November 2005 Edition 

Laundry Sink Pump

I have a workshop setup in my basement. I would like to install a laundry sink for the convenience of washing out paint brushes in the shop. My problem is the basement is below the sewer drain pipe. Is there an inexpensive way to pump up without going to the expense of tearing out the slab and installing a sewage ejector pump?           
I have seen some people run a drain pipe out through the basement wall and drain onto the backyard. Even though this is convenient, it is not legal. The building code requires draining into an approved septic tank or sewer system.
You only have two choices. Either install a septic tank or pump it up to the drain pipe. If you choose to pump it up, you do not need to install a complete sewage ejector system which requires a storage tank to be installed in the floor and a plumbing vent pipe which must extend up through the roof. You only need to install a laundry tub pump. Most laundry pumps are self contained and do not need venting. The pump only needs to be connected to the laundry tub drain and must be piped up to the sewer pipe. Most pumps can be plugged into an ordinary electrical receptacle.            
They work by water flow. Once water runs down the drain into the pump, a flow switch turns on the pump. The pump stops when the water stops. They do have different sizes in case you want to install a washing machine to the system.           
To find a pump, just search on the internet for "laundry sink pump" and you will find dozens of models to purchase. Prices range from $150 to $300. 

Door Terms           

Our front door has wood decay present in the wood trim on the side of the door. When we try to describe the problem to a contractor, they ask what part of the trim are we referring? We do not know what to call it. Can you help us with door terms?           
If you only have a plain front door, the wood trim is broken into two parts, the door "frame" (where the hinges are attached) and the exterior trim which is called "brick molding". The bottom of the door is called a wood "sill" and on top of the wood sill is an aluminum or wood "threshold" which holds the weather-stripping for the bottom of the door.
 If you have a fancier door with very wide trim on both sides (approximately 8" wide) the trim is called a "pilaster". Some doors with pilasters have a window above the door called a "transom" and in many cases will have a sloped roof piece above the transom called a "pediment".
Some doors will have skinny windows on both sides called "side lights". On the outside of the skylights may be either "brick molding" or "pilasters".  More expensive doors may even have an oval window above the top called a "fanlight".           
When you replace the wood, prime all six sides and paint with two coats of  a premium exterior paint. Once installed, be sure to caulk well and paint one more time.           
The easiest thing to do is take a digital picture of the door and email it to your contractor. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Electrical Receptacles 

I am finishing my basement and would like to know how many electrical receptacles can I have on a 15 amp and 20 amp circuit?           
The 2002 National Electrical Code does not place a limit on the number of  receptacles you can install on a 15 amp or 20 amp residential circuit. You could have 100 or more on each.
The code does require kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms to be on individual branch circuits because they normally use largest loads. Everything else would be a minor load. You could even install the rest of the house on one circuit.           
Commercial projects will limit you to 10 receptacles on a 15 amp circuit and 13 receptacles on a 20 amp circuit.           
Residential construction assumes that all of the receptacles will not be used at the same time, while in commercial they might be. 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 

Quote Of The Month

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed."

Booker T. Washington 

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Patty Burke

Prudential Georgia Realty

925 Sanders Road

Cumming, Georgia 30041

**** Thank You****