Let me dissect for you.

On Easter, we noticed a bit of water in our basement. This didn’t immediately surprise me because we have a walk-out basement with a sliding door that can let water in when it rains REALLY hard, which it did the day and night before. This door is actually being replaced soon, and the drainage will be improved as well. But I had been watching closely, and the drainage seemed to be working fine - it’s usually only in the winter (with frozen ground) that we have a problem anyway. In fact, the drainage WAS working fine; no water came in through the door opening.

The water was coming from a (new?) crack in the floor, back in the far corner of the basement. It took me hours to figure this out, because a) I was focused on cleaning up and drying out the rest of the basement, b) I was helping my wife make Easter meals, and c) I had never seen water come from back there, so I assumed it had traveled back there from the door at the other end. Well, shit.

What to do now? It was still coming in and I really didn’t want it to creep over to the finished part of the basement. If it gets under that floor, that’s going to be a disaster. So I chiseled out a small hole the diameter of a bilge pump I happened to have, just deep enough for it to pick up water.


Basically, a mini sump pump. Isn’t it cute? No. No, it is not.

The pump is hooked up to my boat batteries, which I periodically charge over the winter. I also use them as backup power for things like our refrigerator, using a big inverter - this is why I have them connected together. But since we have power, they’re connected to a charger so the bilge pump doesn’t kill them.


What else, oh yes, the hose from the bilge pump goes up and over a small board about 9" high, to keep the air bubbles going away from the pump - the pump can remove water WAY faster than it’s coming in, so if bubbles get trapped at the pump, it gets upset and doesn’t work as well. It has to push water all the way out through 50' of garden hose to the outside.

Wouldn’t it be better if the pump was automatic? Yes and no. One, I don’t have an automatic pump. Two, it empties that little hole really fast, but water is coming in through a crack that’s at least 3' long, and unless I create a low spot by having the pump keeping its little hole empty at all times, the water will just flow away from there and then across the floor, not good. Yeah, when the pump runs it will create that low spot, but it empties that spot in literally 2 seconds once it spins up. As it is now, it spits out a slow trickle of water all the time:


Beyond my most optimistic expectations, that little pump has been working 24 hours a day non-stop since Sunday morning, and seems to be just fine. These things are not made for continuous use, though they do last many years in their intended application. 


The leading theory on repair of this crack is to drill a series of small holes along the length of the crack, and inject it with Gorilla glue. The problem there, is the crack goes under the big blue pressure tank, which is up on concrete blocks (always has been). But wait! There’s more! The pressure tank is old and tired, and needs to be replaced anyway. So.... I plan to have a plumber come remove it one morning, after which I’ll make a valiant repair attempt on the crack (or they will) and then a new tank will go in its place.

Yay, homeownership!