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So, Anticipating The Hurricane, I Decided To Check My Own Sump Pump

We have been in our house for fourteen years last month.  In that time I have never bothered to look in to check our sump pump!  Understanding that we are expecting perhaps 10" of rain in 24 hours (!!), it got me thinking. 

So, anticipating the hurricane, I decided to check my own sump pump.

It's located in the unfinished portion of the basement, in a corner. 

That's my wife's grabber in the corner near the cricket strip!

She cannot bend over to pick stuff up, so I got her a grabber many years ago.

Why did I need it?

Years ago we had a mouse infestation that we did not notice until it really needed attention!

They had made a mess, including in this corner, which was stacked with garden equipment and I had never cleaned up the disaster the mice made of some insulation there.

So, needing to check the sump, I got in there and cleaned stuff up.

I could only move the cover a bit, and, looking in, found the pit to be full of old, plastic bottles, no doubt left by my illustrious builder.

The sump has been working, so no harm, no foul.  But seeing all that, and knowing we have rains coming, I decided to pull them out!  How convenient the grabber was!  Don't tell my wife...

We have water and food on hand. 

We have flashlights, batteries, and safe candles on hand.

If power goes out we have a generator and extra fuel on hand.

Actually we have extra of all of that!

I did not even need to go to the store to buy things to get ready.

WE ARE READY!

Apparently being circumspect and having foresight, nobody scheduled a home inspection for today or tomorrow.

Boy, how fun it will be for my wife to have me around the house for two days!

She will probably hibernate...

However, how do I feel about Hurricane Sandy?

I took this shot of a conveniently-posed gorilla at the Animal Kingdom of Disney World during our visit last November.

THIS PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 48 commentsJay Markanich • October 29 2012 05:08AM

Comments

Good idea to check things before the storm it may save you plenty of problems after or during the storm.

Stay Safe

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) over 6 years ago

Mine is beside my washer and dryer in my basement with a pvc pipe for AC condensate drain line and it is working....as are gutters which were re-designed about 3 years ago...so far, so good

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Why not Doris?  I have never looked in there before!

Wallace - my gutters are the larger K-Guards and are great!  I do not have a sump battery however, never needing one.  Hope I don't now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay - Sounds like you have everything covered! Good luck and stay dry.

Posted by Peter den Boer, MBA,GRI, Associate Broker, Realtor (Atlanta Communities) over 6 years ago

When we lived up north I always checked my sump pump.  Nothing like a foot of water in the basement to ruin a perfectly good day.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) over 6 years ago

I have never experienced 70mph winds Peter.  So if that happens I am planning to go out to the street to see what it feels like!

C&D - this house is the cobbler's kid thing.  I never check my own house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Living in South Florida we understand these kind of storm, take care and we wish you the best.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (One World Realty Inc.) over 6 years ago

Preparation makes all the difference.  As for my family, we are taking the approach recommended by our beagle, Sitka:

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 6 years ago

No doubt Donald!  My relatives in Rockledge have a condo in Ashland NC, and they go there days before a hurricane hits to ride it out.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Back up system and/or generator close by?

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

As is our beagle Kathryn.

Hot eyes, searching the yard for any mammalia wandering by.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Gas powered Joshua, as I said, with extra fuel (with Stabil in the fuel).  We can turn it on if needed.  I have that generator basically for the two freezers in the basement.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

So the gorilla was greeting you, right? That is what you saying, your welcoming the storm. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

We do not have a generator, so trusting we don't need it!

Posted by Liz Hill (YOUR CHOICE REALTY CORP BROKERAGE) over 6 years ago

Stay safe and warm Jay. I hope you excape any damage.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 6 years ago

Jim - I said, "Give me a good pose, Bobo!"  And he complied.  I knew I could use that photo sooner or later.

I hope we don't need ours Liz!  I have had it for years without need.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

So do I Debbie, and thanks.  I do plan to go outside to experience 70mph winds, if we have them.  I told my wife that and she rolled her eyes.

Reading them, I think they said, "What a dope I have married..."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

It is comforting that your beagle is on the watch to keep you safe.  (Note that my beagle is facing AWAY from the backyard!)

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 6 years ago

Don't bug me, I'm busy mode, Kathryn?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Don't get the run on the stores for bottled water when you can just fill up containers from your tap, put them in the freezer and they handle double duty.  Ice blocks if the power goes out and drinking water when it melts.  People spend hundreds of dollars on stuff they could get for free. 

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Good luck Jay... hunker down!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 6 years ago

Can I used the filtered water from my kitchen sink Cindy?  I hate tap water!

Fred - Ai speet un ze hooicahna - tiu, tiu.  And maybe shoot it a moon...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

May the winds be far more gentle than anticipated...our thoughts are with everyone in Sandy's path.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

Thanks guys.  The highest winds are in the northeast side of the storm; the heaviest rains to the southwest.  We are expecting very heavy rains, and winds about 70mph.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Oooops, missed the generator part.  Too early on a Monday, I guess

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

No prob Joshua!  But I didn't include the Stabil part in the post.  THAT is a good tip!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

It's good to know that you and your wife are prepared for this big storm.  Stay safe and wishing you the best.  Thanks for posting.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 6 years ago

Jay -- good to know that you are all ready for the big storm.  One thing we had on our sump that I didn't see in the picture of yours, was a float warning, which went off if the water level got too high (ie the pump stopped working).

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 6 years ago

Jay,

Good Thoughts. Years ago, we were expecting lots of rain. I too checked to make sure that the sump pump was working. All was well (no pun intended).  The HEAVY rains came, the sump pump worked well and often until the power went out and the basement water began to climb. Thank heavens that the neighbor had a second generator that I could borrow for that  emergency. Had we not been transferred away from that state shortly thereafter, we would have installed a DC powered pump with automatic switch over to backup power.

Hope all goes well for you and your family and that the storm runs out of power quickly.

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 6 years ago

I know it's really starting to move over you folks in NoVA right now - hunker down and ride it out! Hurricane force tonight for you guys and us. :(

Posted by Mary Elizabeth Allen over 6 years ago

Thanks Charlie.  We are!  My daughter and I went to see a movie and half way through the theater lost power!  They gave us rain checks.

Don't have one Steven!  Imagine, a home inspector who doesn't look at his own stuff...

I don't have a battery Brad, and haven't had need for one.  Life experience is a cruel teacher though!

That's what I hear Mary Elizabeth.  The power went out in the movie theater we went to!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay: We are watching the waters rise from the west coast. That's some big storm. Haven't head a basement in awhile, so no sump pump. Here in Del Norte County California we can get upwards of 4 inches of rain a day no problem (12+ in 2 or 3 days) during the rainy season. No problem, those big redwoods just suck it up, 300 gallons a day per tree, I understand. But the winds can be killer and topple them. Mostly, be safe!

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 6 years ago

Hella - I did not realize you all have such a regular cycle of wet and dry seasons.  And I understand that the redwoods have very shallow root systems, so they depend on the strength they get from the many nearby trees they are grouped with.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Good evening Jay. Stay safe. Sounds like Sandy is not playing nice. Good call on being prepared BEFORE the storm. Not many do that. lol

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 6 years ago

 

   Fourteen-year-old sump pump with 10" of rain on the way?  Makes we wonder how much use your sump pump has gotten over those fourteen years.

 

Posted by John J. Woods (Aardvark Appraisals) over 6 years ago

We are praying for you all so please let us know how you all are doing.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) over 6 years ago

Randy - we are prepared all the time.  One never knows when disaster will strike.  Fortunately we often get advance notice, like now, but sometimes there is no warning.

John - in our last house, when we moved, the sump was over 30 years old, installed by the county because there was an buried water line behind the houses in our row, and it worked fine!  No, this one does not get much work.  I drain the downspouts well away from the house on all four corners.

Paula - Thank you!  I actually have my first hurricane-related inspection tomorrow afternoon!  They called this evening, in a panic!  My IR camera is charged and ready to rock and roll.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

I'm with commenter # 20 on the water storage/freezer trick. I used it to preserve the freezer contents through  power outages and have clean water the same way. The worst/longest was 4 days of the ice storm (94). 

My sump pump is approaching 40 years and going strong, gainfully employed every spring and a bit in the fall.

Be safe, but as Scouters say 'Be Perpared'.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 6 years ago

And, Robert, as a Scoutmaster, I am!  It is really, really raining!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

I can just picture your next post. Your picture will show a startled experssion with hair all blown and spiked in one direction from the 70 minle an hour wind.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 6 years ago
I hope u folks stay safe
Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 6 years ago

Morning Jay it sounds like you have the same attitude as I would if I were in your place.  Not to worry sir I won't tell your wife it will be our little secret

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 6 years ago

It's the sideways tree in the front yard Robert!

Ken - thanks!  I think you may have been hit harder than we were, but we sure got a lot of water and wind last night!

James - it is back in its little place, no one knowing the difference!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Stay safe, Jay!  And live to tell and show us pictures afterward.  I like that idea about storing water in the freezer for emergencies.  I would have never thought about that, even though, I do store water in jugs, like that anyway.  I use it to put in ice coolers on camping trips and picnics. 

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 6 years ago

There is a post up just now Myrl!  And we have plenty of stored water!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, hope you weather the storm.  I like your posts.  Stay off roofs for a day or two, if you can, and I wouldn't be surprised if you put Mighty Mo to work after this storm.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 6 years ago

Jay, i wish more here had checked more than their sump pump...what a storm & boats with moorings ended up in many yards...back up marine batteries & generators saved lots of people too!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Thanks Gary.  I have a roof post up just today.  I was on that roof just yesterday, during the tail end of the hurricane!

Ginny - battery back ups are very real in araes where power loss is frequent.  When I see them I chalk it up to life experience!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

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