I just spent a half an hour shoveling water...

in my pj’s, no less. I mean I was wearing my pj’s as I shoveled. I wasn’t shoveling water into them.

Long story short, the sump pump float got caught on the side of the bucket it’s in (or on some debris) and after randomly deciding to check the lower basement, even though it’s been sunny and dry, I was greeted with several inches of water.

I wiggled the pump and let it do it’s thing, but then there was residual water left, so with my waterproof boots on, my pj pants rolled up to my thighs, I grabbed a shovel and started dragging and throwing the water towards the hole.

Anyone else deal with the sump pump thing? Have any tricks to keep the float from getting stuck. I had tried to find a different kind of pump, but the last time it broke, it had been raining for weeks and I ended up with several FEET of water, so at that point, I got what I could find at Home Depot. The one I wanted wouldn’t fit in the cement hole the builder made.

Tomorrow, I’ll clean out the bucket and check the pump and put a piece of screen on top to keep debris out. We just got firewood down there and I’m sure some of the chips got under the stairs as it was tossed down.

So much for my plan to go to bed early. I’m pretty good at the single mom thing, but really, it would have been nice to have someone else shoveling in their pj’s, too.

No sump pump experience personally, though we’ve just spent a few days painting the basement floor with a sealer, but apparently you can buy an alarm that lets you know when the sump pump is not working.

Great idea, elfkin. Thank you!
And to top off my night, I now have a toothache… I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I guess.

No fun! I do not have to deal with this in my current house, thank goodness.

there are some models of pumps where the float switch is internal to the pump housing and not an external sliding float that could more easily bind up.

an easily removed solid cover with a hole of a few inches would work. a screen may collapse under something heavy and jam things. a solid cover with a few inches spacing from the pipe and float mechanism would work, solid with large U shape cuts into them. important that the cover not be able to slide and bind the switch. store bought covers have a lower smaller diameter that fits into the sump pit hole and the top diameter is larger than the hole to keep it from falling in; so the cover can’t slide and bind up the switch. take a look at covers in the store, even if you aren’t going to buy one, to see what they are like. you could make one out of out of a rectangle of plywood with blocks or pegs on the bottom to fit your pit.

When the exact same thing happened to me I found a slightly better kind of pump. The old one had a float swinging free on a short cable, like a tail. The new one has a float that is captive, sliding up and down a metal guide rod. Since this one is vertical, it doesn’t touch the side of the pit. That had been the downfall of the free-swinging float before.

ETA: Weren’t you concerned about electrical shock?

Nah, my hair already looks like I got fried early in life. I’m tough, I can take a few hundred (thousand?) volts. At that point, I would have slept better.

Yes, john, the pump with the internal pump was the one I was looking for and they didn’t have one. That’s what I’d had in there before. The next best thing had it external, but on a metal slide, so there wouldn’t be the same problem. Got that one home, hooked it up to the hardpiping (studidly, BEFORE I checked if it fit) and it was just a smidge too small. The only other option, without going up another $150, which I just couldn’t do, was the one I ended up with. The stupid one with the little floaty. And great points on the cover. Makes perfect sense.

I cleaned a lot of debris out of the bucket. We were throwing wood down the stairs last week that my son-in-law had scored for me and there were more little bark pieces and chips than I’d realized.

So far so good today.

Folks with big boats tell us not to bet the boat on one pump. Your house won’t sink, but it’s good advice.

One old guy around here told me the power is most likely to go out during a bad rainstorm. He has one pump hooked up to an auto-start gasoline generator. Why, yes, he does wear belt and suspenders. How did you know?