Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Vain of My Existence......

Meet our sump pump: The Zoeller M-53
This fine piece of equipment has been a thorn in my side for the past....oh 6 or 7 months. But don't worry, Mr. Zoeller has had an accomplice the entire time.

Meet the Zoeller Battery Backup Sump Pump System-
If anything was going to actually make me go insane it possibly will be this situation.

When Hubs and I purchased our home a year and a half ago we fell in love with several aspects of the house. One major aspect we fell in love with was the basement. It was a large, open unfinished basement that just oozed with potential! Hubs wanted an unfinished basement so that he could mold his man cave into a creation that would have most men drooling. Lucky for us my wonderful husband knows how to do everything but the electrical and plumbing which will save us a lot of money in labor when it comes time to finishing the basement!

The only problem with his potential dream man cave?!? Our sump pump situation.

Since we moved into the house we have burnt through one sump pump and two battery backups.......NOT cheap. Lucky for us the basement has never actually flooded (knock on wood) because we were able to catch the problems immediately.......and I hauled buckets of water from the pit like it was my job (awesome workout, not so awesome on the stress levels).

I am pretty sure that our neighbors think that I either a.) have a thing for the plumber (gross) or b.) that my husband has switched career paths because we have had a plumbing truck in our drive-way 10+ times in the past 6 months. To our sump pump's defense, most of these visits were due to the plumber not installing the equipment correctly which led to the battery backups burning out.

After the incompetence of our original plumbing company we decided to contact a different plumbing company for a second opinion. It was determined that our house sits on a high water table. Lucky us!!! Basically that means that our sump pump will run all the time and there is nothing we can do about it except protect our investment or hope that our water table dries up which would be a miracle from God.

Thank goodness my brother was at the house when the plumber gave us the news of the high water table. The water works immediately started flowing! Normally I do a decent job of holding it together but I was beyond frustrated at this point. I had been dealing with this problem for over 6 months only to be told that there really isn't a permanent fix to the problem. Not the answer I wanted to hear. I am the type of person that likes to hear the problem, discuss the solution and take action.

So what do we do to protect our investment- install another sump pump and a water backup system on top of our current sump pump and battery backup system. Yep, you heard me correctly......4 different types of pumps with bells and whistles to alert us when there are malfunctions. And of course until we get all of this fixed we can't begin finishing our basement.

I know that once we get everything installed I will be able to rest a little easier but until then I have been driving my self insane. I wake up in the middle of the night and listen for the sump pump, holding my breath until I hear it kick on. I sit at work and wonder whether it is still working (the times it stopped working was while I was at work......of course). And traveling anywhere.....forget it......I would be a nervous mess! I would worry the entire time we were gone that I would be coming home to a flooded basement! The only upside is that we really don't have much in our basement at the moment. What is in the basement is on risers so even if it does flood nothing would be lost.

I have learned more about sump pumps than I ever wanted to learn thanks to this mess but that is part of home ownership. When we first moved into our home I wouldn't ever dare stick my hand into that dark, nasty pit let alone touch the cover of the pit. But now I will stick both arms deep into that pit and mess around with the pump like I am a highly trained plumber......without the butt crack hanging out, of course. Everything is perfect about our home except for this issue and once we install the additional pumps we should be good to go. So as long as our current pump continues pumping its little heart out until we get the additional backup installed I will remain sane (if not you may be reading about me in the news....lol).

I know that I said I would try to worry less as one of my 2010 resolutions but this darn high water table is really making it difficult. Anyone else encounter home ownership nightmares?!?


Rachel and John said...

I just found your blog too!
My husband also wanted an unfinished basment. He's an electrician so he loves doing things like that.
Did you get a home inspection when you bought the house? because you would think they would have found that problem.
I hope your 4 pumps work and you can have the perfect DRY finished basement!!

Hi, Lane said...

At the risk of sounding really dumb, what IS a sump pump?

Rachel H. said...

I have never seen one of these before!! Very interesting! :)