Nobody wants to get that call. That call that says, “We’ve got water in the basement! You need to come home right now!” And it was the right call to make. Janet noticed before great damage was done.
When I got home, there was about 1 ½ inches of clean, drain tile water in the laundry room and the incoming tide had just reached the basement carpet.
The sump pump had failed.
Run a garden hose out the door. Hook it up to a backup pump I keep for emergencies. Start pumping….. Set the second backup emergency pump in the sump as well. Start pumping with that. Now we’re making progress.
Why do I have two backup pumps? It’s just who I am.
The water is receding. OK, it’s safe to leave the pumps and run to Menards for a new sump pump to replace the failed one.
When I got to the checkout lane with my new pump, the clerk asked if I wanted an extended warranty for an extra eleven dollars. “It’s got a lifetime warranty already.” I said. “How much longer will the extended warranty get me?” I asked.
He must have sensed the “urgency” in my voice and realized that I wouldn’t be spending the extra eleven bucks and quickly finished the transaction. With pump in hand, I made a beeline for the car and hurried home.
Set the pump in the sump. Start to hook it up. Realize that the new hook up is different than the old pump. Why does it always work that way? It’s like there’s a plumbing troll that issues a curse and closes the store by the time you get back there to get the additional parts. And they were……closed.
Back home and inspired by my friend “John MacGyver Nygaard”, I started looking for suitable parts to cobble a connection that would get us by until real parts were available. The caulking tube you see is exactly the same outside dimension as the 1 ½” schedule 40 pipe that I needed. That was easy…..
The makeshift “Ferncocoupling”? Well………..if you run the Gates part number on that hose, you’ll find that it is a section of a new old stock, lower radiator hose. A lower radiator hose for my 69 Cyclone CCJ. I bought it years ago just to have as a spare. But? If your choice is making Janet stay up all night to manually run the backup pumps or sacrificing the Holy Grail of lower radiator hoses, common sense prevails.
It was hard to work on the new pump with all of the tears running down my face, but after setting the pump back in the sump, it worked perfectly. And, if Janet hadn’t seen the cobble job, I might have left it as a finished job.
And the way I see it…It will be far, far easier to find another NOS lower radiator hose for a 69 Mercury Cyclone CJ 428, that it would be to find another NOS Janet. Maybe…..
I’m off to the doghouse now.