Yesterday the water pressure started acting funky. Today it died. Fortunately our old friend Moses the Plumber managed to come out and check on it.

Nearly five hours have passed. There is still no running water, and he and two assistants are fighting with the well.

The water heater apparently died in spectacular fashion, having sprung a massive leak, forcing the well pump to work around the clock for several months.

This fried the well pump.

Submersible well pumps are not the cheapest piece of equipment in the homeowner’s arsenal. Fortunately the water heater was under warranty, so that wound up being free (and Lowe’s was fabulous about jumping through the hoops on the return.)

While pulling up the MASSIVE length of pipe in the well, (we have, as it happens, a 300 foot well)  they found cracks in the pipe, which was as cheap a model as a builder could possibly install. (“Well, you know,” said Moses, “you really want the black pipe, not the cheap white contractor pipe.” “Honey,” sez I, “I’m a children’s book author. You can tell me that we need pipe made out of diamonds and I will nod and say “Oh, really? Good to know!” )

As I speak, they are still pulling up pipe.

Now, these guys are awesome. I have total faith in them. They fixed the rain of gray water on the porch and the septic pump and all manner of plumbing woes. They will fix this. I have no doubt.

But I am very tired. I have run to Lowe’s more times than I like to count (laying out a shocking sum each time) and it is getting dark out. I have no idea if there will be water tonight or not, or if they are just going to call it a day (and who could blame them?) because they still have to lower a bajillion feet of pipe back DOWN the well and they would need to come back tomorrow morning to do it.

My hair feels gritty.

  • reply Lydia ,

    The fact that you have a well is FASCINATING! But the problems with it sound horrid. So, I give you this:

    While looking at the XBox live adverts, my significant other was awed to read “Intense Futuristic Wombat” on an upcoming FPS. Needlessly to say, it actually read Combat, but, somehow, I felt this was something you Needed to Know.

    • reply Jamie ,

      Stay strong, Ursula! Wishing you and your plumbers perseverance, luck, and inexpensive parts.

      • reply Jamie ,

        ….yes I know that last comment is laughable. But hey, people pray for medical miracles all the time; I see no reason not to hope for plumbing miracles on your behalf.

        • reply Katie ,

          Oh dear. I’ve had a well pump and a water heater die, but fortunately not at the same time. More disruptive, but cheaper. Sort of. At least not all-at-once expensive.

          • reply P. Kirby ,

            Oy. This gave me the heeby-jeebies. Our hot water heater is ancient and we’re on a well. At the moment, my DH is trying to decide whether to just buy a new gas (propane) heater, or whether to bite the bullet and invest in solar. While he fiddles, the heater just keeps getting older. I is very nervous.

            Anyway, hope you have water soon.

            • reply Andrew Ragland ,

              Been there. In our case, the well pump had quit working because the last guys to work on it had been the property owner and a (probably stoned) friend, and they’d taped a couple of wires instead of capping and waterproofing the join. We replaced the hot water heater in the house when we first moved in, as the previous one had a leak in it (and the aforesaid probably stoned friend had installed it without a drip pan, so now we need to replace the entire bathroom floor, joists and all). The worst problem we had was when we tried to rebuild the shower ourselves, and were without a shower for over a week until we finally got a paycheck in and could call a plumber to fix our crappy and incomplete DIY work. Lesson learned: Simple plumbing, like swapping out a hot water heater, we can do ourselves. Complicated plumbing, like pulling out a shower and replacing the piping and then putting it all back together, call a plumber.

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