What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

How Can You Ruin A Sump Pump In Two Seconds? Cut The Ground Prong!

How can you ruin a sump pump in two seconds?  Cut the ground prong!

This homeowner wanted to add a device to add ultra-violet rays to the return duct in the HVAC system. 

But there was an outlet nearby that the silly electrician installed that only had one receptacle to plug into!  (Never mind that it was dedicated to the sump pump and the sump pump alone...)

What to do?

Go into a drawer and find a small extension cord that has three plug openings!

Bummer!  Look at that.  There's a stupid third prong on that sump pump.  How can I plug it in?

No problem!  (Snip, snip)  Now both things can get plugged in!

I can just see the thought process.

If you read the ticket that comes with a sump pump that explains how to install it there will be two warnings, with the classic red triangle warning sign.

_______________

WARNING 1 - This installation must be in accordance with the National Electric Code and all applicable codes and ordinances.


WARNING 2 - Make sure the outlet is single-phase 115V and 60 Hz for all the pump installations.
_______________

 

There are reasons for both those warnings! 

A sump pump is an electric device sitting in water!

Ruining the pump's ability to be grounded is not smart.  And an extension cord, certainly undersized, can alter the voltage it gets.  Using one alters what voltage the outlet intends to provide!

I have said over and over, if we aren't smart enough to obey the codes created by man (which are MINIMUM STANDARDS) those very same codes will still be enforced by Mother Nature, who will shove them down our throats with impunity.

Impunity I tell you!  Just look at her!  I would call that a triple-dog dare!  Shiver me timbers!

My recommendation:  CALL A PROFESSIONAL  when you want to do something you aren't sure about!  Find out if what you want to do is smart, or right, or correct, or according to code!  The codes are there for a reason.  We can ALWAYS exceed the codes, but the minimum standards they require will suffice in many applications, like installing a sump pump.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 8 commentsJay Markanich • April 20 2016 04:27AM

Comments

Good morning Jay! Just remember "you can't fix stupid!"! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 2 years ago

That day will never come, Wayne!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Can you even buy two pronged extension cords anymore? I haven't seen one in a while... maybe they were saving that one for a special occasion 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 2 years ago

I think they got that out of the drawer in my mother's old house where I kept the one I used as a kid for my orange-glow alarm clock, Fred.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

I hate to admit it, but I have one or two three prong to two prong adapters still laying around the house.  They have the grounding tab that can be screwed to the center of the outlet.  Don't know why I haven't thrown them out to be honest.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 2 years ago

Using the adapter is preferable to cutting the prong and ruining the sump pump plug forever, Stephen.  But using the sump pump in a non-grounded way is not good either way.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Gee....electricity and water...doesn't sound lke a good connection..hmmm ? 

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 2 years ago

They don't mix, S&D?  Better get it pumped away!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments