Sunk without the Sump

Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink. That describes my basement after the sump pump broke. I was off on holiday with a few of my buddies from the club, touring the beautiful Gold Coast, when it happened. Of course I didn’t know about it. I was having a right good time with no thought to such a disaster. No one was checking the basement, that’s for sure. I didn’t arrange for such a task as who would expect a high quality sump pump to go haywire. Not me.

Upon returning from a great trip, my great mood soon turned foul. One look and I was disheartened and dismayed. A sump pump is such a beast of burden and you don’t expect it to go on the fritz during its lifetime. The water was up to my ankles and not receding in the slightest. I had to call the plumbers and sat fuming in wait.

Water does intrude on its own in my basement, hence the need to install the pump in the first place. Water follows the path of least resistance under the house. We got it to handle any unforeseen event: seeping ground water, water leaks in the walls, overflowing gutters, excessive rainfall, poor drainage, improper downspouts, odd landscape mishaps, and the like. We thought that covered it. What we didn’t figure on was the pump itself going south.

Having a wet basement is not untypical, but having a virtual flood is. No doubt residual stains, mildew, and odors will live to tell the tale. There will be some nasty cleanup, done by someone other than myself! I use the basement for storage and a few things on the floor have now seen better days. Some have found their way to the bin. Others have some hope for a renewed existence.

Was I remiss in having sump pump maintenance? Who knew? I thought the thing was sturdy enough. Doesn’t it sit idle, twiddling its thumbs, until the rain comes and it jumps into action? Now I know that you have to check that vulnerable float thing. Also debris in the sump pit. You have to look at the check valve and clean the impeller to avoid jams. The instructions say to disassemble the pump if you can’t reach it. Yikes! Meanwhile, you also have to take a gander at the electrical parts/connections and the circuit breaker if it goes off. That is if you even notice that is has gone off! Did you know that some work on batteries?

After reading all this, I am almost an expert. Certainly I will not let a problem of this dimension happen again. I will be the troubleshooter par excellence. I might even teach the club a few tips and tricks that I have hopefully mastered. So the bloody thing is working now, and for the moment I am content to leave the premises without worry. I will however, ask someone to stop by and check the basement, while I am gone.