Your Home Improvements


In the rear of our backyard we have an area that floods.
Last year my husband put a small pump back in this area to prevent any issues over the rainy season. He’s not an electrician and we didn’t pull permits or anything, but he felt he could handle this job and for all of last year, this worked just fine.
This year, however, we put water to it and the GFI plug keeps tripping. When we try the pump with an extension cord, it works just fine and nothing happens and the pump works fine.
Is this problem with the pump or with the GFI? We need to get this resolved before the rains come again.
-Linda W.

Unfortunately you’re a bit late as we’ve already seen rains and more are due again.
Hopefully you can get to this rather quickly, and have your yard and home free of water intrusion issues.
First, if you are installing a mechanical item such as this pump, you don’t need to install a GFI as long as your electrical is done to code. In an instance where you’re installing a fountain it’s different, as you could have children playing near/in it and you want them protected.
For a mechanical though, no GFI is necessary. A GFI is so sensitive that even humidity in the rains can trip them. Take this out and replace it with a standard receptacle, then replace your pump into the vault and you should have no issues. Good luck.

Hey Robert,
My name is Jerry A. and I live in a two story home in Canyon Country.
On the second floor where the toilet bolts to the metal ring, this is tied to the black pipe that goes into the floor/ceiling of the first floor.
That black metal ring where the toilet bolts is so corroded and rusted, there is just nothing left for me to do the retrofit-thing that you’ve talked about in the past. I went to the supply house and this just won’t work.
I’m at a total loss, this is in my children’s bathroom and I’m worried that when they’re using it in the middle of the night, we’ll have an issue and won’t know about it till the next day, after which much damage could occur.
I need guidance on this, I can’t just hire a plumber due to costs. I’m pretty handy so with your help I believe I can do this. Any advice, can you walk me through this, please?
–Jerry A.

From my standpoint this is a pretty simple fix.
Go to a big box store or a plumbing supply store; there are a few here in town. Buy a closet ring and a closet bend assembly – you can get them preassembled.
Go downstairs in your home, I’m guessing there may be another bathroom below. Open the ceiling to access this pipe area. You’ll come out about a foot and cut that ABS pipe out. You’re going to replicate this assembly of pipes using ABS glue, and essentially you’re going to rebuild this to the exact same look, only with new parts.
This will give you a whole new closet assembly and you’ll be good to go.
Good practice, doing the drywall repairs. Not one of my favorite things to do, but look on the internet and you’ll get some helpful tips.
You can absolutely do this, just take your time and make sure that all new connections and fittings are glued and secure. Test this all prior to closing up the ceiling, making sure it’s all tightly sealed. Good luck.

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