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B.A. in Sump Pumps

posted at 11:01 am
on Mar. 5, 2002

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So I learned a little bit about sump pumps today.

Sump pumps, I learned, are what you use when you need to remove a little water from a large flat area. Like a basement, which is one large flat area that now springs immediately to mind when I think about sump pumps.

The pump sits in a basement full of, say, water from a broken hot water heater, just as an offhand example.  It connects to a garden hose, which is then run through some rooms of your house that contain things that shouldn’t get wet.  In my case, I chose the bedroom and the hallway.

I learned, for example, that a sump pump has no OFF switch—you just plug it in to make it go, and you just run up a flight of stairs and dash down a hall and dive at the cord and yank it from the wall socket to turn it off.

I also learned that, for whatever reason, sometimes a pump doesn’t work properly when first plugged in.  It makes a noise, but no water it actually pumped.  I learned that to get it to really start pumping, it’s a good idea to give it a few hard shakes.  I learned that it’s a bad idea to first disconnect the garden hose and look straight into the outlet pipe of the pump as you’re shaking it.

I learned that water on the floor of your basement might get some things wet, but water shooting straight up six feet out of a sump pump, in a fountain reminiscent of the one in the middle of Lake Geneva, can get even more things wet, and fast, too.

And I learned that I really am quite good at the 50 meter dash when properly motivated.



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