Hi all,

My house was built in 1906. At the front of the house is a turret, and in the basement, this thin mystery hose/pipe goes into the stone wall of the turret. When it rains (and only then), the hose leaks, as it doesn't fit perfectly into the turret. It looks like a previous owner tried to patch it with concrete and failed. The house goes up to the ceiling and I can't trace it from there, as it disappears behind some HVAC vents. I can't pick up its trace anywhere else in the basement.

My friends who know about old houses are stumped. The only hint I've gleaned from web searches makes me wonder if it is somehow related to a cistern, as there's a big concrete circle in the middle of the basement about 3-4' wide that is clearly not original.

I have two questions:

1) Do any of you have any clues based on the attached photos?
2) Is there any harm in removing the hose from the turret and having connecting a pipe that would direct the water into the nearby drain? It's the only thing that makes that corner of the basement leak, and I would love to eliminate it if possible.

A couple of photos are attached. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks for reading!


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I do not have enough information to determine whats going on. Is it a grading issue, is it a downspout issue, what is the turret made out of.  Does the turret need to be repointed.  So many questions to be able to find the use and cause.

Yours Randall 

Hi Randall,

Thanks for your reply. The turret itself isn't leaking -- the mystery hose that I posted photos of is leaking. I'm asking if anyone has seen something like this or has an idea what the hose might be related to. I'll appreciate any insight you or others have. Thanks!

Hi Dave, I been saving our history for over 44 years and you have me stumped.  I have worked on turret architecture, as for example William Lang, but never ran into a hose as described.  If your game, I would stuff the end of the hose with some chalk line power (blue, red) and attach an air compressor and see what happens. Before adding any powder do some test with clean air (no powder) to make sure the other end does not lead into the house: kitchen, laundry or to any fireplace(s).  If the hose leads into a fireplace box you could blow greasy soot into the house.  Please be care full




Belated thanks for the suggestion, Randall! I'll post back when I learn more.

Dave; I'll 'bet a dozen dough-knots' I know what it is.  the clew is in the black woven material in the 1st image. What you have is the grounding wire for the now missing lightning rod that was once on the Turret Roof at the apex. I would also wager that the water comes from a small hole in the Turret Roof Apex, runs down the 'pipe' your term, 'wire' mine, and drips off at the bottom. That is why it leaks only when it rains.  The real problem, when I am proven right(that is how sure I am) is what water damage is done to the wooden turret roof? Have you figure the clew out yet? The black woven material is insulation for the grounding wire.  What is odd is that it runs inside the house, and not outside. My best guess answer is that the early wires were not insulated, just bare copper wire.  From the date of your house, the then modern idea was to insulate the bare wire and hide it inside, to keep the outside pretty. Let all of us and this writer, know what you have found. Oh, when you find it is an lightning rod ground wire, I'll give you an address to send a gift card from Crispy Crème Doughnuts to this writer {LOL}

Wow, very interesting theory, Charles! That make sense since it looks to me more like an insulated wire than a hose or pipe, but the water made that seem unlikely to me. I'll investigate -- and if you're right, I'm happy to send you a gift card for donuts. ;-) More soon!

Greetings; Thanks for the update. And here I will admit I was 'as thick as a whale omelet", the water coming into the cellar comes from outside run off, hence the cement 'patch job'.  Am  right in thinking the mystery item, where it meets the wall is below grade level?

PLEASE let me know!

Charles Anthony

OK Dave, its been a while, long enough to see what ho! with your mystery items. This writer is quite curious as to what you may have found. This is not Suspense Theater- tell us what you may have found.


Thanks for following up, Charles. I've been out of town and on the run non-stop, so I haven't been able to investigate. But I hope to soon. And I think I overlooked your previous question -- yes, the mystery item is below where the wall meets grade level. Stay tuned! ;-) 

Ah! I am glad you are still 'on this side of the grass'! And the mystery item being below grade, makes my box of doughnuts more likely{LOL}

   "Stay tuned" quoth he:  Here be I, standing by!  

  Thanks for the news

Charles Anthony


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