Sump Pump

This weekend I jetted home for Saturday. The morning started with my lending a helpful hand on a few jobs that have been nagging at my folks.

Job 1? The sump pump.

My folks had some flooding issues last week and realized that they had to change out the sump pump. They purchased a new one, but after installing it, realized that they had mistakenly left out a key hole.

Water pumps often need to have water in them in order to start comfortably. So the pump manufacturer recommended drilling a small 3mm (1/8″) hole about 100mm (four inches) up from the pump’s base. It was my task to drill that hole.

It really wasn’t too much of a difficult task. First I took off the pipe clamps and released the pressure in the line. Some water poured out, but it wasn’t too bad. We took off the main water line exiting the house and then I went in to work with the pump itself. I had to unscrew the pipe from the pump. Crammed under the sink, I reached behind the pump – holding it steady as I cranked the pipe above.

And that’s when my hand hit the float switch. At that same moment my mom, my dad, and I quickly learned that we hadn’t unplugged the pump.

A torrent of water exploded up from the floor directly into my face. It was frigid. My mom started shouting, I tried to back out but hit my head on the sink, my dad (arm in brace from a recent ladder incident) desperately trying to grab for the plug.

Eventually someone managed to yank out the plug and we all laughed and laughed at our idiocy.

Lesson learned: unplug a pump before working on it.

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