Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sump Pumping

The soft-rock group America recorded a hit song in the 70s with the lyrics, “It never rains in Southern California but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, man it pours.”

Our home and mortgage are not yet underwater, but parts of the homestead have been underwater during the recent BREAKING NEWS storms.

We have storm drainage issues. Merry Christmas. After a downpour our backyard looks like a duck pond for several hours. Apparently my storm drainage pipes have been feeling neglected and decided to do what our sewage pipes frequently do – refuse passage. I have Tom the Plumber on speed-dial.

Two days ago, Tom the Plumber spent three hours roto-rooting the storm drainage pipeline but could not unclog it. The only permanent solution is to replace the line at a cost substantially more than their three-hour futile effort. Since our family went into a recession long before our nation, I began rooting around for short-term, delaying tactics.

First, I thought about using the tube I bought to siphon the neighbor’s Hummer when gas reached $4.60 a gallon last year. I’ve been a sucker many times in my life, but gas is one thing, ponds are another.

Second, I reasoned that I could stop refilling our dog’s water bowl. He will slurp anything. As an enticement, maybe I could spike the pond with female dog scents. Now if I could just train him to pee over the backyard fence. If he excelled, I could hire him out. He might become a Sump Dog Millionaire*.

Since the need was more immediate, I trolled the aisles at Home Depot looking for a Sump Pump. I encountered fellow trollers. The cheapest one was $78. I hooked it up to two garden hoses (we have a long driveway and the operative storm drains are at its end) and stood by to watch the draining experience. Nothing, not even a little slurp. Expletive deleted. PJ suggested I look at the directions. I hate it when she does that. At least I had not tossed them. Yup, right there in English and several other languages it cautioned that the pump only works in at least four inches of water. Four inches! If I waited that long I could turn our house into a houseboat. Fortunately the storm drain opening was recessed more than four inches. Voila, we had some major sucking going on, and the water recessed.

Now that I have this new gizmo, no doubt this last storm was the swan song for the season. Expletive deleted.

* I apologize for abuse of the pun genre.

1 comment:

TC said...

Your sump pump reminds me of my generator. After losing power during hurricane Charlie and having to cook dinner (read "hot dogs") on an old decrepit hibachi, I bought a 500K generator prior to the following hurricane season. It has yet to be fired up once. :-/