I can answer that I have to know who was down in the crawl space at the time?

Nobody you say?

Oh---that’s right you said “sounds” like someone was!

When I entered the crawl space I could hear the all too common ticking sound of water dripping on the plastic ground cover.  I could see it dripping off the bottom of a pipe right under the dining room area.  It was the drain from the kitchen and the laundry beyond the kitchen.  I asked my client to go and turn the kitchen sink on and then I waited a few seconds.  Pretty soon it became quite obvious why it did indeed sound like someone was peeing in the crawl space.

Peeing in the crawl space 

A closer view of the bottom side of the pipe revealed a rather large hole that would allow “zero” water to actually go down the drain---but instead dumped it all right in the crawl space.

Hole in drain pipe

I cannot imagine what could cause a hole in a pipe like this, other than some sort of factory defect or mechanical damage to the pipe prior to installation in 1967.

Regardless the drain needs a plumber---and right now!


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Comment balloon 14 commentsCharles Buell • April 12 2013 01:59PM


I wonder how long all of that water was leaking down there! Good catch!

Posted by Dinah Lee Griffey, Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties (Windermere Peninsula Properties) almost 7 years ago

Charlie, Perfect example why crawlspaces need to looked at from time to time.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I once had to pull a home inspector from a flooded crawl space. The plastic moisture barrier was floating on the surface of about 2 feet of water. I'd rather hear someone tinkle...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington) almost 7 years ago

It sounded like someone was peeing into the crawl space because the kitchen was peeing into the crawl space.

So what's your point?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Wow, the things you find on your inspections.   

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) almost 7 years ago

That's a huge hole! The crawl must have been a little damp :)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Dinah, it had to have been leaking down there a very long time

Don, yup

Paul, now there is some serious blog fodder!

Jay, to pee or not to pee---when you gotta go you gotta go

Kathy, it is pretty cool isn't it?

Jim, fortunately the house had been vacant for a really long time and apparently the soils were very well drained---no high water mark or anything.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

You guys must have some powerful Drain-o up there! I hope you took your snorkel under with you just in case!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 7 years ago

Fred, the soils must have been really well drained as there was really very little standing water present in the crawl space---just right under where it was leaking.  Fortunately the house had been vacant for months

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Charles -- glad to hear that it was generally dry, even with such a leak.  Hope they find a good plumber who can get things fixed properly.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

Isn't that a cleanout? :)

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Steven, I am sure they will.

Joshua, so nice to see you again---yes, a combination clean-out & sewer gas/rodent distribution system:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Wonderful that you were able to discover the source. Nothing much worse than a damp crawl space - the dampness, the mold, mildew, and odor. My neighbors across the street from my house spent many years and a lot of money trying to dry out their crawl space. Charles, have a feeling you could have helped them.

Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) almost 7 years ago

Jane, it always seems like crawl spaces are places waiting for a problem to happen.  On the other hand, if you have a problem, generally having a crawl space can help.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago