It’s just past 2 am as I start to write this. Normally, I would be going to bed around this time, but I actually went to bed before midnight, for a change.
Before I did, I checked the old basement. Not only was there no increased flooding, but things had actually started to dry up. A good sign. I covered the drain with the plastic sheet that keeps the gases out and went to bed.
Not long ago, I woke to go to the bathroom and heard a strange, quiet rumbling from the basement. It didn’t sound like the well pump, nor the septic pump, neither of which should have been on, anyhow.
It was the sump pump.
The basement was flooded even more than before, the reservoir had filled, the pump was running so long, it was sounding wrong, but the reservoir wasn’t draining.
I threw on some boots and a coat and ran outside with the flashlight. There was nothing coming out of the sump pump hose in the old kitchen garden. I yanked it out from along the house, and it was flexible the entire length. I finally found the blockage, right by where it attached to the pipe from the basement.
I was able to flex the hose and could hear ice breaking up inside, but that did nothing for the rigid bit of pipe through the wall.
So back to the basement I ran, this time with a couple of large buckets. I had to unplug the sump pump, which had been running so long, it was hot.
By this time, my noise had awakened the rest of the family. Even my husband could hear me over the sound of his CPAP.
The girls came down to help. I used the small bucket with a wire on its handle that we used the last time this happened, and a broom handle it sink it, and started bailing water into a large bucket. That went to one daughter, who took it up the stairs. My other daughter took that outside to empty it, while I filled the next bucket.
That reservoir holds a remarkable amount of water.
After many trips, we got the reservoir bailed out as much as could be done with the small bucket.
Once that was clear, I checked the drain in the floor. It had disintegrating toilet paper in it, but not more than before, from what I could tell. I was going to hose that away after the septic tank was done.
The first time we had septic problems in the basement, that my brother and I worked on, we hooked an old hose to what used to be the cold water tap for the washing machine and used it to try and clear the pipes. The last time, when the plumber came with his drain auger, it came in very handy, so I’ve just left it there, with most of the hose rolled up and hanging. I pushed the end of it through the drain, and could get quite far. There is no blockage, that I could feel.
Once the drain cover was off, I could see water from the floor starting to slowly drain away.
Grabbing a long handled scrub brush, I tried to clear the drain opening, and it didn’t seem to make much difference in how quickly things drained.
What concerned me was that I started pulling up thin tree roots. That’s what the plumber had cleared out if there, not that many months ago.
After the tank is emptied, I should be able to run water through the drain in the floor and be able to see better. I’ll also open up the access pipe, near the septic pump, and take a better look, but that requires tools.
The drain cover has been left off. The sump pump remains unplugged. We will have to keep checking the basement more often, and if it starts filling again, start bailing it out again.
My daughter’s and I, meanwhile, have scrubbed up, though we still feel really gross. It’s not like we can take showers right now, though at least we can flush the toilet and wash up.
Now we have to get some more sleep while we can.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to fall asleep anytime soon, which is why I am sitting here, tapping out a blog post on my phone.