I have failed in being prepared and following my own advice.

I work hard educating readers of this blog on ways to be prepared, energy-efficient, healthy, and durable in the built environment. This weekend I failed to follow my own advice. We have lived in our “new” old home for 5 years now. Over that 5 years we have gotten water in our basement multiple times. Each time I blamed it on a stuck switch on the sump pump or a clogged drain outside the door. We worked on the switch, but left the pump. I did not fix the problem, instead as The Beatles said, I let it be. 


So with more than 3″ of rain at our house this weekend I woke Saturday morning to check on the sump pump to make sure it was working. It was not and this time, the switch would not engage even with me forcing the issue. The pump was dead and the water was 1″ from the top of the sump pump hole. So for the next couple of hours we were bailing water from our basement. Fortunately we called on our neighbors, my in-laws, to borrow their spare sump pump. While we bailed water fighting back the rising tide my father-in-law was nice enough to get his spare pump and install it. This was his old pump and was not the right fit, but worked long enough to get a replacement. Fortunately we have an incredible locally owned hardware store, Randy’s Hardware, that had the parts and even glued the pipe needed for me to make install easy.

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So we did not get water in the basement through a gracious neighbor and local hardware store that had the needed supplies. The better plan would have been to address the issue after the first time the pump let me down. The thing I need to do to finish the job is to install a battery backup system. I hope to get this done in the next couple of days – especially since we lost power today – a rare occurrence but it does happen. So I encourage you to take care of the things around your house that you know are not right, right now.