Monday, October 17, 2005

When the Levee Breaks

Saturday, I went down into my crawlspace to shut off the water to the sprinklers, before their annual decomissioning. As I turned on the light, I met 2-1/2 feet of water lapping at the floorboards. Apparently, the whole yard overflowed my foundation and just poured into the crawl from the eleven (11) plus inches of rain we got over the last three days before.

Desperately, I canvassed the whole island for a dewatering pump. After exhausting all Home Depots, Hardware Stores and my neighbors, I stopped in the South Shore Mall Sears:

G-man, reaching the top of the third floor escalator: Uhhhh, ...
Saleslady: NO PUMPS, NO VACS
G-man, saunters away, conserving speech.

My neighbor lent me his pump, but the shutoff switch didn't work, and the screws to the housing were stripped. 20 minutes later, I had it jumpered and running, but now I needed fittings to adapt 1-1/2" sch. 40 PVC to garden hose. Back at the second hardware store, my neighbor and I played name-that-tune, except with the PVC fitting in bins that looked like the locusts had already been there. He came up with a 5 piece contraption, with 3 glue and two threaded joints. I managed a three fitting and one pipe combo, comprising a 45 degree elbow substituted for a union, a 8 x 1/2" sprinkler extension, and a reducer, so I won.

Back at the house, we put it together, dropped it in, and managed about 3 gpm. My crawl is 40' x 100'. My crawl still has water in it today. You do the math.

Stay tuned for the flood insurance claim story.