First, The Great Flood. "The Hell?!", you say. (Pretty sure Hell is capitalized, right?) So last week we had a long heralded series of storms. The weather nannies told us over and over that we'd better be ready Or Else. So like a smart sheep, I cleaned out the sumps so the pumps would not clog. I cleared out the gutters. I picked up literally hundreds of pounds of leaves. I checked that the pumps were plugged in, turned on, and that the floats didn't hang up. I even cleaned the filter screen, fer fucksake.
And then it rained. A lot. (No problems so far, feeling smug and stuff.) Then the rain (which continued like a PBS Pledge "Break") ruined my Monday morning. It (Monday) was all normal and stuff, and I was buttoning my shirt when No. 1 son comes to tell me that there is water coming into the garage. So I put on my slippers and a tee shirt and went to look. Sure enough, my adult son can identify water coming into the garage.
This is what the outside looked like. This is well into The Catastrophe, and as you can see the water is about two inches deep, about one inch over the threshold of the garage. There's a little dark spot just to the right of the door and underwater, right next to that pipe. That's one of the two sumps. It's about 20 inches deep. Oh, and IT'S OVERFLOWING!
So while I'm working on this garden water feature (before the picture), it is pouring rain. Of course the dog came out to "help" me. I would look up from my damp jihad against the storm and see a very wet dog, staring at me. Eventually my coat and pants had soaked through. Turns out that one of the pumps would only pump for about a minute before it would overheat and shut off. Then ten minutes later it would work again for another minute. Bad bearing, I guess. But the pump looks pristine!
So the better half of our marital brain trust posited to her frantic husband that we should just let the water run through the garage and down the driveway. Then she came up with a nifty garden hose dam that kept the water in a pretty good stream, 1/2 inch deep, 24 inches wide right on through there. See...
At first I thought this was madness until I saw how well it worked. It kept draining at that rate for the hour or so it took me to go to the local Orchard Supply Hardware. When I got there, I discovered about eight other people all buying pumps. I got the LAST 1/3 HP pump on the shelf, brought it home and plumbed it up and proceeded to drain the yard.
But I still got to work by about noon. And our lodger slept through most of this.