Monday, June 28, 2010

Sump Pump Party!!!--June 27, 2010

Woke up at 9:30 Indianapolis time.  Yikes!!!  I felt like it was 7:00 or so.  But I was glad I had slept in.  That means I had 10 1/2 hours of sleep!  Whoa!

Grabbed a quick shower and breakfast, then we hit the road.  I only did 70 MPH this time on the way back.

Around Champaign, it started sprinkling/raining a bit, so I was nervous about getting to finish my landscaping out front when I got home.  But I was still holding out hope.  We'll see.  We stopped in Decatur to eat lunch at Cracker Barrel, then continued on our way.  We ended up getting home around 1:30.  And sure enough, it HAD rained here this morning.  I checked my front yard, and the dirt was wet.  It was mud.  <Sigh>  Oh well...guess I won't be doing that AGAIN today.  What to do, what to do.

I was eager to get that project done, so I had a lot of energy to do SOMETHING.  So I decided to tackle my sump pump problem instead.  I had never seen it before, but once I got down there, I realized the problem.  Basically, the contractor did not install the sump pump deep enough.  Actually, most of the sump pump was ABOVE the ground level.  Not good.  So I pulled out the pump, then dug out the rocks.  Dad came by to help (to be my hands upstairs), so that was nice.  I would dig, and he would get me tools or take the rock outside.  Well, I quickly realized that my sump pump pit was small.  Very small.  I hit the bottom of it before long.  It was only 12 inches deep, and 4 inches of that was above the ground.  Hmm.  I would need a new sump pump pit.

So I dug up the whole plastic pit while Dad went out to buy a deeper one.  Knowing that it would need to be deeper, I just started digging and digging.  I had heard that 22 inches was a good depth, so I just kept on going.  Thankfully, the mud was EASY to dig out.  I mean, it was still a mostly darkness...with a small trowel.  BUT it was progressing nicely.  I was a filthy mess, but I was getting somewhere.  By the time Dad returned from buying several parts, I had dug about 22 inches down.  Sweet.  And the pit was full of about 15 inches of water!!!

(Somewhere in here, I ended up selling the last mower I have for sale.  I paid $40 for it, had to put new oil in it ($1.50?), buy a new air filter ($6), and buy a new wheel for it after we broke it ($12.09).  So I basically had $60 wrapped up in it.  And it was a beauty.  Fired up on the first pull.  Anyway, I ended up selling it for $125 today.  So that was nice.  It's about time I have money coming IN, rather than going OUT!!!).

Well, he brought the new pit into the bedroom, and I quickly realized we had a problem.  It was way too big to fit down into the entry hole.  It just wouldn't fit.  So I had to use the old one.  Very well.  So I went back to the pit, smoothed it all out on the bottom beneath the water and then waited for Dad to bring in some rock (from my landscaping project out front, nonetheless!).  I dumped 7 gallons of rock into the bottom of the pit, then put down the old 12-inch plastic pit, then put the smaller rock inside the pit.  I put the sump pump on top, and we started working the pipes.  Dad had a project to do outside with the pipe.  Basically, it's been "minorly" fixed ever since I bought the house...just enough to get it going to the ditch out back.  But it was never really secured.  Only with a flexible rubber piece.  So he glued all of that solid outside, and then I glued all of my pieces solid inside.

Frankly, it was tiring.  I was in a MESS of gloshy mud, a deep water pit, and darkness.  I was pretty exhausted by now, but I knew we still had quite a bit to get done!  Well, I finally got all of my pieces together.  It wasn't too easy with the watery pit below me, but I managed to get everything glued together.  I hooked everything up, and we tested it out.  It seemed to work fine.  The water had actually made its way ABOVE the ground level by now ever since I added the rock to the hole.    It's pretty wet down there.

I cleaned up the massive gob of mud I had dug out, and Dad carried the buckets out to my backyard to fill in some holes.  Might as well use the free mud!  But it was work.  He was breathing crazy hard, and these buckets were heavy!!!  But the project was COMPLETE!!!  And this is probably the most important of everything.  The landscaping will be nice, but it can certainly wait.  This crawlspace really can't.  I have a musty smell in my house, and after doing research since I acquired the internet, I've pretty much concluded that I have mold in my house.  Of course, it was certainly verified down in the crawlspace today.  I have thousands upon thousands of tiny spores on the wood and ductwork down there.  Basically on everything.

So I was thrilled to get this project done.  Now I just have to wait to see how dry it gets down there.  After adding the rock and all, I don't think the pit is as deep as I had expected it to be, but it is certainly going to help.  The bottom of the pit is now probably 16 inches below the surface whereas it used to be only 8.  Also, I have rock below and around the pit now, too, so the water should seep a whole lot better.  And judging by the sounds I heard, I think it's pumping, filling up nicely, and pumping again.  If that would happen continuously, I think I could actually get it DRY in my crawlspace!!!  The mold would die, and then I would have to spray it (a major pain), but it should get rid of this awful smell.

Houses are work!!!

I think I spent over 7 hours in the crawlspace today.  And this is a legitimate crawlspace.  No walking for me.  Needless to say, my body was a bit tired.  My knees are still sensitive!!!  Here's the before (sump pump hanging from rope in floorboard), middle (sump pump and pit completely buried underneath massive amounts of water), and after (sump pump below ground level, resting on rock bed).  Like I said, it's about 8 inches deeper now.  But I think it's just a better set-up all around.  The pit is now below the surface instead of above it, and we have a good deal of rock all the way around.








I took a shower, then started to head over to Kirk and Kristin's to play some Wii.  But I was stopped a little bit by a possible new addition to my house!!!  I had a lil' "interview" with a possible tenant starting tomorrow.  He's only needing housing for six weeks, and I think I can handle that.  So we'll see what happens.  He said he would let me know tomorrow.

I ended up heading over to my brother's house around 9:10.  I stayed there until 11:00.

Ended up in bed at a late 12:30 A.M.

But what a day.  My crawlspace is on its way to getting DRY!!!  I can't wait.  It's been 5 months coming.  (And way more than that if you figure in the previous couple of years it sat empty!!!).  Plus the previous years before that that it used its current sump pump set-up!!!  Agh, why can't people do a project correctly the first time?!  That would sure save us massive loads of work down the road!!!

Oh well.  It was kind of fun.  Productive, at least.  Just glad it's over.  7 hours in a crawlspace.  WORKING.  Yikes!

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