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I live in the Midwest and sometimes the storms can get pretty nasty. Not tornado nasty, but days of raining nasty. Flooding nasty. Basements full of water nasty. Knock on wood I have never had to deal with the downside of this after living in Ohio for fifteen years.

The company I work for has an on-call arrangement for the infrastructure engineers where we take turns being on-call 24/7 for a week once each quarter. Its a good arrangement. Two days ago severe rain and thunderstorms passed through our area overnight. And when it rains - for some reason - I sleep like a baby. The worse the storm, the better I sleep. It was in the middle of this blissful sleep that I was awoken by a page from the support desk at 2:40am. Grumbling at my luck I went downstairs to my computer so I could acknowledge the page. As I went to my home office, I passed by the door to the basement. It seemed odd that I could not hear the sump pump making its traditional on\off\on\off noise during a storm this bad. As I listened closer, it sounded like someone in my basement was filling up a bathtub. Odd, since I don't have a bathtub . . .

As I opened the door to see what was going on, I was greeted by the sight of, what looked like, some phantom firehose on full blast pouring water in to my basement! Upon closer inspection - once the horror and shock came off my face - found that the coupling ring had come loose on the large PVC pipe that runs the water up and out from the sump pump to the drainage sewer outside. This effectively meant that my sump pump was pumping all of the storm water out in to my basement. I quickly slammed the two halves of pipe back together and thought all was well. About sixty seconds later as I was inspecting the damage I heard a loud pop and they separated again and continued to pour out water.

Obviously this pipe was going to need some help so in a panic I re-connected it and raced up stairs for some handy all-purpose duct tape! After half a roll had been generously applied, all seemed well. The storm had also started to die down and the sump pump seemed to be able to start making some progress in lowering the amount of water under the foundation. As I started to clean up all the standing water with the ShopVac, I thanked God I had gotten that page! I can only think of the amount of water damage the basement would have sustained had I not gone down stairs until 6:00am.

Posted on Friday, October 6, 2006 6:11 AM Misc | Back to top


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