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Bill Roper's Journal
The Joys of Overhead Sewers 
30th-Apr-2007 12:41 pm
In the last week or so, daisy_knotwise and I have noticed a sound when standing in the downstairs bath. Yesterday, life slowed down enough for us to go the basement and try to figure out what was wrong.

It turns out that the pump in the ejector pit has been running continuously. Now this does beat the heck out of "not running at all", but it's just not a good thing, especially when you put your hand on the PVC pipe leading to the sewer and note that it's distinctly warm.

Gretchen called the plumber that we most recently used to clean out the pipes leading from the kitchen sink to the street. It turns out that it's $600 to replace the switch assembly on the pump which would then probably continue to work for some unspecified time or $1000 to replace the whole pump.

I've voted to replace the whole pump. It's nearly eleven years old and I really prefer to have it working. And I really prefer not to be dealing with the ejector pit myself, given that I know what's getting ejected.
30th-Apr-2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
I would like to note I have been nowhere near your bathrooms lately. So this is not my fault. *grin*
30th-Apr-2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
Not at all. I will, however, pass along the piece of wisdom that I received recently from daisy_knotwise:

Hold down the handle of the toilet until either everything has left the toilet or it's apparent that you need to plunge. :)

This has actually greatly reduced the number of times that I do need to plunge.
30th-Apr-2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
Oof. Been there, did that. Except it was in the old days of renting a room in the house of my friend. Except he went overseas for eight weeks.

Turned out it was jammed by an outlet. Apparently, the electrician who wired the outlet many years ago dropped one in the pit. He left it, and it lay in wait until my friend left, for the outlet to get sucked up and jam the sump.

Talk about stink equity!
30th-Apr-2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
Fortunately, the pump was still working. It just wouldn't shut off.
1st-May-2007 03:17 am (UTC)
Ejector pit? Never heard of 'em. I suppose they're used to accelerate the you-know-what to a velocity sufficient enough to hit the fan.
1st-May-2007 04:13 am (UTC)
Actually, to a height sufficient to reach the sewer.

The trick with an overhead sewer is that there's a one-way check valve that prevents the city from trying to store its floodwater in your basement. In exchange, you become the proud owner of an ejector pit. Your waste water accumulates in the pit until it reaches the level that sets off the switch, at which time the pump goes into action and pumps everything up into the overhead line that carries the waste to the sewer.

The problem with this is that when the power goes out, it's a good time not to be using water. Like say, flushing the toilet...
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