I'm a homeowner.
Today is Sunday.
When I woke up, my sweetheart asked me, "Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?"
I did not recall that it was a Sunday and that I am a homeowner. I couldn't imagine what could have happened. I started guessing - wildly. "The cat died, but she did it in the litter pan?"
"The cat's fine. I better get you some coffee." He went off chuckling at my assumption that my cat was at the heart of the bad news.
And off he went, so I got up and went to the bathroom, where he greeted me and said, "That small dish of water next to the sink is so you can wash your hands."
I stared at him uncomprehendingly. He got me coffee, so we must have water.
"If the pump is running and the pressure gauge reads zero, that's a bad thing, right?" he asked, nudging my still-sleeping brain into panic mode. "The good news is that we had enough water for a cup of coffee."
Yes, this is a bad thing. It's an especially bad thing to happen on a Sunday morning. This sounds expensive.
Did I mention I have a well? The good news is that I know where that is, if I need to dig it up, unlike my septic system hunt of a couple years ago.
Now, the nice thing about all this is that my grandfather built this house, and he believed in putting the pump inside the house, and I haven't moved it into the well yet, so when something goes wrong I can generally hear it. The not very nice thing about this is that he put the whole assembly in the only crawl space in the house - the space under the landing for the raised-ranch front door.
It's not impossible to get in there, just difficult. And it's a really cramped place to work.
We discussed what could possibly be the problem and whether or not we could fix it ourselves.
1/ The well is dry. Can't fix that ourselves.
2/ The foot valve in the well has gone bad and won't hold water anymore. Can't fix that ourselves.
3/ The well ran out of water during the water treatment system backwash, but has recovered by now. The pump would need to be primed. This would be a great way to find out if items 1 or 2 were our problem. Probably could do this ourselves, but we should phone my farm-raised tool and dye-maker father to find out the details of how to do it.
Dad was nice enough to come over and give instructions. He couldn't get in there, and if I didn't do it myself, I'd never remember how next time.
Of course there will be a next time. I'm a homeowner.
Basically, what you do is pour water into the pump until it's full. This is the most convenient place we could come up with to pour water in, since that other convenient-looking thing turned out to be an adjustment that doesn't actually come off.
So, if the foot valve is bad, you can pour gallons and gallons of water down the pipe and it will never fill up. If your well is dry, it will seem like you just can't get the hang of priming the stupid thing and you give up.
Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that we succeeded in priming the pump. The bad news is that I un-soldered something when I was trying to unscrew a "quick connect" fitting. (You thought the bad news would be that we got water everywhere. Actually, we got a lot of water on me. Brrrrrr!)
So, Dad's out getting parts and he'll solder the whole thing back together for me shortly.
Maybe I'll learn to solder out of this. I've been meaning to for a while, and I don't have any fake nails on right now, so I don't have to worry about setting my fingernails on fire with the torch.
This could've been expensive.
Labels: homeownership, pump, water