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January 27, 2008

Good News/Bad News

Bad news: the Blog Princess is now 3 for 3.

Because a one year unaccompanied tour without a flooded basement is ...

...oddly reminiscent of a one year unaccompanied tour without a flooded basement.

Good news: She still has the dehumidifier from the last time we went through this joyous ritual. And this time, the basement isn't carpeted.

If she finds any turmeric, you'll hear the screams. Trust her on that one.

Posted by Cassandra at January 27, 2008 10:09 PM

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Might wanna look into mitigation schemes, m'lady.

Posted by: camojack at January 28, 2008 01:29 AM

My sympathies. Our basement in Warrenton used to flood every time it rained. I eventually just put everything down there up on pallets, including the dehumidifier; and cut a trench through the concrete with a mattock to help it drain just a little faster.

Posted by: Grim at January 28, 2008 05:09 AM

Okay. Color me confused.

Tumeric makes an acceptable substitute for saffron when making yellow rice on a non-FEMA budget. Just a pinch goes a very long way.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 28, 2008 08:23 AM

The French drains we installed around Chez Engineer are very effective. Basement hasn't flooded in four years.

Posted by: Cricket at January 28, 2008 08:45 AM

It was a leaky pipe, not a leaky basement. That is good (I think). Much easier to fix.

It is just the mess, and the stuff we lost. But then some people have real problems :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 12:10 PM

I'm with Cricket ... my basement used to flood all the time in spring and fall until we hired a firm to put in French drains ... if they put them in correctly and with a little forethought, they can also mitigate from those no weather related disasters ... water heater leak, washing machine leak.

Posted by: Frodo at January 28, 2008 01:25 PM

Of course I refuse to call them "French" drains ... they are "Liberty" drains. :-)

Posted by: Frodo at January 28, 2008 01:27 PM


FWIW, we had french drains underneath the flagstone walk between our house and the stone retaining wall for that very reason (didn't want to worry about water coming into the house when it rained.

This was a case of (from what I could tell) a crappy join on the main water line coming into the house. It was a straightforward fix, but I had him take the entire joint out anyway and replace both with brass ones. I don't really understand why in the hell that wasn't done in the first place. I am really steamed about it. No reason for this to happen. There wasn't all that much pressure on the joint and it just came apart.

Really torques me off. I got about 3 hours of sleep last night.

He was just going to patch it. But by the time you pay $80 for a house call, why not pay $40 more and have it done correctly and not worry about springing another leak on the other joint.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 01:33 PM

Now I am going to brew a pot of extra strong coffee... since I finally have water :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 01:35 PM

Poor Cassie! *hug*

Posted by: FbL at January 28, 2008 02:01 PM

I am fine :)

I am just whining a little bit now that all the fuss is all over. The dog was getting tired of listening to me swear and throw stuff.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 02:07 PM


And the (*&^%$$%TYUUGVJNTRTUUT%R^&^UGR%YUU dehumidifier does *not* work.

I am *so* glad I hauled that motherf***ing thing around for 5 years so I'd be prepared in case my basement flooded out again :p

Life has a sense of humor, even when we don't :)

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 02:10 PM

Cass, put a small fan in the basement to dry things out. French drains won't do much good without a grade to drain them, or a sump from which a pump can eject the water. Use GFI electrical, so you don't fry yourself.

Posted by: Mark at January 28, 2008 05:35 PM


You got a little water huh?

Posted by: Pile On at January 28, 2008 06:55 PM

Well, I always wanted a swimming pool.

I just always thought it would be an outdoor one :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 07:27 PM

Mark, after 4 tries getting the dehumidifier to work (including taking out and reseating the tank (the green light was on the entire time), recycling the controls through various combinations of setting to see whether something just wasn't triggering, etc, letting it run all night, yada, yada, yada, I finally gave up and got a new one.

So I go downstairs with my Dad to show him, "See? the g**d***ed thing doesn't work!!!".

Take out the tank.

There is a *tiny* bit of water in it.

I am still not convinced it is working properly. It is sitting right next to an enormous pile of sopping wet boxes of book that I have yet to haul up the steps and throw out (including Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples...sob!). So it ought to be FULL by now. But I am letting it run. I also think I will probably keep the other dehumidifier. I have a feeling I will need it. I am deathly allergic to mold, so I'm not keen on letting that get into my basement.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2008 07:33 PM

Yup, that is what I thought.

Some water.

Posted by: Pile On at January 28, 2008 08:23 PM

I think I am going to immerse myself in water. My bathtub, specifically.

With lots of bubbles, and nice smelling oils, and candles, and the whole nine yards. I may never come out.

Posted by: Calgon, Take Me Away! at January 28, 2008 09:52 PM

Oh WAAAAAA! he-he!

We have that crap plastic pipe and we flood in our finished basement once a month. The former owners signed an sworn affidavit at closing stating they had never applied for the reimbursement monies through the class action suits against the piping manufacturer. As soon as we closed I applied and was told the former owners had received a check in the amount of $6400 just that year. No forwarding address etc., etc. I replaced everything I could get to without pulling down walls to no avail. We just keep the shop vac plugged up and ready to go!

Somebody is going to get a real gift shortly! ;-)

Posted by: JHD at January 28, 2008 10:24 PM

Yikes! I too had polyburstalene in my house.

Over the 20 odd years I've been in this house, I've had two water heaters rupture all over the basement/garage. Surf's up!

The blue polyburstalene from the street to the pressure regulator in the garage sheared on the outside edge of the garage and ran for a while, until the pond forming in the side yard was noticed. $2 grand for copper from the street to the house.

The interior polyburstalene ruptured in the basement a time or two. Quick trips to the hardware store for plastic compression joinery fixed it. Finally a big rupture inside a second story wall (with gravity's assistance) met the criterion to file the claim and I had the whole kit/kaboodle replaced with copper.

Somehow I wound up with dehumidifiers and two large wet/dry vac's over the years.

Even so, as you wade through the ankle deep water (no touchie electrical anything, or as Mark suggested, insure that all electrical in the basement is wired to gfi breakers or receptacles) don't forget the words of Joe Walsh, life's been good to me, so far...

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2008 09:06 AM

I woke up the other morning without any water. I went to the basement fearing an indoor pool myself. It was only a water main break up the street. I walked around neighborhoods knocking on doors until someone would let a stranger in to take a shower. Funny, but the first person to answer her door let me.

Posted by: KJ at January 29, 2008 10:43 AM

MH woke me early last week to inform me that the pipes must have frozen, because we were without water. However, walking S.W.H.N.O.B. down to the bus stop and noticing that there were puddles of water not little mini-ice ponds, soon led me to believe that *frozen pipes* were not the source of our current situation. And right I was -- amazing given the time and lack of caffeine IV drip.
Someone had stolen the back-flow preventer/high pressure valve from the mainline down by the road. Yea, just frickin' yea.
I think I'd rather have to work on a leak.

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 29, 2008 04:23 PM

I live in Florida. Who needs a basement?

Posted by: obloodyhell at January 30, 2008 05:29 PM

> Joe Walsh, life's been good to me, so far..

Followed by a few repeated plays of "Happy Ways" from the same "The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get" album. Trust me, that one's great when you're about to blow a gasket, or even afterwards.

Posted by: obloodyhell at January 30, 2008 05:35 PM