Spoke Too Soon

Felt real cocky about getting ready for the upcoming big freeze.  Bragged that we had running water out here on The Ranch, thanks to our foresight.  Guess not.

All the lines were thawed, the pump fired up when I gave it power but things were not right!!  Saw a couple of leaks and knew I had left some water in the pump.  Nothing to do but haul out the pump and take it over to the workshop.  Not much to see, saw signs the jet pump o ring was leaking but it didn’t look damaged so I cleaned it all up and put the pump back together.  I also spotted a leak at the check valve on the intake side and discovered a bit of debris holding the flapper off the seat, cleaned it out, and reassembled every thing  back with fresh sealant.

Pat and I lugged everything back to the pump house and put it all back as before.  Plugged it in and it whirred and grunted and moaned like it does and it sent water up through the one micron filter, through the charcoal filter, and into the house.  Everything good?  Right.  Had air in the lines so I went through the purge routine and kept at it and kept at it and, as of now the pump is turned off and the filter canisters are about half filled with air.

The nice people at Amazon had a new Stainless Steel Burcam Shallow Well Pump  on the shelf and it’s being loaded as we speak, as they say.  But wait, as I sat down to write this kinda sad tale something occurred to me.  What if I have a break in the line that runs from the water storage tank to the check valve and I’m sucking up some air?  Then I won’t need a new pump, I can just dig up the buried water line and patch it and save me a few hundred dollars.  But if I cancel the Amazon order and I’m wrong then I’ll  have to reorder and we’ll be more days without running water in the kitchen.  If I don’t cancel the order and I’m right about having a leak in the water line then the looters who show up out here after we’re gone will get a pleasant surprise.  I’m sure they would sell it and put the money toward their children’s college education, because that’s what looters do, so some good will come with it after all.  Man, am I getting cynical in my old age.

December 30, 2022

Went out this morning and ran a test to see if I had a leak in the supply line from the water storage tank to the pump.  Nope!  Still getting air in the system and because of it the system can’t raise the pressure enough to shut off.  Guess I’m glad I didn’t cancel the order for my new pump.  Jet pumps are a little different than the pumps I’m familiar with so I don’t have a feel for where things could go bad.  I have an old pump I could use for replacement parts but I don’t know what should be replaced on the pump that I have in service.

I do know that when the new pump gets here I’m going to make a major change in the plumbing.  It’s important to make sure there is no water anywhere in the system if facing a freeze.  Now I have two old pumps for spare parts but I still don’t know a frigging thing about these pumps.  I also have two new pumps that are just demand pumps that have no accumulator  if things go terribly wrong.  These are all lessons Pat and I learned traveling on a small boat all over the world.  Take plenty of spare parts and don’t put in anything you can’t take out.  Oh yeah, never loan out your tools.

By-the-way, we still have the trailer that has hot and cold running water.  Pat’s going to take the dishes over and wash them there.  Not lost for a solution to life’s little problems.

January 5, 2023:

Well, there’s running water in the kitchen now after a whole bunch of drama.  I ordered a new Burcam shallow well pump but it hasn’t gotten here yet.  I pulled the Burcam, tore it apart, and reassembled it and put it back in service.  No good.  Fall back time.  I had a 110vac diaphragm demand pump that was intended as a replacement for the one in the laundry room.  I gathered up all my PEX plumbing stuff and plumbed the pump into the system and was able to restore running water.  Pat suggested she knew how pioneer people must have felt when they figured out how to get water into the house.  Of course she’ll have to wait to enjoy it because she’s up in Odessa getting a bone scan and going on a shopping expedition for new clothes.

I’ve ordered a pile of parts so I can completely redo the house plumbing and fix all my screw ups.  This is all the results of kidding myself that I’ll just get it going and improve it later.  My advice to all reading this is to not do that.  Do it right and do it once.

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