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Ask An Ambassador: Pump You Up!

By
Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

The joys of home ownership include unexpected events.  In our case, two sump pumps failing within 24 hours of each other.  We have 2, one is the normal sump pump for draining the basement foundation as needed (which isn't often) and the other is dedicated to our basement washing machine/sink combo to push up the drain water to the main drain line.  When you have as many furry critters as we have, having a washer/dryer set dedicated to their beds, towels, blankets, etc. is more than just a nice to have.

The good news?  I learned a thing or two about pumps and motors back in my Navy days, and from an engineering perspective they're not overly complicated:  motor, pump/impeller, float switch, piping, electricity. 

Is anything stuck?  Piping clogged?  Power available?  Motor running?  Impeller broken or jammed?  Float switch activating? 

It doesn't take long to figure out if it's a repair or replace situation. In our case, both failed for different reasons (bad float switch & insufficient pump speed), so both required replacing.  Within 24 hours everything was back to normal.

While home ownership and lead prospecting aren't exactly the same, they can both break unexpectedly and figuring out why is crucial for both.

Did the market shift?

Has your niche evaporated?

Is there increased competition?

Did your website crash?

Lose massive amounts of SEO due to the latest and greatest from Google bots?

Glitches with your email, phone, or Contact forms?

Is your IDX not what it used to be?

Did you drift away from what works with your blogging?

If you're paying for leads, has something changed with your paid source (more agents receiving leads, less advertising, fewer corporate relos, etc.)?

Has your main means of attracting clients fallen out of favor?  Today's social media darling may be tomorrow's MySpace.

Have you not been keeping in touch with past clients and you're no longer top of mind?

Take a look, maybe a few adjustments will have your lead gen pumping full stream again!

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Comments(14)

Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

My sump pump broken last week, too.  Thankfully my website is still working a-ok.

Mar 19, 2024 05:28 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Fortunately we'd had basement work done many moons ago and kept the old used sump pump, so just swapped the old in for the one the basement company required to have warranty enabled.  Replacing the float switch (assuming I could find the part) would have been more trouble than the swap out.

Mar 19, 2024 05:30 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I'm glad to see your sump pump issues have been taken care of. As for the analogy, perfect one to make! Our process could stop working and if it does, we just need to identify the issue and figure out how to get it running again.

Mar 19, 2024 05:35 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And as long as I was into plumbing work, knocked out another replacement while I had the tools in the basement.  The piping swap was almost more trouble than the pump work :)

Mar 19, 2024 05:39 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - I am glad your Animal Farm continues to be happy.  As for things associated with real estate and everyday life, "Murphy's Law" seems to have the ability to morph the modus operandi.  Unfortunately, things go amiss.  While they may not occur on a regular basis, stuff happens.   Proper preparation can certainly pay off.  

Mar 19, 2024 05:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Being without our pet washing machine for more than a couple of days is less than ideal.  Always glad to get us back to normal modus operandi, even if it does suck up a lot of my "free" time to get there.

Mar 19, 2024 08:55 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Pumps are intended to move fluids and when the fluids are missing or have changed consistency the pump struggles or fails.

Our business models work similar and when the market changes the system needs a review to get it working properly again.

Mar 19, 2024 06:17 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We have to keep our pipelines producing if we want to keep out business thriving.

Mar 19, 2024 08:56 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I suppose I would rather have them both go at once. This way I would get them both fixed at once and less repair time (although I speak as someone who has the money to fix both...lol).

Mar 19, 2024 06:53 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I'm not averse to hiring in the right help, but in this case I had the knowledge and the time to knock out the projects.

Mar 19, 2024 08:56 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Bill,

As usual practical advice! Sometimes small adjustments make all the difference and a whole overhaul is not needed. It sounds like you were able to get things up and running smoothly in no time because of your expertise in making some tweaks.

Mar 19, 2024 07:24 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I spent more time troubleshooting the issue with the first pump than the actual repair.  Snake out the line, figuring out how to disassemble the container box, etc.  Once I narrowed down the issue, how to fix it was easier to do.

Mar 19, 2024 08:58 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

So what I know from attending a bazillion inspections (not because I'm smart) is that the pump that is dedicated to your washing machine and/or any other grey water in the basement (or sometimes brown water as well) is called an ejector pump, not a sump pump.  I'm not sure why the distinction, since it does sit in a sump pit, but inspectors do seem to make a distinction.

Ejector pumps typically seem to be "sealed" at the top a little more securely (presumably to keep odours under control?).  I don't know if there's really any physical difference between the two... I imagine there might be since those that handle brown water might have some er, solids to deal with ... but we've now used up the extent of my knowledge.

Mar 19, 2024 08:29 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

True, the washing machine related pump is more of an ejection pump and sits in a sealed plastic case, but in this case uses the exact same style of pump as the one in the sump pump pit.  I could swap them out with no issue.  There are some other pumps that are meant to do the same that do have to have some solid handling capability (e.g. toilet ejection pump) and I suppose they'd handle being a sump pump too, but have more capability (and expense) than needed.

Mar 19, 2024 08:54 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Good advice to always be checking what is working and what is not so you can make adjustments. Glad you got your pumps working. 

Mar 19, 2024 10:42 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

No need to spend money on things that don't work for our lead gen processes.

Mar 19, 2024 03:44 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am glad that I don't have to deal with a sump pump, that doesn't sound like much fun at all, haha.

Mar 20, 2024 05:16 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We'd gone quite a few years with no issues with them, then double tap in one week :)

Mar 20, 2024 08:11 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - I had a terrible experience with a failed Sump Pump in Illinois. It was located in the crawl space. One day I couldn't stand the smell and opened the latch inside my utility room to discover water was covering the entire square footage below the house to the top, beneath our floors. That was the day, I thanked God my husband (Army) knew what to do. As he kept swimming underneath the water I prayed because his life depended on it. You have no idea; how grateful I am to know there are people like you who know how to problem solve and fix something my brain doesn't understand. 

Your analogy was perfect for me too. I do appreciate your learning lessons for all. 

Thank you. 

Mar 20, 2024 05:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Patricia, that' was some serious water you and your husband had to deal with!  Fortunately our regular sump pump gets very little water to content with, and the other just deals with the washing machine drainage or from dog washing the Chihuahuas in the big utility sink :)

Mar 20, 2024 08:13 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Liz and Bill Spear 

Bill, I never saw a dog washing as you described. It has been more than several decades that I had pets. When I had my Old English Sheepdog, I had to go outside (whether permitted) or put on a bathing suit and get into the shower with my big old dog in the bathtub. That was no fun! And yes, it did clog the drains. 

Mar 21, 2024 04:45 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP , currently it's just a large utility sink that I cut a pool noodle and put on the front edge so it's easier for Liz to lean on as she washes the dogs (sink has a spray nozzle on a hose, so that helps too).
For our next house, we have it planned for a dog washing station in the main laundry room and at a better height to minimize leaning over.

Mar 21, 2024 06:07 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

No sump pumps at my house. But our dishwasher recently developed a leak and we were only made aware of the problem when the wood flooring in front of the machine took on a dark and damaged appearance. Now we need a new dishwasher, flooring repair and cabinet repair due to water damage to cabinets adjacent to the dishwasher.

A big deal! Kind of like the big deal as we move to required Buyer/Broker Agreements.

Kitchen repairs and real estate transition will be handled and we will move forward.

Mar 20, 2024 07:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We had to deal with the same thing with our dishwasher quite a few years back, but fortunately no cabinet damage.  But you can't exactly replace a 3x3 of hardwood without having to extend the project further into the kitchen.  We made sure our next dishwasher had a non-leaking bottom design.

Mar 20, 2024 08:14 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Bill I hear your pain with your failed pumps and totally get the importance of getting them working asap.  Phoenix homes rarely have basements (there are a few but that's about it) so sump pumps aren't common here. Thankfully one thing we don't have to do with.  As for 'lead' systems stop working - now that would be a problem. We haven't typically gone after 'leads' so it's not quite applicable to us. For years - and I mean years - we've had our normal A list of folks that continually received updates, cards etc from us - and that was continual.  If it stopped working, clearly it was to our NOT doing what is normal for us. But.....there are circumstances where info has to be updated to meet the current situations going on. If that doesn't happen, it's a sump pump fail per se.

Mar 20, 2024 10:38 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

That's the nice thing about referral based, take care of them right and stay in touch and you've got a permanent business base.

Mar 20, 2024 08:14 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

Glad you had a quick and inexpensive solution to what could have been an ugly problem.

Sump pumps were very common back in Boston with unfinished dirt-floor basements in old homes and of course the spring rains and winter snow.

This was another good analogy for being prepared in our business (and life), and making corrections as soon as they are needed...and not spending money needlessly.

Jeff

Mar 21, 2024 08:15 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Jeff, We got off pretty light since I had a spare used pump, maybe $200 total for a new 2nd part and a few fittings to get everything up and running again (plus whatever my time was worth and the impact of spending too much time sitting on cold concrete floor!).

Mar 21, 2024 08:48 PM
Jim Lee, REALTOR, CRS, ABR
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Buying or Selling? Ann & Jim are the local experts

We have a sump in our basement but no pump. Gravity takes care of our drainage. No idea where the water ends up, but it goes out of our basement and that's the object. 

Mar 25, 2024 04:21 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Mission accomplished!  Our next house will be on a slope, so I suspect a sump may not even be necessary.

Mar 25, 2024 05:26 AM