Archive for October 13th, 2009

They’re Not Redundant When One’s Broken

Vassar College Chapel sump pumps

Vassar College Chapel sump pumps

The basement of the Vassar College Chapel has a mighty drainage sump, a pair of pumps, and a mass of old-school cast-iron plumbing. I’m not certain, but I think the greenish pipe coming in from the rear is storm drainage from one side of the building.

Looks like they’ve got backup: two separate pumps and motors, with doubled plumbing on the ejection side.

Vassar College Chapel sump pumps - broken float switch rod

Vassar College Chapel sump pumps - broken float switch rod

On closer inspection, however, you’ll see that the near-side float switch rod coming up through the cover is broken and bent; that motor will never turn on.

One hopes this is deliberate, but the failed-off motor seems to be the newer / larger / less corroded of the two. We’ve had a lot of rain this summer, so I suppose if this was a problem, it would have already occurred.

It’s always a good idea to have all your sump pumps ready to run, should you be in a position to need sump pumps in the first place. Believe me, it’s much easier to fix things when you’re not hip-deep in rising water!

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