Well, yes-- they do suck but more importantly they also push. In this case however the setup resulted in washing my camera which also sucked.
Whenever I find a sump, I like to verify that the thing turns on and functions if possible. In this case the sump was about half way full of water and the float looked like it was just about to turn the pump on and suck out all the water. I reached down and lifted the float and the pump kicked on and immediately drenched me, and my camera.
Someone had drilled a hole in the side of the pipe. The pump now had a much harder job opening the back flow valve and pushing all the water ahead of the valve out of the pipe to empty the sump. Instead the water was forced out of the hole in the side of the pipe where it then splashed all over everything.
Can you see the water streaming out the side of the pipe?
This is not the way a sump pump should work.
It will not be a difficult fix but someone will need to properly patch the hole.
Yesterday's Post: some important information on Smoke Alarms
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board