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 Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: carrieb (NY)

Question,
Our sump pump was sounding like there was something wrong with it. My husband went down to look and clean out and found KEROSENE in the water! We are totally confused and clueless how this got there. We do not own one bit of kerosene in our home. Did anyone ever experience this or do you feel this was something done deliberately from outside of the house? Could ANYONE give me some tips or clues???? I am afraid, not sure to call the police to make out a report, is someone trying to clog our drains, or set our house on fire???/ Please help with ANY suggestions.
Thank you, Carrie

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: redwood (CT)

Could it be you have a leaking oil tank? One of your neighbors? I hope its not yours, this could get very expensive!

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: NoDrip (MI)

Redwood sounds correct. I had this problem when I moved into my home. We had a fuel oil furnace and oil in the sump hole. After checking around , I chipped up the floor where the 3/8" tubing was and found a pin hole in the tubing . It followed a hair line crack into the ground and into my weeping tile to the sump bucket. Good luck..

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

Do you now, or did a former ownwer, have oil heat, with an underground tank? Unless you see someone lurking around your street in a black SUV, or see black helicopters flying overhead, I would not assume anything nefarious.

You need to track this down. I am afraid the cleanup cost if it is on your property may be substantial.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Considering the price of kerosene, these days, you have have struck GOLD.
I don't believe that kerosene will affect the operation of your sump pump, but more so, what YOU do with it.

On a side note, this is an issue for the EPA and you could be held responsible for dumping a control substance into the common waste.

Much depends on the history of your building and what was used in its past for heating. If the problem is greater than your immediate area, your neighbors are having the same problem to. You will know pretty soon when the large van pulls into your neighborhood and begins taking samples from the street sewer covers.

That being said, you have been offered some great advise from the above postings. Follow it and you will be safe.

Best Wishes

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: packy (MA)

around here, #2 fuel oil is dyed red for domestic use and clear (no dye) for hyway use.
if the oil in the hole has a red tint to it, it is fuel oil from your tank or someone elses.
the law allows 12 gallons of fuel oil to be spilled. this amount you can clean up yourself. over 12 gallons and the EPA must be notified and cleanup can cost from several thousands to 750,000.00

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Would you happen to have an oil fired boiler and/or water heater?

I've seen this before, it turned out that the oil burner mechanic serviced the oil burner, guess where he dumped the oil?

e-plumber
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exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
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This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: paulr46 (IL)

I was recently called by a neighbor to replace a bad sump pump. As I reached into the sump pit and then pulled out my hand, I felt an oily/greasy slick on my hand. "What is this from?," I thought. As it turns out, the sump pump casing rods/nuts corroded, the unit literally "came apart" at the impeller/pump/float sections that the rods/nuts were holding together vertically, and the oil inside the pump leaked out into the pit.

Strange situation that I've never come across before! It was a Wayne 1/2 HP cast iron unit.

Good luck!

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: redwood (CT)

Think there were any PCB's in that oil?

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: Dunbar (KY)

The unit overheated and the sealed membrane leaked oil out of the pump.


Replace the pump to resolve the problem. It's not Kerosene either. It might look like it on the surface of the water but it's the oil that encases the motor to prolong motor life.

- - - - - -



Always be aware of cross-connections in your potable water systems---They could one day harm you and your loved ones.

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: hj (AZ)

The oil in a submersible sump pump might appear to be kerosene. If so the pump seal has failed and so will the pump shortly.

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 ? FOR HJ
Author: JOCKO (MA)

Hey HJ dosen't kerosene have a real disinctive
strong odor to it compared to the smell of oil?
THey could put a bit of enamel paint on a stick
let it dry for a minute dip a rag in the sump pump
area wipe the stick if it cuts the paint it's kerosene
and not oil and if it dosen't it's probably oil from the pump
seals going bad.
JOCKO

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: ev607797 (VA)

I would definitely NOT call the authorities until you have exhausted all other resources. A few years ago, I had a similar situation with my sump pump and called the county health department thinking that it was something in our ground water. My son later confessed to pouring paint thinner in there after he cleaned his model car paint brushes. Once the county got involved, I had to pay thousands of dollars to have this confirmed and to test the ground water at various points on my property. I also had to pay to have my well and two of my neighbor's wells certified as clean. They never took away my certificate of occupancy, but they threatened to condemn my well several times. Even after my son admitted what he did directly to the health inspector, that still wasn't good enough. I don't know if they went about this legally, but I just did whatever they told me to do.

---Ed---

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Good Point ED,

It was our presumption that the owner did their homework prior to their submittal to us. Several days have passed and the original thread has not been updated by the original person who posted the question.

One has to guess that the issue has been resolved and it was just a blown sump pump.

Best Wishes

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 Re: ? FOR HJ
Author: hj (AZ)

It depends on how they determined it was "kerosene", whether by appearance or appearance. Pump "oil" could have a similar odor depending on what they use.

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 Re: Kerosene found in basement sump pump water?
Author: hj (AZ)

Admitting he did it was not good enough, because they had to determine whether the material had leached into the ground and water table.

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