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Brad Fitzpatrick

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crap [Dec. 20th, 2006|02:17 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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So the sewer tank/pump situation is like this:

-- we had two 1/4 hp pumps in there
-- both still work
-- either alone can't pump all the way up to the street. they try really hard but only make it up to the garage.
-- no clogs anywhere
-- pumping together, they can make it
-- we lost half the power outlets down there (GFI tripped and now broken, won't reset), hence the failure: one pump stopped pumping, and other couldn't handle it alone

So much for redundancy! So we always needed both. There was never a "backup" pump.

Replacing them, at a lovely cost, with 1/2 hp pumps.

This, folks, is why active-active database configurations are a bad thing... because people are too lazy to verify that they're only using 50% or less of capacity on either side. Then all the sudden you need 70% of each side, and you're surprised when one fails and the other can't handle 140%.

But this sewer situation is even more depressing than databases because the load (heh) doesn't increase over time... it's pumping 20-30 feet of head always, or it's not pumping at all.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nick
2006-12-20 10:35 pm (UTC)
Are you going after the engineer-of-record (which is probably the architect from the sounds of things...)? That's a design issue and not your problem. You're just a dumb home-owner you shouldn't have to know how strong the pumps need to be, whoever specified them should know those things.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-12-20 10:40 pm (UTC)
Sounds like I probably should?
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2006-12-20 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that should of been taken care of before it was sold.
Someone cut corners to save cash, shit hits the fan, and you're stuck cleaning it up.
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[User Picture]From: nick
2006-12-20 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think the problem is that the shit isn't quite making it to the fan...
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[User Picture]From: erik
2006-12-20 11:00 pm (UTC)
I find your literal metaphor intriguing. Where can I find more information?
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[User Picture]From: nick
2006-12-20 10:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, should be a pretty slam dunk case. If you get the pump specifications it'd probably be pretty easy to show that they put the wrong pumps in. You can probably just call the manufacturer and ask about maximum head, but getting pump curves from them wouldn't hurt either. It might say right on the pump too, I can't tell from the pictures...

Sounds like they're missing the street by 10-15 feet, eh? You probably don't even need to take into account losses due to friction and turbulence and all that other bullshit to show they f-ed the pooch on that one.
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2006-12-20 11:01 pm (UTC)
Woah, ive never heard you talk smart before. Im impressed.
I can just call your mom if i want maximum head.
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[User Picture]From: nick
2006-12-20 11:10 pm (UTC)
It was only a matter of time until a head joke was made. I can't tell you how many times I got in trouble for making head jokes during my water classes in school. Geo-tech was worse though... head, blow counts, stroke lengths, tip strengths, skin friction, it was a sophomoric humor paradise
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[User Picture]From: askbjoernhansen
2006-12-21 08:11 pm (UTC)
It's never a "slam dunk case". It's always a giant headache. So giant headache vs just paying $x and be done and forget about it ASAP. "Slam dunk case" doesn't look so good now.


- ask (at our house the sewer is fortunately all downhill, not that the plumper couldn't find things he thought we should pay him to change/upgrade/fix/replace/whatever)
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2006-12-22 12:57 am (UTC)
maybe brad's sewage-production capabilities are beyond design spec? :P
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[User Picture]From: bitwise
2006-12-20 10:52 pm (UTC)
You actually need pumps on your property for the sewer to function? Wow, for once I'm glad I live in flatland, where shit just flows downhill.
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[User Picture]From: vadda
2006-12-20 11:09 pm (UTC)
"Land, where shit just flows downhill".

Somehow this phrase sounds like some sacred text ... fascinating ...
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[User Picture]From: vadda
2006-12-20 10:54 pm (UTC)
After you are done with the repair you should probably invite some friends over to ... uh, stress-test the system? Or you could just unplug one of the pumps and flush all the toilets repeatedly to see if it can handle the critical load. Party sounds like more fun, I personally always preferred uh, natural (organic?) workloads over synthetic ones ...

Have you thought about ordering complete isnpection of the house? Who knows what else the previous owner haven't mentioned to you, better safe than sorry.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-12-20 10:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we got an inspection.

And we are planning a New Year's party.
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[User Picture]From: erik
2006-12-20 11:01 pm (UTC)
Stop pooping so much.

Problem solved.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: krow
2006-12-21 03:09 am (UTC)

Houses

Dude, I have no electricity in the front rooms, and they better get the plumbing working tonight back to my bathroom.

Home ownership is something I believe, a questionable proposition.

On the other hand I figured out how to increase the water pressure to my house for $700 and two hours of my time. I am so there :)

Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: linearb
2006-12-21 03:24 am (UTC)
maybe it's time for "sewer admin" certification.
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2006-12-22 12:59 am (UTC)
f'ing ridiculous-

the pumps are inline then?
(two pumps in parallel doubles volume but volume@head stays the same)

most important here would be to find out why the gfci tripped, and why it can't be reset.
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