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In an effort to figure out how my sump pump failed last summer, I’m documenting the plumbing involved.  The sump pump was about five weeks old at the time of failure. 

47 feet six inches and approximately 585 degrees of turns through 15 fittings all through 1.5″ PVC piping.

What is that?  That is the plumbing involved in getting water from my sump outside of the house.  I’ll try to explain the path…

  1. 24″ straight up out of the sump to reach basement floor level
  2. 48″ straight up from basement floor level to first turn (directly under the landing of the stairs going to the basement
  3. 90° turn west
  4. 29″ straight west running parallel with the basement floor
  5. 45° turn towards the ceiling to run parallel with the under side of a half flight of stairs
  6. 74″ running west and parallel to the under side of a half flight of stairs
  7. 90° turn south
  8. 84″ running south and parallel to the floor
  9. 45° turn towards the ceiling and south
  10. 14″ running south and at 45° towards the ceiling
  11. 45° turn south
  12. 76″ running south and parallel to the basement floor
  13. 45° turn south west and dropping down towards the floor
  14. 13″ running south west and dropping down towards the floor
  15. 45° turn south
  16. 180″ south running parallel to the basement floor
  17. 90° turn west and up towards the ceiling
  18. 16″ running west and up towards the ceiling
  19. 90° turn south and out of the house
  20. 12″ (estimated) running through the basement wall

By my calculations, water from the sump needs to be pumped through 1.5″ PVC a total of 47 feet six inches and approximately 585 degrees of turns.  

It travels up a total 90 inches, then up another 10 inches, down 8 inches, then up 7 inches.

Here is a video that shows the plumbing:



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I have had this height theory for years. I think I came up with it in college, which is more years ago than I care to admit. When I have explained this theory of mine to friends and coworkers, the reaction is almost universally, “No way. You are crazy.” However, after some time paying attention, everyone ends up agreeing and subscribing to my theory.

The theory goes like this:

“People are friends with other people of similar height.”

A few things need to be clarified and defined.

First, I will tackle the definition of “similar height.” I define similar height as three inches. Not three inches on either side of your height as defined by someone 6’0” having friends 5’9” to 6’3”. Rather, three inches total. As an example, I am 6’3”, and I would say most of my friends are between 6’0” and 6’3”.

Next, I will tackle the definition of “friends.” This can be tricky. I will start by stating that this is gender specific. A group of tall men might be friends with a group of short women. I have not completely decided if this theory applies to females, so for the sake of my theory, I’ll claim this is for men only. I will define friends as non-work related people. People you have become friends with who do not currently work with you. At work you are somewhat forced into hanging out with a group of people. I acknowledge in a bigger company this isn’t universally true and that bigger companies offer more diversity in relation to height. It stands to reason that it is easiest to meet and talk to people and become “work friends” with others you are forced to deal with on a professional level. Compare the work setting to a setting like college. In college it may be easier to meet others that live in your dorm or participate in the same activities as you, but the college years are for meeting anyone and everyone. You may go to a party with a few people, but hang out and spend most of the night socializing with other people. I think people tend to gravitate towards others of similar height, and these people tend to become your true friends.

Finally, I think the best place to witness this theory in action is at a bar on a Saturday night. Why not a Thursday or Friday? Thursdays and Fridays are big days to go out with “work friends.” Sit in a bar (preferably a crowded bar so people are forced to stand) and watch the groups of people talking. It is amazing. You will see a group of four or five guys all between 5’5” and 5’8” talking. Next to them will be three or four guys 6’2” to 6’5”. Next to that group will be a group of six between 5’9” and 6’0”.

Again, almost everyone I have mentioned this to likes to disagree right away. Most think it is not possible. They will disagree until they pay attention and notice the same thing. “People are friends with other people of similar height.”

Short disclaimer (pun intended): Obviously this theory doesn’t apply 100% of the time. My group of friends consists of a couple of guys who are 5’9” – 5’10”, and we are not friends with them just because they agree to drive the rest of us around.
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