There truly is not much more rewarding than removing water from one’s basement. Things become flooded, things become fixed. It makes me smile.
I just wrote a post that covered the flooding in our new (old) basement. In that post, I mentioned that the primary issue was the water infiltration in the dirt crawl space. While I’m going to have to wait until Spring to rectify the cause of the infiltration, I figured that I can at least remove the water that had found its way in the basement now. And to do that, I would need a sump pump.
I made a visit to the Home Depot yesterday. I had a few items in mind to purchase, but the main items were a sump pump, a discharge hose and a five gallon bucket. I already had an extension cord to plug the pump in with. I did need to purchase a new shovel and pick axe as well. I wouldn’t be able to complete this project without them.
Basically, all I needed to do was to drill about a hundred holes in the five gallon bucket, drill a hole in the exterior wall for the hose to go through, dig a hole in the basement floor about two feet deep, put a ten pound weight in the bucket, sink the bucket in the hole, put the sump pump in the bucket, plug the pump in and watch the water flow into the back yard. I did most of this last night around 10pm. Since I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, I decided that the project could wait until the morning to finish. I only got down about a foot in the hole but was able to remove about half the water down there.
When I woke up this morning, I went downstairs to see if I could get a bit more water out before I started digging again. Problems arose when I plugged the pump in and found no water flowing from the hose. Apparently, my haste and the lack of pitch in the hose outside froze some water that was trapped in a valley. I was forced to disconnect the hose from the pump, bring the hose inside and submerge it into hot water in the bathtub. Within a few minutes, I was able to pour some water and ice chunks from the hose and reconnect it to the pump. This time, I set the hose up outside the correct way – with a pitch.
With most of the water out of the basement, I got back to digging. Luckily, the dirt down there wasn’t full of rocks like we had at the Pine Bush house. It seems like every project I tackled at that house was stymied by a boulder or two. Not the case here. All I found was sort of gravely type dirt. It wasn’t difficult to dig through.
I got the bucket down where I needed. Although the picture below doesn’t show it very well, the lip of the bucket is actually below grade, which is good because I think this is the proper place for it. The pump is down deep and can continue to pump out any water that makes its way into the hole.
This is almost the same picture, but shows the water level a bit clearer. As you can see, most of the water is out of the basement. There are pockets still trapped down there, but I’m hoping they’ll absorb into the dirt and will eventually be removed by the pump.
So, what kind of sump pump did I buy? I got the “P-330D 1/3 HP Submersible Sump Pump with Diaphragm switch.” It put me back about $160. Ridgid is a good brand and many of the other pumps looked like plastic junk, so I bit the bullet and got this. Hopefully it’ll last for years to come.
I would like to eventually lay the plastic down across the entire crawl space floor to complete this project thoroughly, but in order to do that, I’ll need flexible corrugated pipe and about two pallets of bagged gravel. I’d have to place the pipe up against the footing along the entire perimeter of the crawl space and cover it with gravel. I’d leave the openings (the two ends) of the pipe right up against the hole where the sump pump is. Then, when I have a dry flooring, I can lay the plastic over the dirt and gravel. That’s going to have to wait until next Summer when it dries out down there. For now, I’ll have to be content with keeping things as dry as possible with the sump pump.