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How often does a residential septic system really need to be pumped out?

I'm getting conflicting opinions on how often a septic system needs to be pumped, and pumping isn't cheap. My current system is about ten years old, and it's been mostly just me using it. I've heard of other low-use households that have been pumped maybe once in 30 years. Conventional wisdom seems to be thus: pump every 3 years or so or risk anything from a bad smell to a total system wipeout and replacement. Is that for real? [more inside]
posted by Camofrog on Jun 30, 2014 - 25 answers

Did I fix my sump pump? Was there even a problem?

Last night we experienced a severe rainstorm. The pump failure or high water alarm on my sump pump woke us up at around 4:00 this morning. I fixed the problem, but I'm not sure what was wrong, why what I did worked, or if I have to do anything further. [more inside]
posted by tckma on Jun 5, 2014 - 7 answers

Don't drop your gun, Scully.

Is the biotic pump a real mechanism in nature that is accepted, or is it just X-files type-stuff? [more inside]
posted by hal_c_on on Jun 4, 2014 - 3 answers

Randomly getting a pump in one arm?

While working out tonight, I walked/ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill and started to warm up with light weights (one set of overhead barbell press). I then noticed that my left arm was engorged with blood - like a “pump” as if I had been working out intensely for a while, but my right was not. The medical advice line thought it wasn't cardiac, but I'd like to figure out what the cause might be. [more inside]
posted by Sexy Question Bot on Apr 9, 2014 - 15 answers

Basement door ruminations

We have a short (maybe 2/3, 3/4 standard height) door leading to the basement, and are contemplating making it a full-height door to have a separate entrance for a home office. Extending the door downwards seems to be the easiest option, but that will place it only a few inches above the basement floor, and I'm concerned about flooding. Is there a way to make this happen that will not increase the risk of flooding? [more inside]
posted by Behemoth on Aug 6, 2013 - 5 answers

Pump Up The Soap. Pump Up The Soap. Pump Up The Soap. Pump It Up!

How the hell do you get everything out of a bottle that uses a plastic pump dispenser? [more inside]
posted by Rewind on Mar 23, 2013 - 20 answers

Time Travel With An Insulin Pump

My wife, who has had an insulin pump for almost 18 years, has somehow never traveled more than one time zone with it. Next week she has 5 day business trip to the West Coast, and we live on the East Coast. Any diabetic MeFi's have experience crossing 3 time zones with a pump? [more inside]
posted by COD on Feb 17, 2013 - 7 answers

Bike Pump: Am I doing it wrong?

I've got a bike. I've got a compatible pump (two actually!). So why can't I seem to get the tires full enough to ride on? NB: I'm starting from completely flat tires (it's been a long time since I've ridden the bike). Is it not possible to hand pump bike tires all the way from flat?
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 24, 2013 - 45 answers

Sump pump running a lot in winter?

Why is my sump pump still running this winter and how can I correct it? [more inside]
posted by WinnipegDragon on Dec 11, 2012 - 4 answers

What kind of savings using ductless heat pump?

What kind of saving can I expect from a ductless AC with heat pump? [more inside]
posted by Thrillhouse on Mar 15, 2012 - 5 answers

Sump pump recommendation needed

Need a recommendation for a sump pump - preferably one with a battery backup. [more inside]
posted by exhilaration on Jan 20, 2012 - 7 answers

Seeking a Water Pump

I regularly need to clear out 15-20 gallons of water from a basin. What would be an appropriate pump for this, and what other accessories would be required? I need the water to be as close to completely drained as possible. There is a sink nearby to drain the water into. Specific links to actual pumps and accessories would be very helpful! [more inside]
posted by thegreatfleecircus on Oct 18, 2011 - 29 answers

Dont let my fish sleep with the fishes

How do I maintain a fish pond in freezing weather? [more inside]
posted by MrMulan on Dec 10, 2010 - 14 answers

Can you help with our well problem, please?

We seem to be having a problem with our well/water system where water intermittently goes out for a short time (about 30 seconds). I'm not sure what the likely problems are, and would appreciate your help diagnosing the problem so I can (1) repair it, or (2) figure out who to call for a repair. Details/my observations thus far are inside. [more inside]
posted by JMOZ on Nov 8, 2010 - 6 answers

Help Needed Pumping It Up - but only 4 oz at a time.

PortionControlFilter: Help me find a pump/dispenser/whatever-setup that can accurately dispense two fixed-portion volumes of fluid (4 oz and 2 oz) from bulk containers into small containers? Oh, did I mention I need to repeat it several hundred times with several different liquids. [more inside]
posted by webhund on Oct 26, 2010 - 11 answers

Water Pump for Misting Fan?

I want to build a misting fan, but I don't have easy access to a garden hose tap, so I want to use a pump to generate pressure. Where can I find such a pump? [more inside]
posted by DMan on Sep 29, 2010 - 6 answers

Thoroughly cleaning a pump espresso machine

I am borrowing a La Pavoni Europiccola (an Italian pump espresso machine) from someone who is not using it. In fact, it had been sitting in storage for about 5 years with water in the boiler. How can I really thoroughly clean it? [more inside]
posted by advil on Aug 28, 2010 - 13 answers

Home AC - Is my condensate pump broken?

So yesterday I heard this noise coming from the basement all day. It turns out the condensate pump on my AC (water goes from AC to some tank in the floor and the pump pumps it outside AFAIK) was continually running all day. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and it hasn't run since. How can I tell if the pump is working properly or not? [more inside]
posted by GregX3 on Jun 25, 2010 - 5 answers

Did I just pay premium for mid-grade gasoline?

Did I just pay for Premium Gasoline when I was really pumping Mid-Grade? While I was fueling up the car I noticed 2 of the 3 nozzles were switched from their correct position; what did I pay for? [more inside]
posted by MrBCID on Apr 7, 2010 - 5 answers

My electric bill is going to go crazy bc my sump pump won't stop running!

Our sump pump runs constantly, but only at night. Why? [more inside]
posted by dpx.mfx on Apr 6, 2010 - 5 answers

Objective info on HVAC brands?

I'm looking for objective, research-based rankings on household heat pumps/AC and gas furnace brands. I'm not looking for individual testimonials. But I can't seem to Google up anything but company-based advertising and the ranting 'XYZ Heat Pumps Suck!' sites. Consumer Reports is quite silent on what is a major consumer investment, unfortunately. Any leads on objective information?
posted by eaglehound on Feb 12, 2010 - 5 answers

What is this hole in my basement?

What is this hole in my basement? and what should I do? [more inside]
posted by imaswinger on Jan 5, 2010 - 7 answers

Is there such a thing as a silent pump for an indoor fountain?

Is there a silent pump for an indoor fountain? [more inside]
posted by x46 on Sep 17, 2009 - 5 answers

Count the pumping events

I need to count how many times a sump pump runs in a given period. The sump pump pumps water out of a hole on the ground, it is activated by a float switch - so generally speaking it pumps the same amount of water out each time it runs (the volume of water from the top 'on' level to the lower 'off' level). I want to know how much water is being pumped per week/month/whatever. [more inside]
posted by Xhris on Sep 15, 2009 - 13 answers

Jet pump troubleshooting at the cottage

Help! We're at the cottage and we're having problems with the jet pump system. [more inside]
posted by saraswati on Aug 22, 2009 - 1 answer

Will a funnel in a river pump water?

PhysicsFilter: The Setup: a 3 meter hose with a 1 millimeter interior diameter is attached to the small end of a funnel with a 1 meter maximum diameter and a 1 millimeter minimum diameter. This assembly is submerged in a "quick-flowing river" with the large end of the funnel facing into the current (so, "on its side"). The free end of the hose is raised 10 centimeters above the top of the funnel and this happens to be above the water level as well. The Question: Theoretically, will water come out of the raised end of the hose? If so, what is the equation that will let me input the rate of the "quick-flowing river" get the rate of discharge from the free end of the hose? [more inside]
posted by cmchap on Aug 14, 2009 - 13 answers

Should a hot water pump be this noisy?

Should a hot water pump be this noisy? [more inside]
posted by damn dirty ape on Jul 28, 2009 - 6 answers

Pool Filter... filter. "Incomplete" prime?

Replaced Jandy CJ200 cartridge filter with new Jandy SFTM22 sand filter. Pump pot no longer fills completely with water. Possible reasons? Contractor malfeasance? [more inside]
posted by rocketpup on Jul 15, 2009 - 3 answers

Pumping water with batteries

Small pump. For liquids. Battery powered. Inexpensive. Does such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by kamelhoecker on Jul 2, 2009 - 17 answers

Help me open my Clean & Clear face wash!

Help me open my Clean & Clear face wash! [more inside]
posted by pulled_levers on May 31, 2009 - 11 answers

Noisy shower pump in dead of night

Why is my shower pump suddenly starting up when the shower is off but hot water is used elsewhere? Can it be stopped? [more inside]
posted by tulipwool on Feb 8, 2009 - 3 answers

Help me fix my washing machine!

Washing Machine troubleshooting fun! Sometimes-not-working-pump! [more inside]
posted by sdis on Jan 12, 2009 - 3 answers

My water pump dun' busted

Something just caused my water pump to flood my storage room. I came into the room, and water was shooting out of a tiny metal valve coming out the main body of the pump. I found a small hose ( maybe 1/8" diameter ) dangling with one side attached to some type of device housed in the power supply. Obviously the other side of that small hose is supposed to connect to that tiny metal valve. So I reconnected the hose and now everything is fine. From what I can gather from the manual I found online, the part of the hose connected to the power supply is part of a pressure regulator. And I am assuming, although I may be wrong, that the regulator caused to small hose to detach from the valve, causing water to come out in order to relieve an extreme amount of pressure. Anyone know what happened????
posted by jasondigitized on Nov 27, 2008 - 5 answers

heat pump vs. Vornados

Is it cheaper to run a full house heat pump during colder months, or use Vornado heaters to heat subsections of the house that we are in at the moment. [more inside]
posted by diode on Oct 11, 2008 - 5 answers

Is my solar hot water system overheating?

I have an evacuated tube split-system solar hot water system. The pump that circulates water between the storage tank and heat exchanger on the roof, has broken and can't be fixed until after the weekend. The question is, won't the evacuated tubes be damaged in the meantime, as no water is circulating through them to remove the heat? I imagine the effect must be like running a car with no radiator fluid.
posted by singingfish on Oct 10, 2008 - 3 answers

Do I need to replace parts of a breast pump after long disuse?

What, if anything, do I need to replace on my Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, after 2 years' hiatus? [more inside]
posted by leahwrenn on Aug 29, 2008 - 3 answers

What bicycle floor pump fits well in a transport case?

I am looking for a bicycle floor pump that is particularly slim, suitable for packing inside a Trico Iron case with my road bike for air travel. The pump I have now is too fat in one dimension. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Aug 18, 2008 - 7 answers

Aquarium Pump Cat Fountain Surprise

Er, I mean supplies. Need pump advice from someone who knows their fish tank equipment. [more inside]
posted by quarterframer on Jun 27, 2008 - 8 answers

Help me build a bicycle powered water pump.

Help me build a bicycle powered water pump. [more inside]
posted by electroboy on Apr 9, 2008 - 21 answers

How to freplace dead battery in sump pump?

Clueless homeowner question: Our sump pump (which has a battery for backup) is beeping and blinking, telling me to replace the battery. It looks like a car battery, but my son (he who knows how stuff works) is away ay school. What kind of battery do I get? Where do I get it? And, most scary, how do I (safely) unhook the old one and replace it with the new one. Don't assume I have even the most basic skills or knowledge.
posted by mmf on Mar 8, 2008 - 11 answers

Impatience Might Kill Me Yet

One malfunctioning fuel pump + one fuel pump with a broken positive terminal = ? How safe are electric motors immersed in gasoline, anyway? [more inside]
posted by IronLizard on Dec 5, 2007 - 7 answers

sump pump concerns

I have 2 related questions about sump pumps. 1) Will bleach damage the pump? 2) Is there a way to monitor the pump for failure (or the water level which would tell me the same thing) easily? [more inside]
posted by GrumpyMonkey on Jul 24, 2007 - 9 answers

Do I have to compromise silence in order to get higher PSI from a water pump?

Do I have to compromise silence in order to get higher PSI from a water pump? [more inside]
posted by torpark on May 8, 2007 - 8 answers

Mysterious/Nefarious Pumpy Handly Trucky Things...

What the heck are these pump handle thingies on the back of this truck? I am seeing more and more full sized trucks (which appear to be personal vehicles, not corporate vehicles) with these pumps on the tool box. It looks like the pump handle you would use to pump gas INTO your car, and clearly it's attached to some kind of pump, but I don't see and reservoirs on the truck which would lead me to believe these pump handles are used to pump something OUT of the truck. Anyway, photo inside... Would love to know what the heck they are...
posted by jwhowa on Mar 23, 2007 - 10 answers

Bad gas pumps?

To whom do I report a gas station that I suspect has inaccurate gas pumps in Toronto, Ontario? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne on Mar 1, 2007 - 15 answers

BreastPumpFilter

What's the best breast pump? [more inside]
posted by Eiwalker on Jul 31, 2006 - 12 answers

No-Xplode says "Do not shake"

No-Xplode says "Do not shake" on the label. Why not? [more inside]
posted by LordSludge on Jul 26, 2006 - 8 answers

Pool pump problem

Help me troubleshoot the pump for my in-ground pool before I pay an electrician! [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd on Apr 24, 2006 - 4 answers

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