Sunday, March 14, 2010

Near Disaster In The Basement

You might recall that I spent a good part of Christmas Day bailing water out of my basement and waiting for the arrival of the plumber. He replaced the sump pump with a new one and I figured that after that, everything was all tickety-boo.

Oh no it's not!

Oh yes it is, I thought.

I was wrong.

This afternoon I walked down into my basement all fired up and ready to paint some more Minden Miniatures, when to my horror, I saw the dreaded dark stain of water on the carpet. Yes, water was seeping into the basement again. I hurried over to the side room where the furnace and sump pump are located, so that I could check on the pump. The furnace room was flooded with a couple inches of water, so I knew that the pump and the back up pump were not operating. I figured that it had to be the battery.

John the Plumber, who is becoming one of my best friends now, answered the emergency call. In fact, he was the same fellow who fixed things on Christmas Day. After a few minutes of tinkering around, he announced that the sump pump battery tender was out of juice, so it couldn't keep the main battery juiced up, which meant that the motors on the pumps weren't working. He gave me a replacement battery and said that it would probably run for only 4 hours. The store was closed so he couldn't get a replacement battery tender. So I went over to the Big Orange Box DIY Store and bought a 25 amp battery tender. Soon the sump pump was cooking like gas.

By midnight, things were pretty much under control. The pump was working, the water in the furnace room was going down, and water finally stopped seeping in under the walls. So I am crossing my fingers that things will continue to operate as expected and that I will not see any water on the floor when I wake up in the morning.

I didn't lose much to water damage. Most of my wargaming items are stored on shelves in another room in the basement. It received some water too, but most boxes were high off the floor. I had to throw out a lot of cardboard boxes that had been holding things such as unpainted castings, paint bottles and other impedimentia of wargaming. So nothing serious.

I'm off to bed now. The fans are running in the basement, and I will probably go back to the Big Orange Box DIY store and buy a dehumidifier and another fan so that I can dry out the basement.

Friday evening, I did manage to finish the second group of six Front Rank Austrians marching so that the Botta Regiment now has 60 figures. That will be the extent of my weekend painting as I will undoubtedly be working on the clean up phase of this disaster.


  1. Given that apparently no books, painted miniatures or terrain was damaged, on the scale of disasters it looks like this one is survivable . . . at least we all sincerely hope so.

    It obviously could have been a lot worse . . . and remember, no one died.

    -- Jeff

  2. Well, almost a disaster... My basement also suffers of periodical breakdowns.
    En avant!

  3. Sorry to hear about your equipment failure - at least you discovered the issue before any material damage. Even so, it must be very frustrating.

    Perhaps an amphibious themed scenario is in order for your next game!

    Good luck

  4. I feel your pain. I've moved everything to those plastic bi-fold containers. Hope the clean up is quick.


  5. Hmmnn, I wonder what your figures have been getting up to while you're out of the room?
    Sounds like somebody's got a Noah complex going!

    Glad nothing important got swamped!


  6. Sorry to hear about the continued issues with pumps and the like. Hope it all works out in the end.

  7. Thank you for the kind comments everyone. I've learned that the most important thing in a house is a functioning sump pump and battery, followed by the heating system. Everything else after that is just icing on the cake. Give me a dry and warm house and I am happy.

    I bought a dehumidifier this morning and have that running so that hopefully the carpet in the basement dries out and doesn't mildew.

  8. What it it with you guys and flooding?

    OK, so I live on a continent that is 85% desert...


  9. Sorry to hear about the basement issues. Hopefully you will have no more issues for a long time.

  10. I 100% agree with your comment about a water tight and warm house. Water has this horrible habit of travelling and being v destructive. A few years back we had a new roof after Lindsay's mother woke up one morning with water dripping through the ceiling onto her bed. This was no mean feat on a 4 storey town house. Problem sorted I thought except now we seem to have another leak in the same bedroom and a large damp patch has emerged. My soldier room is next door so much as I'm tempted to ignore it I fear once again the tradesmen will descend and we will have something along the lines of the old Flanders and Swan song The Gas Man Cometh.


  11. So glad it did not cause much damage - having worked at the Big orange Box DIY corporate HQ - I can say except for woodpecker deterrent they have almost everything - Also might suggest a product called damp rid as well used it back in Sept 2009 during our North GA floods, pics of which are on my blog page - good luck keeping the game room dry

  12. I was thinking that maybe this is a sign you should switch over to naval gaming. ;-)

  13. I can identify with that. I had a water heater bust while I was out of town and my den was soaked. Only lost a few books and some old wargame rules but the shelves in the family room (AKA DEN AKA Wargame bunker) were ruined if I ever wanted to move them.
    James Mattes

  14. good luck mate make sure you get that carpet dried out or replaced nothing worse than mouldy wet carpet (except wrecked figures and books.)