Literally flushing money down the drain

breenthumbMarch 19, 2008

We've been trying to clean out deceased (in Dec.)SIL's house to put it up for sale and, of course, are responsible for maintaining it until then. Every time I went into the basement I heard water running into the sump pump. A few feet away is an empty box for a for a sump pump that works with water to guarantee that basement doesn't flood--OK, guess it must recycle somehow like our pool filter did.

We've never needed a sump pump and know nothing about them.

Got the card this week that its time to read the water meter and call it in, and by the way, we haven't gotten a reading in 6 months so be sure to respond. Took reading and called it in. THEM: "Are you sure that first number is a nine and not a six?" ME: "No its definately a nine" THEM: That can't be right. According to this your water bill is $771.00!" By the next day, when we were able to go back and get another reading, 3,000 (Thousand!)more gallons had flushed down the drain!!!

Called plumber to come immediately and we turned off main water supply, but in the meantime DD called someone who said "the float is stuck, just give it a whack" and when she turned on the main no more rushing water.

Not sure why I'm posting this here. Just venting I guess. Plus the fact that our whole family is so conscious of the water we use it's doubly troubling. Sandy

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"Not sure why I'm posting this here. Just venting I guess. "

I find this very useful. Especially when one considers how many states are dealing with drought conditions all around the country.

Any tips that help conserve water are most helpful. Thanks for posting (venting!).

A link that might be useful:
Drought eases, water wars persist

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:15AM
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Definitely a helpful tip - like you, we have no familiarity with sump pumps, although in some homes here, they're common!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:03AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I hope your water company 'works' with you on the water bill.

Years ago, I had a water leak (between the meter at the road) and the house). I discovered it a few days b4 I got my next bill which was between $600 and $700.

When I went in, they told me they would deduct the expense of the plumber (no expense there as we dug it up and fixed it ourselves), figure what my 'usual' bill was, and then charge a good bit of it aat a discounted rate...much like one would pay if they were filling a pool or something.
In the end it was about $125, and though that was still high (usual bill was less than $9), I was pleased with them working with me on it.

I hope you have similar good luck.

Right now I have water (free due to the recent heavy rains) in the basement, and a plugged drain...sigh....just one of the small pleasures (?) of home ownership and having a basement. Thank goodness it is not carpeted...sigh


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Oh, that's awful. I'd definitely try to sit down with them and see if they can do anything about the bill. And I'd keep an eye on that pump frequently.

Hope this and everything else works out for you.

On our front, I've been fighting with the auto insurance company for 2 months now--they told me on Jan. 17 I'd have the refund in 2 weeks. Still no sign of it, even though I've been calling weekly. If it doesn't turn up next week (my next 'promised' date), my next call will be to the state insurance commissioner. Always something, isn't it?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Dreamgarden, yes even here in the shadow of the Finger Lakes and directly on Lake Ontario its become a problem. The Great Lakes were down last summer also. Never ever saw that coming, but then again, they're messing with the locks letting more flow from the Great Lakes into the St. Lawrence. Big announcement coming about that March 28 with many public meetings to follow.

Chemocurl, so sorry about your basement flooding. Hope there's not much permanent damage. We've only had a little water in ours once and that spring people were rescuing condo owners in a low area about 3 miles from here in rowboats.

Woman at Water Authority said wait for the bill, then contact us. Hoping they can help, but I really feel bad about wasting that water.

Azzalea, you bet we're keeping an eye on that pump. I think it was triggered by a power outage. It was designed to use water to siphon water out when power fails. Darn thing just didn't stop. And I heard it and knew nothing.

Sorry you're having problems with the auto insurance refund. Surprisingly, that was the first refund we received, but I had also made a payment to them just to be sure her leased car would be covered when we returned it. Then when we turned in the plates, they sent most of it back. Now Home Insurance is due April 1. Gotta keep that for sure, but will probably pay it quarterly. Sandy

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 6:53PM
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You have me confused with this one. A basement sump pump normally is used to, as you said, "guarantee that the cellar doesn't flood." The cellar usaully floods because ground water is seeping into the basement. Why would your water bill increase because water is seeping into the basement or because the float was stuck on the pump? It sounds like you had a water leak and the sump pump was pumping it out of the basement? I can't understand why "wacking" the sump pump and shutting it off would save you water. The water that the pump should be pumping is "free" water from outside.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:31AM
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As I understand it, this thing(I learned from the fire dept. today its called a waterman or water watch or something like that) is hooked up to a garden hose and piped through the wall into the crock to start a siphoning action when it gets to a certain level if the pump hasn't come on. If I knew any more I wouldn't have had this problem in the first place.

And speaking of free water from outside, we got plenty of that today too, because I guess my DD had turned the "water whatever" lever to off. I had an appt. to meet an appraiser there today at noon, so I got there an hour early to get something out of the basement. Was met by water above my ankles in a basement we've always called the bowling alley. Boxes etc. were floating around for goodness sake!

The fire dept. came to pump us out, discovered the "water whatever" had been turned off, and also the float on the pump had broken off (probably why the WW had been running) and was also floating. I'm sick to death of water.

A little advice: Never depend on a doctor to check your sump pump. DD is an OB-GYN, and although her dad crassly calls her a plumber, she failed big time on this one.

Luckily, though, she had bagged up 30 bags of clothes for pickup by charity tomorrow or I'd be hauling heavy soppy clothes out of the basement forever as well as all the other stuff. Hope y'all had a better day. Sandy

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

My goodness Sandy,

You sure have had more than your fair share of bad luck recently. Maybe your Water Co will deduct the cost of the Fireman as well, as it was all water related...maybe? I'd suggest letting them know of all costs associated with it all.

I didn't really have any permanent damage, but am now all geared up to get a lot of that stuff off the floor and onto shelves, to the shed, to the goodwill, to the recycling, or to the trash. It was just the incentive I needed and only a few puddles are remaining.

I emailed you about the Xerox class action suit.

Sue...hoping Friday and the weekend is much nicer for you.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 11:09PM
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