05 November 2009

What a week...

Last week, most precious readers, was, well, one that won't repeat anytime soon, with luck.

Our water pressure had been irregular for months and with our erstwhile plumber, Bill of Appalachian Plumbing here for another issue, we asked him about it. His best guess was that the pump was wearing out. As it evolved, he was prophetic - in another hour, it died for good. In the state of perpetual and delusional optimism, we hoped it would miraculously come back to life but by nightfall, we knew in our hearts (and wallets) that it was not to be.

Bill came by the next day and confirmed that the relays and other parts of the system were not the problem. He came back with an assistant to pull the pump but with the weight of 420 feet of water filled pipe, they could not lift it. The local well man was summoned but bowed out - he had the flu. The next closest well service was 35 miles away and responded they would come the next afternoon... but their previous task proved more of a challenge than estimated and they did not arrive until Thursday. By sunset Thursday, we had running water once more - and a $3,000 bill, sigh.

Among other discoveries during the process: (1) the pump was sitting on the well bottom and that explained why so much particulate matter clogged the filter, (2) the fittings were galvanized rather than brass, a health-hazard, (3) there were no torque mounts on the pump so every time it came on, the torque caused it to beat itself against the well pipe, (4) the pressure tank in the house was about half the size it should be and thus the pump came on more frequently. Like almost everything else about this house, the original work was substandard. It leaves us to speculate what the next failure will be and the cost of repairing it correctly.

We thank our most marvelous neighbors, John & Nettie and George & Maureen for filling up our water containers for four days and allowing us to use their shower. The bad news is the house is poorly made; the good news is that we have the finest neighbors that can be imagined.

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