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Innis74 05-01-2009 03:09 PM

Need a Water Pump (Sump pump?)
New to this stuff- (I know there's a sump pump question right below this one, but I don't even know if that's what I need)

This might go a little long, bear with me, please.

My shower/bath drain busted loose and the plumbers say because of the way the drain faces (up against the side wall) and the configuration, they cannot gain access to it without cutting an opening in the side of our house. The problem with this is that I don't have the money to do that right now (and the asbestos siding on the house might cause further issues with who will even attempt it.)

I can't keep letting the shower drain under my house, obviously, so I thought for a temporary solution we could shower with the drain stopped up and I could use a pump of some sort to empty the water into the toilet or sink? Something cheap, even a manual pump of some kind would be fine... but before I go searching at the hardware store I thought I might as well ask here what my best option would be?

Any help would be great- thanks.

Nestor_Kelebay 05-01-2009 09:48 PM

I'm presuming you're most interested in the cheapest way to remove that water from the tub.

You could try siphoning the tub water down the toilet, but it would require snaking the hose through the toilet bowl, and that might be hard to do.

If you can peel back the bathroom flooring in a corner of the bathroom, or in some inconspicuous place in the bathroom, (like behind a radiator cover) you could drill a hole through the floor into your basement. Then run the siphon into a drain down there. One advantage to doing that is that you can stick a valve on the end of the hose in the basement, fill the hose end in the bathroom with a funnel, drop the end of the hose in the tub and go open the valve to get the siphon flowing. If it wuz me, I'd use a full opening ball valve.

Also, maybe take a board and drill a 5/8 inch hole in it and thread an MIP to hose adapter into the hole in the board. Float that on the surface of the tub water with the hose adapter sticking up from the floating board, Stick the hose on the hose adapter so the siphon draws it's water from under the floating board, and the siphon should keep going until there's only a cup or two of water in the tub.

(Before I had the roof on my building redone, I used to siphon large water puddles off of it in the spring that way. Those puddles were often large in size, but no more than an inch deep at most. Often I couldn't just use a hose because it would draw air cuz the hose was larger than the puddle was deep. Sticking MIP to hose adapters in floating boards solved the problem. I'd siphon the water down the main roof drain or down any of the plumbing stacks, and it worked like a charm.)

glennjanie 05-01-2009 09:50 PM

Welcome Innis:
You can get a small 1/3 horse power sump pump with a length of drain hose for under $100. It will have a cord that should reach a receptacle in the bath and the drain hose is 25' so it will reach about anything. You will have to manipulate the switch by hand but it will drain right down to the nity-gritty and, if you make sure there is a backflow preventer at the pump, it won't run back in on you.

Innis74 05-02-2009 01:04 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys.

I don't know about the siphon, if only because I don't have a basement and the plumbers told me that draining out into the yard is something the city looks down upon because of the mosquito problems we go through in southern Arkansas every Summer.

As for the small sump pump, I'm assuming the fact that the water will have soap residue, etc. won't be a problem? Or do I specifically have to look for one that handles unclean water?

I should be able to head to the hardware store Monday and start looking, but, again, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask here first.

Thanks again.

Nestor_Kelebay 05-02-2009 08:31 AM

I can't see that dissolved soap or soap scum would cause a problem for the sump pump. I supposed eventually soap might accumulate on the impeller and on the impeller housing, requiring that you to clean it off, but other than that, I don't see a problem.

In your case, you'd want to be sure to get a sump pump with a plastic base so that you don't scratch up your tub or wreck your shower base with it.

Too bad there isn't a way to pump the shower water into a holding tank and use it for other purposes, like refilling toilet tanks.

Speedbump 05-02-2009 09:02 AM

I'm sorry, but all this sounds a bit silly to me. I mean spend $100.00 on a pump to empty a bathtub while you shower; instead of putting the money toward a real repair of the tub. You have to do it someday, so why not now. Get a loan, sell something on e-bay or craigs list.

Or just go ahead and step into a tub full of water with a 115 volt electrified sump pump in there with you.:confused:


Nestor_Kelebay 05-02-2009 10:59 AM

Oh, that brings back some bad memories. My uncle Ike's water heater was on the fritz, so they were heating water on the stove to have baths. Uncle Ike called out to my Aunt Emma to bring more "hot water", but she misheard him and brought him an "arc welder". Tragic, since he was only 45.

RandyJ 05-02-2009 11:16 AM

I'm with speedbump on this one... if you're not going to do it yourself then fork out the bucks and pay someone to do it. Without pictures and knowing a bit more about what's there and how the repair is to be done I can't say much. The last time I did a job like that it took about 2 hours and cost the homeowner less than $300.

Redwood 05-02-2009 07:50 PM

In these parts we call it riggin...
Riggin is never as good as fixin...:rolleyes:

Innis74 05-03-2009 02:37 AM

I was looking online and it seems like shopvacs can be had for less money than sump pumps- that's something I can get more use out of later too. Might that be a doable way to go?

I understand rigging isn't as good as fixing, though I appreciate the point being made. As I implied, this stuff is all greek to me, and I am just trying to do what I can. Right now I've got a bathroom with giant puddles underneath it, and termite damage- and that is the one area the exterminators can't treat because of the water. My bro-in-law just might be able to do the repair for way cheaper, but he's not available right now, apparently. So maybe it's a waste of 80 bucks... but maybe it's better than spending another 3 weeks/month with a small pond beneath me until bro-in-law comes out or we can raise the money for the repairs. It sort of seems like a catch-22, which is why I am asking you guys.

Anyway, I really do appreciate y'all taking the time to respond.

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