This morning, we got a pretty late start with school. Honestly, I totally let the morning get away from me, and before I knew it, we were almost to 11am without having started. And I noticed the boys were still in sweats & tshirts… the same ones they had slept in. What can I say? We had a lazy morning.
So real fast, I hustled them through getting dressed, and D1 put on snow boots (clomp, clomp clomp) which I then made him take back off. There’s no need, we don’t have any snow, and especially not in the house—this time. As we were heading back upstairs, D1 told me he had stepped in water.
“Where!?”, I asked, fearing the worst. “Right there, by the furnace room door.” My fears materialized. Water coming from the furnace room can only mean one thing: the sump pump failed. This isn’t the first time. Or the second. Or the third. It is the fourth time.
I. Hate. That. Stupid. Thing.
The first time it happened, the power had gone out at the house. We had only been living there a few months, and didn’t even think about the sump pump. We went about our daily business, flushing toilets, taking showers. The power came back on, but by then we had a pretty good flood down there. That was before we had the basement finished. A shopvac and some bleach took care of it.
The next time, D1 was about 2-1/2, and had watched me rinse his underwear in the toilet many times so he thought he could do it himself—without me there. He flushed a pair of underwear, and didn’t tell us. We didn’t know. They became wrapped around the pump itself, and burned it out. We had no idea. We had just installed $600 worth of carpet in our newly finished basement. It was 2am when our daughter, who had gotten up to use the bathroom, came up to tell us that she stepped in “deep water” outside her bedroom door.
We spent the night using the shop-vac to suck gallons of water out of our new carpet… and doing a fair bit of yelling at each other too. We had the girls go up and sleep in our bed, since we were making so much noise down there. What an awful night! It didn’t end until that afternoon (we missed church that day), when we ripped out all the new carpet and pad, dragged it outside and to the truck, and hauled it to the dump. And we mopped the whole area with a strong bleach/water solution. Not all of the carpet got wet, thank goodness! We installed down vinyl flooring in that area that looks just like hardwood floors. No more risk to carpet.
The third time was right after the second. D1 had seen E turn off breakers in the garage (are you noticing a theme here?), and decided to do it too. He just happened to shut off the breaker that controls the sump. Overflowed again, although not too bad that time. Ugh. This made us seriously consider selling the house and running far from anything that had the word SUMP in the listing!
E installed a battery powered overflow alarm, so we wouldn’t be taken by surprise again.
Until today. The overflow alarm didn’t go off, because Eric had pulled it out to replace the battery, and never put it back. The water wasn’t bad, didn’t really go more than a few inches outside the furnace room, and was quickly cleaned up. My father-in-law came over, pulled the lid, and figured out that the switch that makes the pump stop when the tank is empty, wasn’t working. It would get to where it would overheat, and then when the tank DID fill, it wouldn’t work because it had shut itself down. So began a cycle. Except this time, thankfully, D1 wasn’t responsible for it.
Today and tomorrow we are manually plugging and unplugging the sump pump and keeping a close eye on water use. We will decide what to do when E gets home. It’s possible he could fix the pump switch. Now there’s a job I do NOT want!
We never did get any school work done today.
Addition, 6pm: Apparently we need a new pump. Again. Manual isn’t working because it has overheated itself too many times. ARG!
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