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Sump pumps are by far the dumbest household appliance

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aparisi2274

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Jun 7, 2004
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i had 3 sump pump failures last 7/8 years. every time the basement was flooded.
About 5 years ago the sump pump in my parents basement failed. The whole basement got flooded. Fucking sucked.
If you guys still use a sump pump, you honestly should look into getting a battery back up for it, so that when the power does go out during a storm, it'll still work and keep the basement from flooding
 

SolsticeZero

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Dec 31, 2008
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My big appliance pet peeve are ice makers. I've had 3 different Fridge/Freezers and the ice maker has shit the bed in all three.
Never had an ice maker go bad. My gripe is dishwashers. They always work fine at first, then they stop cleaning worth shit about six months later. They are noisy as fuck, too.
 

itwasTuesday

He wasn't alone.
Feb 12, 2010
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Bad memories man, bad memories.

Running water up the stairs in buckets.
Electricity went out, flood, electricity came back, sump pump dead.

When you have a generator you never need them. So you sell it... Then you need it.
 

ThreePiMatt

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Jan 6, 2013
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The house I grew up in had a sump pump. Flooding never seemed like much of a problem until high school though, which I assume was probably related to the fact that we never replaced the damn thing and it never worked right. Even then, it was rarely more than a half inch of flooding. And our basement wasn't finished so it was more a nuissance than a problem.
 

SRG01

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Jan 29, 2007
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My sump pump partially saved my basement last summer during a flood... too bad it doesn't seal windows too :p
 

Krauser Kat

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Dec 28, 2009
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Sump Pumps need a battery backup or generator 90% of the time you will lose power and flood and then you are just fucked.
 

Borgnine

MBA in pussy licensing and rights management
Jul 31, 2007
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As a Californian never having had basements, this is fucking nasty. You voluntarily dwell in a structure with a coffee can full of stagnant yellow mosquito hive water in the corner?
 

see5harp

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May 12, 2009
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So let's say you spent like 50 grand renovating the bathroom and entire basement with wood floors, a home theater, etc. You're telling me that if you don't have that pump thing working you get inches of water in your basement? That's seems like such an idiotic way of living.
 
Oct 26, 2007
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Love my sump pump, keeps us nice and dry. I've got a full sized spare and one of these babies
Will also kick in and run off of electric if water comes in too fast for the main pump, hasn't happened yet though.
 
Oct 27, 2005
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Love my sump pump, keeps us nice and dry. I've got a full sized spare and one of these babies



Will also kick in and run off of electric if water comes in too fast for the main pump, hasn't happened yet though.
DO NOT BUY THIS SUMP PUMP. DO NOT COUNT ON THIS SUMP PUMP.

It failed for me during Sandy and is generally a very shitty pump: http://www.amazon.com/review/R4PME229GOAT3/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Don't do it. You will regret it. Basically, if they sell it at Home Depot or Lowes, you should probably avoid it.

Get this one instead if you need a battery backed unit: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3GZBW4K88SJYI/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
Jan 18, 2007
46,582
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Yeah, we have some bad storms in the Chicago area right now and I had to make sure mine was still running.

I remember the one time I didn't check it my basement got flooded pretty bad.

Now I never don't check it.


Edit: How long do they last for?
The worse part is when you get heavy rain overnight and they just stop functioning as well. I've woken up to some nasty water before.
 
Apr 18, 2012
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My room's in the basement with the sump pump in the corner. I once woke up to what I thought was the sound of someone showering upstairs, so I drifted back into sleep. Later woke up for school and took a step off my bed into 3 inches of water. The shower sounds were actually the sump pump spewing water everywhere.

After some shitty sump pump experiences growing up my dad finally got one with a battery back up. Shit would always hit the fan during floods and power outages. I'm in upstate NY and while my house in on top a hill, the neighborhood resides at the bottom of a valley.
 

turnbuckle

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Dec 5, 2008
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My only memories of the sump pump were from my friend's house where he had one in his basement. It was this open square hole in the concrete that was always half filled with water. We (mostly him) used to use it as a urinal during long gaming sessions so we didn't have to run all the way back upstairs to take a leak. He did however have one rule: "You don't dump in the sump".
Was I your friend? I went through a phase where I did this back when I was in fourth or fifth grade :p
 

BearChair

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Apr 8, 2010
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Sump Pumps are awesome. They can save a basement from flooding. The key is to have two - one on battery backup. The reason many basements flood is that the power goes out during a bad storm, and then there is no power for the pump. If you have one on battery backup, you're pretty safe.
 

zephervack

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Apr 12, 2010
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So let's say you spent like 50 grand renovating the bathroom and entire basement with wood floors, a home theater, etc. You're telling me that if you don't have that pump thing working you get inches of water in your basement? That's seems like such an idiotic way of living.
lol, pretty much, I have my home theater setup probably like 10 meters away from the "hole" which is hidden underneath the stairs going up.

But yeah, I have 3 PCs at risk ( Server, 1 huge gaming rig and a HTPC), A Pioneer Kuro TV, and all my consoles/audio equipment.

I dont understand why they need to put it where it is, im sure it could be put somewhere else to minimize the damage, and the device itself should be way more advanced, I think toilets have more tech than these things.

As a matter of fact, why doesnt the water just get routed to the street's sewer? Why do i need a machine to push it out. ;(
 
Mar 3, 2011
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Sump Pumps are awesome. They can save a basement from flooding. The key is to have two - one on battery backup. The reason many basements flood is that the power goes out during a bad storm, and then there is no power for the pump. If you have one on battery backup, you're pretty safe.
I don't want two. I want one. That works. EVERY TIME.
 

Dunlop

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Oct 2, 2007
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Erie timing of this post.

I just went thought this shit when I tried to get the city to pay my plumbing bill (2nd block in 2 years on their side).

They said that my french drain was illegally hooked up to the sewer and that I needed to have it unhoocked. My house is over 30 years old..the letter read like I went out in the middle of the night and did it.From their legal department which put a defect on my house which would screw me when I wanted to sell

Also this house had never had a sump pump or any water issues for the 13 year I have lived here previously until the damn block, end result after much heartache and expense is I had to install a freaking exterior sump pump on the side of my house which is connected to the french drain and send the water out to my irrigation ditch.

Also when they dug down it was discovered my french drain was never attached to anything

I'm now the happy surburban owner of a fucking well ; (

The moral of the story is DO NOT try to get the city to pay a bill even when they are in the wrong, my neighbors are cracking up because it is pretty much known that all the houses were setup like mine
 

Billen

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Aug 15, 2007
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Usually in the corner of the basement there is a circular hole that goes down about about 3 or 4 feet. That's called the sump. There are pvc pipes under the the level of the foundation that direct the water towards the sump.

So it's like drainage around the house that leads the water inwards? Just had it redone around our house, and I have never seen something like this. Our standard is drainage that leads to the sewers, with enough fall for you not to need any other solution. Most of the times we have a buffer well deep below ground in the garden, though. The old drainage was in surprisingly good shape. Got a wonderful house built in the 60s.
 

Allforce

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Feb 29, 2012
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lol, pretty much, I have my home theater setup probably like 10 meters away from the "hole" which is hidden underneath the stairs going up.

But yeah, I have 3 PCs at risk ( Server, 1 huge gaming rig and a HTPC), A Pioneer Kuro TV, and all my consoles/audio equipment.

I dont understand why they need to put it where it is, im sure it could be put somewhere else to minimize the damage, and the device itself should be way more advanced, I think toilets have more tech than these things.

As a matter of fact, why doesnt the water just get routed to the street's sewer? Why do i need a machine to push it out. ;(
Same here, our basement is completely finished (drywall, ceiling, carpet, etc), and we have a sump pump in one corner hidden in a false wall. It kicks on a few times a year, usually in the spring after a big thaw but other than that it's silent. I check it every month or two and make sure the basin in dry and the pump still works. I also added a "sewer/sump backup" rider to my homeowners insurance for about 12 bucks a year, covers up to 30K in damages/cleanup.

My old house had one fail, we just had a ridiculous storm and it couldn't keep up with the water flowing into the sump and it just spilled over the top and flooded the basement enough to soak the carpeting. Nightmare cleanup but thankfully my insurance at the time covered sewer backup without a rider.
 
Apr 3, 2007
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Do they have sump pumps you don't have to kick?

That's all I remember about them from childhood. Once a day I had to go into the basement and kick the pipe on the pump gently. Everyone else in the area seemingly had to do that as well. I was never sure why.
Umm, sounds like yours was broken. Depends on if your sump is above or below ground. My grandparents was above ground and it a piece that rose with the water and activated the pump to pump the water.
 

En Ex

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Apr 20, 2012
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Ya know how some people enjoy thunderstorms? They just enjoy the sight and sound of them? And hey, if the power goes out for a bit, no biggie?

Those people obviously don't live on the East Coast.

Nothing like a portable generator purchased solely for the sump pump and a healthy dose of paranoia to keep your basement dry.
 

GoldenEye 007

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Jul 28, 2006
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Ya know how some people enjoy thunderstorms? They just enjoy the sight and sound of them? And hey, if the power goes out for a bit, no biggie?

Those people obviously don't live on the East Coast.

Nothing like a portable generator purchased solely for the sump pump and a healthy dose of paranoia to keep your basement dry.
I live in Florida. Storms feel good, man. But then again, basements are rare here.
 

Lord Error

Insane For Sony
Jun 8, 2004
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No it's not. It's just a geography thing. Depends on what the water table is doing.

Even well formed bricks will leak water if there's enough hydrostatic pressure. Sump pump takes care of that. Although they do need the whole gravel bed to be set up properly.

OP are you in Chicago? ;)
As far as I've seen of European houses, basements are built more like bunkers, with reinforced concrete walls on all sides and the floor. No way water can get in there unless there's eartquake anc concrete cracks or something. Only time I've heard of basement flooding there is if the basement sewer system back up I guess.
 

Jasup

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Mar 5, 2007
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Since this keeps coming up, here is how it works.

Why on earth would you direct the water collected by the french drain (or weeping tile) inside the house? It should be connected to its separate drainage system that directs water out, away from the house.

It's like having a big gaping hole in your basement floor.
 

Pagusas

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Jun 9, 2006
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So... it creates a pumping loop? Great racket.

Also I don't even want to know what happened before that 1990 law.
I dont know about a pumping loop, in our neighborhood all the sump pumps have exit pipes at the curb on the street.

This is more setup how ours works in Central IL:


all water is pumped to the street.

Though in winter this can happen a lot to people who have there sump pumps setup wrong:


The guy a few houses down from me is doing something bizard with his pump as its running 24/7. water is ALWAYS flowing out of it, for the last 3 years. Its started to tear up the road right where it comes out and in the winter it just builds and builds into a super slick ice patch.
 

Jasup

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Mar 5, 2007
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I dont know about a pumping loop, in our neighborhood all the sump pumps have exit pipes at the curb on the street.

This is more setup how ours works in Central IL:
...
Again, why do you direct the water collected from outside the house by french drains INSIDE and then pump it out?

This is a diagram how rain/meltwater is dealt back here:

The blue lines represent the rainwater drains (near the ground level) and the striped grey lines are the french drain. They connect to the storm drain system.

All the water from the inside (sinks, floor drains, sewage) are connected to sewer system that's completely separated.
 

Dunlop

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Oct 2, 2007
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Again, why do you direct the water collected from outside the house by french drains INSIDE and then pump it out?
This is the only consolation I get from my above mentioned exterior sump pump. I said that exact thing. My basement is completely renovated, why the hell would I willingly pull water into it?
 

Flo_Evans

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Feb 3, 2005
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My house has a stone foundation. Built in the 1930's. Previous owner dug out the basement, installed drains and a sump pump under new slab and carpet. Works great (so far) the pressure switch did seize on it once, causing it to continually run... $5 part and it works perfectly again.

Like anything (esp plumbing!!) shit needs to be regularly maintained/checked or you are in for a world a pain.
 

Pagusas

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Again, why do you direct the water collected from outside the house by french drains INSIDE and then pump it out?

This is a diagram how rain/meltwater is dealt back here:

The blue lines represent the rainwater drains (near the ground level) and the striped grey lines are the french drain. They connect to the storm drain system.

All the water from the inside (sinks, floor drains, sewage) are connected to sewer system that's completely separated.
My understanding is the sump well needs to be lower than the basement floor, and the pump needs to be replaceable (they recommend changing it every 3 years, regardless of current performance). So how would you have a deep well under the foundation, outside of the house, with a replaceable pump? My well and pump are hidden in the utility room in a completely separate part of my basement from the theater room/other finished parts. When its raining heavy (like now) the water will come into the well at pretty high pressure, and the pump takes care of it quickly.

edit: just did some quick reading and apparently they shouldnt be outdoors because they would become inoperable during the winter months, where in the northern areas you still get water coming in during that time (as i said my neighbors runs all winter).
 

Jasup

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Mar 5, 2007
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My understanding is the sump well needs to be lower than the baseement floor, and the pump needs to be replaceable (they recommend changing it every 3 years, regardless of current performance). So how would you have a deep well under the foundation, outside of the house, with a replaceable pump?
It's communal system, like the sewer, and the maintenance for the system is city's job. There are bigger pumping stations here and there. The pump stations are built quite deep underground.

edit: just did some quick reading and apparently they shouldnt be outdoors because they would become inoperable during the winter months, where in the northern areas you still get water coming in during that time (as i said my neighbors runs all winter).
I still don't get it. Maybe if everyone had their own pump on the property and no proper storm drain system, maybe. But it still sounds inane.
Maybe that's why we have a extensive communal system here, we have harsh winters and yearly flooding and just pumping water on our own lawn wouldn't be enough...
 

dionysus

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May 12, 2007
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There is a difference between the ground being wet after a rainfall and the basement being below the water table. In the first case, water is just taking the path of least resistance to fall to its lowest energy state, and will not be "actively" trying to penetrate your basement.

If however the water table is above the basement, it is in effect like your basement is sitting in the ocean. Water will get in, even ships have bilge pumps. The main difference is the water pressure. There will be no water pressure exerted on the foundation and walls of the basement in the first case, but there will be water pressure exerted by the water table.

For example, if the water table was 3 ft higher than the floor of the basement, the basement floor would experience aproximately 1.5 psi of pressure above atmospheric pressure. If your basement is 10ft x 20 ft, this would translate into 43,200 pounds (aproximately 20 tons in either US or Metric system) of force exerted by the water onto the foundation of your basement. There is literally no way to keep water out no matter how you construct the house. (Even boats leak.)

This is why many parts of the country do not have basements.
 

Pagusas

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It's communal system, like the sewer, and the maintenance for the system is city's job. There are bigger pumping stations here and there. The pump stations are built quite deep underground.
The city would never take on that type of liability and responsibility for personal properties. People would be claiming right and left it was the cities fault there tile system failed and there basement flooded. Keeping water out of your home has always been the home owners responsablity. Even with the sewer system if sewage backs up into your home it is your responsablity (thus why sewage overflow insurance is sold and popular). The cities responsabilty ends at the pipe.
 

Solo

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Apr 21, 2005
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That picture blows my mind. I don't understand how basement flooding could ever be a problem in a modern house.
?

Foundations are made of concrete.
Concrete has voids and also will crack.
Water table rises above base of foundation.
Water gets into voids/cracks, floods into basement.
Profit.
 

pompidu

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Feb 2, 2011
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My only memories of the sump pump were from my friend's house where he had one in his basement. It was this open square hole in the concrete that was always half filled with water. We (mostly him) used to use it as a urinal during long gaming sessions so we didn't have to run all the way back upstairs to take a leak. He did however have one rule: "You don't dump in the sump".
bro fist. also good to pee.in sump during party and not walk always upstairs to piss.
 
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