Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sump Pumped.

Last night the sump pump cut on and would not cut off and it shook and then smoked and I stood down there looking into the pit and thought to myself, This has been trying to happen for a year. Paid a plumber $100 three days after we bought the house to park his green van in the driveway, wade into my three inches of standing basement water, shake the stuck pump on, and leave. I spent the rest of the year doing the wading and shaking myself, getting up at three and four in the morning during serious and good storms, wandering down there to shake the damn pump on, going back to bed. But last night, a Friday night, when it came on would not shake off—when it sprung a pencil-eraser-sized leak out of what has to be a half-inch of rust and ran and ran and ran and then burned and burned, give or take, and when I finally knuckled under and decided, Oh, hell, I'll call a plumber—there was an episode at the end of the year wherein I tried to convince the home warranty types to cover it, but they declined—I then worked out the calling-a-plumber-on-the-weekend math, and said, what the hell, it's broken now, I can't break it worse, I'll try it.

Right here is a good place to talk about the flood watch we're under through Monday morning. Threeish inches, perhaps. Which will, in our brief history here in 27401, historically put water in the basement.

AMR, upon my announcement of the afternoon's plans: you just don't want to go out back and write. Me: but the flood watch! the flood watch!

Cut to: The excellent and deeply exuberant and bizarrely, for a big box, helpful dude at the Home Depot, upon my saying: the web made this look easy, but you should know I'm not that good a plumber: Come with me.

He pulled every single part I needed off the shelf. He explained it to me piece by piece. He was kind, if forty to fifty percent crazy. He was from your local hardware store circa 1982, the golden era of Fellas' Day, so instituted by my dad to get us boys out of the house and leave my mother some coffee and air.

It was easy. It works. And there ain't no leaks. I set it a little high in the pit, but, hey: that can be fixed. That's about par for my handymanliness, anyway. The flood watch remains. Three inches. Maybe just two. Wind. Storms. And I cut some wood for the stove while the saw was out for the inch-and-a-half PVC. No good excuse not to go out back tomorrow.

Not sure how to address a life where the efficacy of the sump pump seems more and more of utmost import. If it can be fixed, I've been needing to fix it. If it can be broken by fooling with it, I've been wanting to do that, too. We are tilting, friends and fans of weather, at windmills, and at anything else we can find to tilt at.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Methinks the sheer enjoyment of saying the words 'sump pump' has something to do with their rising importance. Well, that, and: the flood watch!