Power Outage: Sump Failure and Solution

On this, the 5th day without electricity, the power finally returned. In our house, we punctuate much of our daily lives with words or titles from songs, so “We Got the Power!” was our tune of the day—at least in my head ;)

As much of the Midwest, we were affected by the ice/snow storm of late January. Although it would have been nice to travel off to some place warm to wait out the storm, my husband and I consider ourselves survivalists, of a sort, and didn’t even consider leaving. Of course, the fact that my husband was bailing hundreds of gallons of water by hand out of the basement every hour for the first 24 hours of the storm meant that technically, we couldn’t leave if we wanted to prevent the inevitable flood. I have to commend my husband for never once complaining about the physical effort of bucketing that much water up and down the stairs of the basement and out into the frigid weather.

Eventually, we put on our collective thinking caps and developed a siphon system that required significantly less muscle to operate. Maybe I can get my husband to write up a more detailed set of notes in case anyone ever needs such a contraption, but the brief description follows, after this admission: Alright, we did think of the solution together, but he did all of the implementation. After thawing out a 50 foot garden hose in the bathtub, he put one end into the sump, onto which he attached a brass hose splitter through which water flow could be controlled by adjusting the stop-cock. He ran the hose up from the sump, out of the basement window, and down the yard to a level below the level of where the water was entering the house. On that end of the hose, he attached an adjustable garden sprayer. The inflow and outflow levels of the water required frequent adjustment, but—according to my husband—this was infinitely better than having to haul water by hand!


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Formerly, I've worked in publishing and been a medical student. Currently, I'm a freelance writer and copy editor, and full-time mom with two exceptional daughters. LivingLaVidaMama focuses on intentional frugality and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that has dramatically improved my younger daughter's autistic-like symptoms. Contact me at MadForWriting at windstream.net