Not Particular About My Napping Spot
She just decided to quit playing and rolling around to take a nap.
So the intention was to get this thing dealt with right away in the morning. Well, that was a noble idea, but around 8AM we started to get torrential downpours (and a load of very neat lightning). By 8:20, I had been informed by the well guys that they were going to do inside work until the weather passed (for which I can't blame them -- it'd have been impossible to work outside in that rain). So I went to work instead.
The rain continued until nearly noon, and then cleared off nicely. Somewhat randomly, around 1:45, they showed up at the house to get the project done. After all the rain (which ended up being about 2.25"), I automatically pretty much wrote off any digging activity until tomorrow, so this was quite a pleasant surprise. So I came home to check out what was going on.
By the time I got home they had one hole dug (next to the hydrant, where the suspected problem was to be), only to find that there was no problem at the hydrant aside from a rock that got caught in it, preventing it from draining back when closed. Perplexing. So another hole was dug at the well casing.
Go figure. Dry hole.
The real problem was becoming obvious -- somewhere a shitload of water was being sent, but there was no place between the house and well that seemed saturated at all. We were looking in the wrong place.
About this time, neighbor Josh came home and saw what was going on (so came over to visit). I mentioned the situation and that we were then looking for other possible outlets for said water. He then informed me that (unbeknown to me) there used to be a water line and hydrant for a now demolished building that was fed from our well. But it was capped off prior to our purchase of the house (which is why I was never informed of it).
This was the sort of information I needed to know...so we ended up over at the barn where Josh told me he'd nearly gotten stuck with the lawnmower yesterday and noticed a bunch of water where an old hog waterer had once been. Upon obvious inspection, here a 1" plastic water line had blown a valve off and was wide open to the world.
Could this actually be the cause? Could it be that simple?
We turned on the well pump once again, and sure enough -- copious amounts of water were being pumped several hundred feet from the house and out (ultimately) into the cornfield. So we found the cause of the pressure problem. For the last week it's been pouring out as fast as it could be pumped to a location neither Josh nor I were even aware was being actively fed by my well.
So we dug another hole to cap off the line at the barn below ground (to prevent further problems and freezing issues later), and voila -- pumping water now produced enough pressure to shut off the pump.
It only took a week of contemplation, a lost well pump, a replacement pump, three service calls, and three backhoe holes to figure out. Wait, and the pain in the ass of having to turn on the water pump every time water was wanted in the house.
When it's all said and done, I expect this to cost somewhere in the realm of $1,500 and $2,000. But it's not all bad.
For starters, we've got an incredibly more efficient, less power-consuming, and self-managing (can save itself from short-cycling to death and from thermal overload) well pump. Additionally, we know that the well (even though there's an old pump stuck at the bottom) can still produce more than what the pump can draw -- this means that well replacement shouldn't be necessary in the near future.
And another good thing to know -- there's a big 1" water line running all over underground. :) But even better is that it's a 1" water line into the house, where it's reduced to 3/4". When I finally get around to replacing the pressure tank, I will likely run 1" line from the entrance point to the house through the pressure tank and to the main shutoff for the house. This won't necessarily make a huge difference for anything in the house, but it means that I can likely put a 3/4" (or possibly 1") external spigot on the east side of the house in the future if necessary (it's currently 1/2" reduced from 3/4", so the flow is much slower than the hydrant on the west side of the house).
So the holes were backfilled (once the hydrant was fixed and had a bit of a boot created over that portion to prevent another rock from jamming it up again), and the guys left.
I was so used to turning off the pump that when I was in the basement to turn the house water main back on, I habitually went to the service panel to turn on the well pump. But it has been so nice to be 'back to normal' so to speak.
A normal shower will be a very welcome thing.
The situation sucks, because we'll end up paying a lot more than we should have for this fix. But, I was never made aware of this mysterious water line (because it was supposed to have been capped off before the house was put on the market -- long before we even looked at it)...so it never even occurred to me that the well might be feeding the neighboring barn. But it could've been a lot worse. :)
So anyway, that's pretty much been how my day has gone -- very long day and I'm looking forward to a more normal day tomorrow. I think we're going to head out to my folks' place tomorrow evening for a night -- so I will likely try to play photogenic and see if I can get cool pictures to bring back.
So until next time -- be glad that your water supply isn't interrupted. :)
"Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me."
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)