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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.

ETA: Oh my god, they were pulling up the pump, it was right at the top, and the pipe broke. (Safety rope? On this house? It is to laugh. They're installing one tomorrow morning.) So they have given up for the night, and our well now has a non-functional pump sitting at the bottom. You gotta laugh. Otherwise the screaming gets to be a bit much.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

We totally have working showers if you want to make the drive over to Raleigh. And we're always home. Sigh. Always.

Thank you for the offer! Got one booked already for tomorrow morning at a friend in town, but if this runs for too long...

You've got rain barrels, right? So you can flush your toilet. That's a good thing.

One of my cousins lives in rural Tennessee. She is on a very limited income, and when her well pump died she couldn't repair or replace it. She hasn't had running water for something like two years now (I just recently found out about this when another cousin asked me about the cost of well pumps and where you'd get one, as she was going to see if she could help).

Sadly, the rain barrels appear to be full of tadpoles, so their use is very limited right now for the flushing.

On a related note, I think having tacos for dinner last night may have also been a tactical error.

Perhaps homeowners insurance will help with the cost? Can't hurt to ask your agent.

Your plumber won me over with the quote about vodka.

We are in Durham, have hot showers and far too many cats, and will be gone this weekend (if things get really dire). You're all welcome :)

Amen. Having had work done on wells twice in my life I did see the pump falling *coming* like a freight train, but I hoped and hoped the whole way I was wrong and just being pessimistic.

*crosses fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes, and notes that all that makes it very difficult to type*

Least you have a plumber that turns up. I am fairly sure I must be a figment of every single plumber in Lithgows imagination.

That's how my parents feel, too. When our septic tank clogged (and boy, wasn't THAT a lovely smell?!), they both grabbed phone books and called every single plumber in town. And every single time, they had a conversation like this:

"Yes, absolutely we can come out asap! You said you're in Littleton, right? We'll be there in-"
"Ah, well, actually we're the last road in Littleton, just where Deer Creek Canyon turns into High Grade Road," either of my parents interrupt.
There is an awkward pause and the sound of frantic keystrokes, and occasionally a mutter that sounds suspiciously like "this can't be right..." followed by "I'm really sorry, but you're just too far out of our range. Have you tried XYZ/ABC/ACME/123 instead?"

It was a traumatic day or two before my parents finally got someone to drive out to us at four times his usual per mile fee. *wince* And turns out that the blockage was almost entirely my fault, what with my waist-length hair and all. I thought the plumber had pulled out a kitten when he showed the knot to my mother. *laugh*

All I can offer is sympathy, but I offer it, in buckets. (Alas, not any sutiable for washing your hair in.)

Ick, well woes. I know them well, and sympathize deeply. We spent an entire summer without sufficient water for showers, because no one could figure out what the hell was wrong with our well. Eventually we figured out that a shift in the hillside had caused a cave-in halfway down the shaft - so now we only have a ninety-odd foot deep well.

I hope your problem gets fixed posthaste.

Oy. We too have had the overworked-to-death well pump experience, and you have my total sympathy. (In our case, the culprit was an infinitely running toilet, which at least had the courtesy to spew its excess into the septic tank, but not before taking down the pump.)

Good luck.

Fundamental difference between your plumber and mine: Yours showed up.

(water woes suck; our pump is slowly dying so I can relate to the water outages. Here's to them being minimal in length and non-repeating!)

Oh dear! I hope they're able to restore you to running water swiftly.

Sorry to hear about this. We had our line out to the sewer collapse in 2002, leaving us with Lake Poobegone (where everything is just a bit shitty) for a month before the weather cleared enough that our plumbers could bring a Bobcat in to excavate the driveway (thankfully, this was in February, so the smell was mitigated somewhat).

Looking forward to seeing you at Chicon.

hee hee hee hee heeeeeee lake poobegone

hi, i'm 12 XD

Hurrah for good plumbers!

I am eternally grateful to the pair who showed up on a Sunday in mid-winter when my frozen front yard was filling with water ... especially as what had failed turned out to be the city's new water meter.

Eternally grateful to have a municipal water supply, no matter how gritty the water...

Would that you were local, else I could offer you berth at my hotel, which has lovely amounts of hot water. I would even see to it you got the tub with the whirlpool jets. And yes, even the beagle - La Quintas are dog-friendly.

If it's actual sediment, you can get one of these:


The valve on the bottom lets you drain off the sand on a regular basis.