Edited to say: I know this isn’t a thrilling or probably even a mildly interesting topic but it’s what’s on my mind. My intention today was to write about our bees coming next week but when I sat down, this started pouring out (ha ha – water in my basement joke!).
I’ve spent the last hour researching the water leaking into my basement. I’ve read so many articles and watched so many videos that my five year old said “But Mommy, we’ve already watched this sump pump show”. (Although I must say I love YouTube – someone is always available to show you exactly what to do or not do whenever you have a question.)
So here’s the scoop: I have water. In my basement. For like the 8,000th day in a row. I don’t think it’s been dry since our snow started melting last month. It has limestone walls and is 100 years old so I can’t really blame it. At 100, my body probably won’t work as well as it used to either so I do have some sympathy. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
As I write this, I have seven box fans and one dehumidifier running. A few times it’s gotten almost all dry and I’ve turned the fans off and just let the dehumidifier run. Then we get more rain and I have standing puddles again. Out comes the shop vac, on go the fans and up goes my frustration level. At least everything is on blocks or up high so nothing is getting ruined.
Now, just to be clear, we have two sump pumps in our basement. Yep, two. One is in a bucket beside my washing machine. As the washer runs, it dumps the water into the bucket and the sump pump hauls it out of the bucket and up to connect to the PVC pipe that runs outside the house (I guess to the septic). Fancy, I know. Oh, and NEVER forget that the washing machine sump pump MUST be plugged in while running the washer. Otherwise, the washing machine dumps into the bucket, the bucket overflows and the water pours out onto the floor. And just because I love my husband so much I won’t tell you that he was the one who forgot to plug it in.
One day we would like to update this to the “normal” way a washing machine empties the water but for now, with a million and one other things to do, it works so we’re leaving it.
The second is a homemade sump pump that just kind of hangs out in the corner of one room, waiting for water to flow downhill to it. This was aided at some point by a previous owner who cut a channel into the floor lining the walls. Apparently they got tired of water all over the floors too. I guess they hoped that the water would all run to the edges of the room into the little ditch which would then lead downhill to the sump pump. From there it goes out the basement window to a PVC pipe that directs the water downhill.
Good in theory, bad in reality. Apparently despite the fact that every single wall, floor and ceiling slope in different directions throughout the entire house, the basement floor does not slope. At least not down toward the channels.
Sometimes the water leaks in the walls and runs down to the floor. Once the water pressure was so great behind the walls, a little stream of water actually shot out of the wall a good foot or so. It looked like a little boy peeing. Most often, this water finds it’s way to the ditches and eventually out the window via the sump pump. Other times, it just comes right on up from the cracks in the floors. This is the most aggravating because there are cracks all over the entire basement. And it has no hope of getting to the perimeter ditches.
So my friends Mr. Google and Mr. YouTube told me that my easiest solution will be to install a sump pump down under the floor. We will need to break up the concrete in an area, dig a huge hole down into the ground and set the sump pump down inside. My guess is that we’ll install it where the homemade sump pump is so we can use the existing PVC pipe to take it outside. Sounds pretty simple in design so it can’t be that hard to do, right?
Um, yeah, remember what happened while simply pounding in a little metal fence post?
Maybe I’ll just deal with the water until my Tim-The-Toolman Dad comes to visit in May…
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