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SteamSump Powered Day Tripper...

June 24, 2010 10:48 PM 6/24/10

Well besides the recent storm I had the pleasure of walking through 8“ of water in my basement. Best guess is that the main sump pump float got stuck in the on position and the pump shut itself off due to thermal overload.

The good news is that I was able to get the battery powered pump to drain everything allowing me to fix everything. After the main pump cooled down it functioned properly again but I’m still going to replace it as it’s likely been seriously stressed now.

Getting it working allowed me to modify the battery backup pump to a simpler design. The main circuit board for it had failed in some serious enough way to cause it to not charge the battery and to always want to be in ”alarm+on“ mode. So I ripped the entire circuit board out, wired the float switch to a relay, and added a 2 amp external maintenance charger. Now there’s no complicated circuitry involved and since the battery powered pump is mounted higher than the main pump it’ll go off if the main pump fails. Nice fix. :-)

I briefly mentioned this elsewhere but I got permission from the Public Works people to remove two of the restrictive culverts in my yard. These are embedded in the concrete of my walkways out to the street so the plan is to cut the concrete enough to seriously fracture it and then break it up. After that I’ll build two footbridges to go over the gaps. Turns out the whole project should only cost about $50 in materials because treated lumber is cheap. Win for me not only because my yard will drain better but because I get bridges to go with the part-time moat. *grin*

The upside-down melon plants seem to be adapting well and growing. I’m hoping that they really take off over time but that remains to be seen. My current nemesis right now is a squirrel or something that keeps digging up the impatien in the front flower box. I think it’s time to get a pellet gun or a super soaker. (I hate squirrels. Damn furry rats. If they weren’t cute people would kill them on sight.)

Got a call from a recruiter today but I don’t have the qualifications for the job and it’s for a long drive away and less money. So that’s out. I’ll keep looking though.

Still going through my things to sell on E-Bay and will be listing among other things my Heathkit tube amplifiers. Hopefully they’ll fetch a decent amount. Turns out there’s quite a few things that I have that I can get rid of. I might even be able to make some things to sell but that remains to be seen. Much as that would be desirable finding a job is unfortunately top on the agenda.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 25th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
The house I used to live in had a basement that would flood when it rained or snowed a lot. There was a sump pump in a pit in one corner, but because of the way the water seeped in through the walls, there was often an inch or so of water on the floor, but not enough water in the pit to trigger the sump pump. Furthermore, the pump's output was supposed to go to a leaching field of perforated hose out in the back yard... but at some point I discovered that the short bit of hose leading from the place where the pipe came out of the foundation to the leaching field had rotted away. So the water pumped out by the sump pump just drained back into the soil against the basement wall, and back into the basement again.

There was no battery-powered backup pump. Of course, when the weather was severe enough to bring heavy rain or snow, it often caused power failures. Once the pit filled up, the basement would start to get seriously wet.

When we began the process of selling the place, the first thing we did was have "French drains" installed all the way around the basement... leading into the existing pit, but at least we did get a new sump pump. I have no idea whether the people who bought the place installed a battery back-up.
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