Sump pump connection

You may recall that one of the features of my sump pump alarm was that I could theoretically hear it from bed.

It turns out that I can not only hear it from bed, I can hear it from bed while the train that woke me up is still passing through and the life companion is snoring. At almost exactly two AM. So that’s good to know. I would have been OK if that theory had never been confirmed, though.

And as I stumbled into my clothes and outside to the basement door, trying to avoid opening my eyes at all, I remembered Candace asking whether I really wanted a gadget that would make me go outside in the middle of the night. My body certainly said no.

But then, as I stood in the basement after resetting the GFI again, watching the water recede as it is supposed to do, I mentally compared it to other stormy nights, and decided yes, this was much better. Better than trying to reconnect the old sump pump at 2 AM (why is it always 2 AM?) after it decided to disconnect itself in an inspired moment of cheeky fun. Better than listening to it run from two floors up, trying to reassure myself that it wasn’t running so much it was overheating, but was still running enough that the GFI or circuit breaker hadn’t blown. And better than the new pump before the alarm, which was quiet when it was working and quiet when it was dead, so there was nothing to listen for…

(You may be thinking at this point that I worry too much. You might be right. But we have already replaced one furnace at our rental house when the sump pump there blew a circuit breaker. By the time it was all dried out, the circuit board was one big short circuit and the - what was it called? the impeller? - the big fan was scrap. It was not cheap, nor fun, nor pleasant for the tenants.)

Non sequitur time

And as I locked the basement door and ducked back up the porch, dodging raindrops, I thought of last weekend, when I was trying to stuff some receipts into an overflowing file cabinet. It’s been a growing nuisance; I really need to clean out the old papers. It’s approaching the archetypal Fibber McGee’s Closet stage, where you just open it for an instant, cram something in, slam it shut, and try to forget the ominous sounds of impending collapse.

But who’s got the time to overhaul a file cabinet? And even the brute-force solution of adding another would be a project — I have no idea where it would fit in my tightly-packed office.

At that point, I suddenly got perspective on the annoyance of adding a new hard disk to a computer. Yes, adding more storage is a pain, but compared to the alternative? An absolute pleasure. Even the project of transferring aplications and data to a brand new computer, while it’s not substantially quicker than the file cabinet clean-out, returns many more benefits as well.

There really is some connection

I think the generalization here is that neither implicit trust and greed for new technology (The Gadget Freak) nor absolute resistance to it (The Luddite) are as helpful as really analyzing it for its benefits and drawbacks. As the Gadget Freak knows, that can take some time and engagement; and as the Luddite knows, costs are often hidden or long-term, and benefits are seldom as significant as they are advertised to be. But you really never know till you try, and you can’t evaluate without recognizing and comparing to an alternative.

So I will keep looking for more comprehensive basement-drainage solutions - replacing the GFI outlet is next on the list - but in the meantime, when I am summoned to the basement by my little chirping creation, I will take pleasure in the knowledge that it’s working as designed, and though it only replaces my old problems with new ones, I do prefer the new ones to the old.