Check Valves

Check ValveLike many people on the Island, we’re struggling with keeping water out of our basement (thankfully we don’t have the 6 or 7 feet that some people do — including the unfortunate lads a Sumner Plumbing, who sold all their sump pumps before stashing one for their own basement!).
Every sump pump, it seems, needs a check valve, which is simply a plastic doo-hickey that screws into the pump; it has a trap door which opens one way only, which prevents water that’s being pumped out from flowing back in.
However, for some reason check valves are something you have to buy extra, on top of your sump pump purchase. Every sump pump needs a check valve, so you’d think, logically, that they would be included in the package. But they are not.
So today here in Charlottetown we are in the troubling and frustrating situation of having too many sump pumps and not enough check valves. Canadian Tire, for example, has its shelves literally lined with many varieties of sump pump. I would hazard a guess that there were at least 500 of them ready and waiting when I visited this morning.
But as of 4:30 p.m. today, Canadian Tire has no check valves. Nor does Home Hardware. Nor Schurman’s. In fact, the word on the street is that there are no check valves left in Charlottetown.
How could this happen?
There was an inordinate amount of snow this winter. Everyone in our hardware community knew this. Indeed that’s probably why Canadian Tire’s shelves are lined with sump pumps.
But where are the check valves? Is the assumption that every house has a couple squirreled away for a soggy day, like fuses atop the fuse box?
I am perplexed by this odd system failure.
Thankfully, spurred on by a generational tick which infused my DNA with water removal savvy, I was able to rip the check valve off the old failing sump pump and graft it on to the shiny new one I purchased today. With that baby running flat out, and me on snow shovel feeding the newly-dug sump pump cavity with a steady stream of water, I was able, in the post ER glow late this evening, to take the water in our basement from 5 inches down to 2 inches.
It is now time for sleep. I am afraid that when I get up in the morning I will awake to a world where locks are sold without keys, frying pans without handles and keyboards without keys (or at least without the keys D through L).
ave a oo nit.

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