Just this week, the association has spent money to improve the drainage in our back yard. They have dug a deep trench, laid pipe on gravel, graded down to a large retaining and drainage system. They are doing a nice job. Personally I am not sure it will alleviate my need for a basement sump pump, but the association determines how our dues are spent, sort of a mini-government thing probably complete with studies and kickbacks…
The trench showed that under about 8 inches of soil is solid clay as deep as can be seen. Wonder why we have drainage issues.
Anyway, it can’t hurt and should be some improvement.
They were mostly finished by Sunday. Out of curiosity, I manually kicked off my sump pump. It drained the 8 gallon tank quickly. I wanted to see how fast it would refill. Hours later the tank was half full, I kicked the pump off again. It whirred and whirred, but it was not drawing water out of the tank.
Coincidence?, or did it have something to do with the outside drainage work?
Now, late at night, I had to manually bail out the tank so the thing would not overflow, and I went to bed flustered just a bit. Actually I was PISSED with a capital PISSED!
“Why can’t people just leave well enough alone?”
“Relax, check it in the morning” as Mrs. C sent an email to the association people.
“They blocked the underground pipe from the sump…has to be.”
“Check it in the morning.”
“Check it in the morning.”
In the morning after about 15 minutes of restless PISSED OFF sleep, Mrs. C woke me up.
“I just checked, the outside pipe from the sump is off kilter, must have been hit during all that work. The drainage people are outside.”
I went outside to check the pipe. It was moved maybe an inch from the pipe to the underground drain. I moved it into place. Went down into the basement, plugged in the pump and it kicked off like a charm.
The workers confirmed that water went all the way to the catch basin.
Great, but WTF?
Apparently the offset pipe to the outside was at an angle and partially blocked, this caused an air bubble thing that is the same as plugging the pipe.
This air bubble thing is just one reason why plumbers need a license. If you do not allow air release in the right place your entire system will be a mess. Plumbers are more than guys with a wrench and an exposed crack, these guys know stuff.
A little Google research and I learned that my pipe between the pump and the check valve should have a quarter inch “weep” hole to also prevent an air bubble problem.
What idiot installed the pump without this recommended weep hole…oh wait, I did.
The pump now works, the weep hole is drilled and I am going back to bed.