Monday, April 12, 2021


      Latkes -- and laundry -- notwithstanding, I was still feeling pretty lousy Sunday.  After the oxtail stew supper the night before and a nice brunch with plenty of turnip latkes about mid-day, I skipped making any dinner and snacked on home-made gorp* between laying down and the wash.

      I did re-level the washing machine, which helped.  That reminded me that the previous homeowner had used salvaged concrete half-blocks with bits of mortar still stuck to them to elevate the washer and dryer, which works about as well as you think: they tend to wobble and force out the tapered shims no matter how careful I am about wedging and leveling.

      A half-dozen new half-blocks have been on my wish list for a couple of years, and the old ones can go into the back yard on the sidewalk at the low end.  The basement gets just enough water in a heavy rain to be inconvenient.  It used to be worse, before the city repaired the storm sewers† and I had the valve in the floor drain replaced.  Even now, an inch of water on the floor once or twice a year isn't out of the question.  So elevating the washer and dryer is a must, and not with nice storage drawers.

      A little cooking, a little trying to keep the washer lid from falling on me and a little laundry was as much as I was up to doing yesterday.  I'm feeling better this morning.
* 50/50 salted and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds, with roasted pumpkin seeds, raisins, and a little bit of cashew pieces and pistachios to keep it interesting.
†  I'm pretty sure the sewers in my neighborhood are still semi-combined, much as I might hope otherwise.  Certainly many houses around here still have gutters that feed into their sanitary sewer, though the city makes you disconnect them if you make any improvements that require a permit.  This can really overload the sewers in a heavy rain.

1 comment:

Douglas2 said...

I've twice now bought houses that I didn't recognize pre-purchase to be in neighborhood low spots, and twice had a representative of the sewer district knock on my door during a severe storm because their treatment-plant was being overwhelmed -- and my address was on the "list of usual suspects" for connection of the sump-pump into the sanitary sewer.

In both cases, I was able to say
• "I'm the new owner"
• "I know that we aren't pumping water into the sewer"
• "I'm happy to show you the basement, but you can see my sump-pump outflow over there"

In both cases, that satisfied them without any further investigation or later return visits.

It is very easy for a single homeowner, let alone a whole old neighborhood that has many DIY plumbers, to dump enough stormwater into a sanitary sewer that it causes problems.