Replacing a Leaky Sump Pump
LESLIE: Sharon in Illinois needs some help with a leaky pipe. Tell us about the problem.SHARON: Well, I have a sump pump in my basement.TOM: OK.SHARON: And my basement is finished. And the pipe has cracked.TOM: OK.SHARON: And it’s leaking and it’s the pipe that goes from the sump pump to the outside of the house.TOM: Mm-hmm, right. It’s a white PVC pipe?SHARON: Exactly.TOM: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been stalking you. (Leslie and Sharon chuckle) That’s an easy fix. I mean – and it’s not uncommon because those sump pumps, when they come on, Sharon, they have a lot of vibration.SHARON: Right.TOM: And they typically will crack or they’ll certainly get loose around the joints. So that shouldn’t be too difficult for you to remove and replace.SHARON: OK. Even though it’s through the concrete?TOM: Yeah.SHARON: That’s my concern.TOM: Yeah, you’ll find that once you take that apart, that it will simply slide right through that concrete wall. It’s not held in there very tightly, because you know, you’re not going to have a lot of pressure around it as it goes through the block wall.SHARON: OK. OK.TOM: And after you put the new one in, you may have to use some silicone caulk to kind of seal between the pipe and the wall but it’s a pretty straightforward project and one that should be done – should be fairly easy and very inexpensive.SHARON: Oh, OK. Because we’re getting bids of like $6,000 and $7,000. It’s like …TOM: What?!SHARON: Yes.TOM: Are you talking to waterproofing contractors?SHARON: We’re talking to whoever we can get to come out. I’ve talked to (chuckles), you know …TOM: Right. But let me just guess? Are you talking to those guys that specialize in waterproofing?SHARON: Probably, yeah.TOM: Yeah. Well, there’s a lot of rip-off artists in that particular trade. You know, they come and they try to find problems and they sort of fan the flames of your anxiety and then they run up a lot of costs while they do these projects. Yeah, you almost never need a waterproofing contractor. If you improve your grading and your drainage so that your soil slopes away from the wall, gutters are clean, the downspouts are extended, you probably won’t get hardly any water in that sump pump.So this is a really easy fix which is going to take all of about $10 of material. Even if you paid a plumber to come out and replace this pipe, it wouldn’t cost you more than 100 bucks for his time.SHARON: Wow.TOM: OK? Yeah.SHARON: Because like I said, every bid we’ve gotten has been $5,000 to $6,000.LESLIE: That’s crazy.TOM: Yeah, that’s because you’re talking to the wrong guys. OK? Good. Well, it sounds like we saved you from a possible big rip-off here, Sharon.SHARON: I appreciate it, believe me, because I really don’t have the money for it.TOM: (overlapping voices) You’re welcome. Call us again. Yeah, you call us again, OK? If it doesn’t make cents, it doesn’t make sense.SHARON: Well, thank you very much.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.