Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday Whining and Monday Smiling!

Continuing on from my rant of Saturday, I worked on the water system several more times, and finally got all the leaks fixed. Surprisingly, the problem areas were all where I had a threaded PVC fitting going into a brass valve. The problem could be that I’m hesitant to put too much pressure on the fitting as I have known the PVC fitting to snap, and when it does it breaks flush with the brass connection and is so hard to extract. In the end all was fine. No leaks not even the smallest of leaks. The entire water line from source to control valve (outside in the yard) was pressurized, but I was afraid to turn on the A/C because when the A/C comes on, the outside valve opens, and when the A/C shuts down, the valve snaps closed, causing something of a water hammer that will increase the pressure quite a bit, but only for a very short part of a second. Finally, I closed the breaker to the heat pump and went in the house to turn the unit on at the thermostat control.

AS I walked into the house, Helen was on her way out to see me. “Did you shut off all water to the house” she asked. “No!” I replied. Helen said “We have NO water in the house”. We have encountered this problem before so I got a volt meter and checked for power. We had power at the breaker and we had power at the pump. In fact, I could hear the hum of the pump motor as it was running freely. It has always been the same problem, the connection between the pump and motor shears and there is no water. I got in my Jeep and ran to Lowe’s where I procured a replacement pump. The pump and a few other things cost just under $400.00. The last time I paid to have the pump replaced it cost $900.00 and that was November 1992, so you can imaging what it would cost today.

So it’s Saturday afternoon and we have a 14th birthday party to attend for my grandson. I’ve been working hard all day and I’m pretty sweaty. Helen has been working in the yard and she is also looking forward to a shower. Now, we have a motorhome with water, A/C, a shower, etc. There would have been no problem except that I had drained the water and had intended to fill it with fresh water when a hurricane approaches. There is plenty of lead time to prep for a hurricane. Unfortunately, when a pump dies it’s over in a second. My next door neighbor, Gunther, is always willing to help, but he was camping in Crystal River. I called his cell phone and his wife’s cell phone and finally got permission to “Borrow” some water. I ran three hoses from an outside faucet on my house to and outside faucet on Gunther’s house and we had water. A quick shower for Helen, a quick shower for me, a quick addition to the tank in the motorhome, and we were done. I disconnected the hose from Gunther’s house, but didn’t pull the hose back until later. I’d just had a shower and I didn’t need to work up another sweat.

The Birthday Party was a success with a number of pre-teen boys actively playing video games of one kind or another. We returned home to find much cooler temperatures and we were very comfortable with the indoor temperature.

Sunday I awoke with the intent to get the well repaired and working properly. I have the tools. I have the knowledge. I have the new pump and supplies. In the past, I removed the old pump and installed the new one in an hour and a half. I was MUCH younger then and the weather was cooler. This time it took me most of the day as it was too hot to do very much at one time. I took my time to make CERTAIN that I wasn’t going to mess anything up. It all went well though and I soon had the new pump pumping like crazy. When you disturb the pump and casing, you leave a GREAT AMOUNT of rusty water down in the well casing. We ran the water for about a half hour before it ran nice and clean. Success!!!

With everything back to normal, I couldn’t resist tweaking the beast. The pump, a Utilitech Pro, failed after only 16 months of service and I thought that was much too short a life, so I called the company. They have an odd warranty, two years from the date of manufacture (February 2011) or one year since installed (June 15, 2011)  whichever happens FIRST.  A warranty is a warranty and the girl at the company said “that since it was more than a year since it had been installed, I was out of luck, thank you very much for using our product”. That’s not exactly like she said it but that was the gist of our conversation. She said that Lowe’s might help, but her hands were tied.

My next call was to Lowe’s manager and I explained the situation to him. He told me that he Utilitech policy was ridiculous and to bring in the old unit and he would give me full credit. Could my luck be changing????? I sure hope so, I could use a period of calm right now.



  1. Hope you get the refund at Lowe's, $400 will buy a lot of Taco's on your Mexico trip. Now with all the repairs to your house water system you should be set for awhile, I'll look forward to plenty of water on our next visit. Know what you mean about pulling a well pump motor, ours is so deep I just have to have the well people do it. So far our well keeps on plugging along, did have to replace the fitting where the line to the house attaches to the casing.Hope now all goes well on your trip to the land south of us. Kevin and Ruth will be stopping on their way south at the end of the month. I sure wish we could tag along behind them even if just for a month or so. Give the girls a hug from us. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  2. Since you had permission from the neighbor to use the water and he was out of town, you and Helen should have given each other a nice shower outside with the hoses :-)
    Love ya' Donna