Saturday, September 18

That's A Sump-a Pump-a!

It's been so long since I posted a plumbing related post.

Lately, I've been noticing/ignoring the fact that when it rains, our sump pump seems to stay on for an inordinately long period of time before it finally shuts itself off. Last week, or longer ago, whenever we had our last substantial rain, I noticed that the sump pump wasn't shutting itself off.

Down into the belly of the beast's basement I go, and fiddle around with sump pump. By "fiddle around" I mean "push on some things and pull on others". Still, the sump pump's engine purred right along. "Hmm, prolly a blockage of some sort", I think, as I note that the water-level doesn't seem to be lowering for all the pump's work.

So, I unplug the power, unhook the connector so that I can remove the pump from the sump hole. Removing the connector results in a large and lovely spray of dirty, stinky sump-water onto my pants. No big deal, that's part of home-ownership. I take the sump pump out onto the back deck and take some of it apart. "Hmm, no noticible blockage", I think. I put the thing back together and re-install it in the sump hole.

Since the water level wasn't rising, I left it and forgot about.

Well, today, the sky's opened up and a deluge of water causes our sump-hole to fill up. At around 7pm, my wife asks "is the sump pump s'posed to stay on that long?" "How long?" I ask. "Ten minutes." Oh shit.

Down to the basement I run, and sure enough, the sump pump's a-purrin' away, and there's water evacuating itself from the hole, onto our basement floor.

Time for quick action. I call for my wife and son to start bailing water into receptacles, and I head out to Canadian Tire (remember when CT wasn't open on Saturday evenings? When it'd be impossible to buy a new sump pump on a Saturday night) and pick up a new sump pump.

Come home, wife and son still bailing (and barely losing the battle), quickly (but not really quickly enough) hook up the new pump. Situate it properly in the hole (you should situate your pump into a plastic container, so that it's not on the actual floor of the hole. This keeps sludge and dirt from causing blockages), and turn the thing on.

I tell ya, it sucked up the water in that hole like it was a Danish hooker: Fast and absolutely worth the 70 bucks.

A little bit of start/stop-level adjustment on the pump's ball, and we're in business.

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