Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I learned this weekend - Part 1

What I learned this weekend…

Nearly 4 inches of rain was finding many ways into our basement. We have a drain built on the inside of the foundation where the water pools up, and gets pumped out. That’s on the “bedroom side” of the basement. The “kitchen side” has rarely had any water issues. This was an exception. Water was seeping through a crack the cellar floor and pooling up behind the kitchen wall. I checked on Thursday just before midnight and the pump was doing its job on the bedroom side, while the kitchen side was dry as a whistle. I set my alarm for 4:30, figuring I’d get up and check it. Something woke me up at 3:30 so I decided to check in on it. Good thing. The kitchen side had nearly an inch of standing water and it was flowing towards the bedroom side. I ran and grabbed some towels to dam it off then made a dash for the wet-dry vac. It was all the way upstairs, with “dry” still in it. I had to dump a bunch of dusty debris all over the non existent floor and barrel my way down to the cellar w/ the ginormous vacuum.

I called the tenants to warn them to get anything important off the floor, just in case. Then I started the cleanup. In case you didn’t know, water is known to follow the glorious path of least resistance. In this case the least resistance was just below a pipe that runs through our foundation. It had a constant stream of water coming in. It would puddle up around the ejector/septic tank that is used to pump the pee and poo from the apartment downstairs into the main sewer line. This little poop trap is what saved our butts! Since the water was building up around the tank, I used a hammer (when we finally found the hammer under the couch) and screw driver to blast some holes in the rim of the tank. This allowed the water to flow into the tank. When it got high enough, the pump would kick in and out the water would go! Holy resourcefulness Batman! So that got things under control.

So, what did I learn? I learned that an ejector tank can be used to pump out your basement.

I also learned that no matter how bad things are for you, they are worse for someone else. While I’m sitting in the basement, waiting for the water to pool up before vacuuming, I wrote my mom an email basically saying “we need to work this water issue out.” I got an email message from her hours later saying they had no power, so no heat, water. It happened late Thursday night, and it just came back on last night (Monday).

Sorry there are no pictures of this great incident! I'm sure we'll have plenty of "PROJECT FRENCH DRAIN" next srping.

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