Recently I was sitting in my living room and noticed that the sump pump in the basement beneath me just finished running. I noticed it because it really wasn’t raining at the time so I thought to myself that it was unusual to be running at that time. Then 2 minutes later, it ran again. And it ran every 2 minutes after that for the rest of the evening. That is very unusual.
I went down there to check it out and sure enough, water was filling the sump almost as fast as it could be pumped out. This went on for several days until finally I realized that this was not going to stop on its own. I phoned a local plumber that I knew and he stopped over the next day. After about an hour of trying to clear what appeared to be a plugged drain line, he dropped dye into the line and waited. In about 5 minutes the dye reached the sump and turned the water bright green. This proved that the underground storm drain was broken and the water being pumped out was cycling right back into the sump, filling it up every 2 minutes. This was going to require digging and replacement of those drain pipes. While checking that side of the house, we decided it was best to check the other side of the house. Sure enough, that side was full of stones. A seam had separated and the line wasn’t working at all!
It took about 3 weeks to complete the job of tearing out the concrete walk on the one side and digging trenches on both sides of the house from the back of the house to the street out front. Utility companies all had to come out and locate their underground lines. The gas company had a hard time locating theirs and had to dig more holes to finally find them. They have since added indicators so they can find them again in the future. The sump pump had to be replaced as it nearly burned out from running every 2 minutes for about 3 weeks.
The gas company had to repair the holes they dug. All the concrete that was torn out had to be replaced and the lawn still needs to be repaired. Two takeaways from all this:
1. The backup sump pump kept things under control till repairs could be made.
2. Check your insurance and make sure it includes coverage for service line replacement.
A couple weeks after the work was done, the new sump pump wasn’t working right. We had to call the plumber back and it turned out the float was getting stuck against the sump wall. It would either run and not turn off or fail to run at all, depending on the point where the float got stuck. This is when the backup pump really shined and did its job. We were away on vacation at the time and our neighbor notified us of the problem. So glad we have a Basepump.
All this work was covered because we had changed insurance last year to a policy that included this coverage. It was such a blessing to realize that the $16,000 cost of all this was covered except for a small $500 deductible. Last year we found a new insurance agent and their policies include this coverage. We are so grateful we made the switch.
In closing, take a look at your sump pump situation and make sure you have a reliable backup system such as Basepump water powered system. Take a good look at your homeowner’s insurance or talk to your agent about service line coverage. Ours cover all the lines servicing our home. Water line, sewer line, storm drain, gas lines, electrical lines, and cables are covered. Typically the private utility companies are generally responsible for their lines, but the water and sewer lines are your problem when they break.