Hot and Cold Running Water


Andrew WeidmanWater

I like to listen to podcasts on my drive to and from work. One of my favorite podcasts mentioned the impacts of the presence or absence of hot and cold running water on a story in last week's episode. You can listen to it at Writing Excuses. Do you ever stop to take a moment to consider how much something you take for granted shapes your world?

We had the ‘privilege’ of experiencing that principle first hand recently. A few nights ago, as Jessie filled the sink to wash up the dinner dishes, the water pressure dropped off. Drastically. No one was in the shower, no toilets had been flushed, no faucet had been left running; and even if they had, the drop was much too deep to be normal. I grabbed my multi-meter and headed for the basement for some basic troubleshooting. Twenty minutes later, I knew a little more than I did before: the pressure switch was working, the breaker wasn't tripped, there was sufficient voltage to the pump, but it wasn’t drawing amps. Clearly, the pump wasn’t running.

Great. This was a relatively new pump. We had replaced the previous pump on Valentine’s Day weekend last year. I remember it well; there was a 6-inch cover of snow on the ground, the mercury hovered at about 5 degrees, and the wind chill made things feel more like negative five degrees. Our well is about 180 feet deep, with a 150-foot riser pipe on the pump. Which froze solid as I swapped out the old pump with the new one. That’s also a long way to pull a twenty five pound slug of metal. We didn’t get water until 2 in the morning, and it didn’t run clear until mid morning. That was a Valentine’s Day NOT to remember.

Valentine's Day

You really learn to appreciate a basic amenity when it’s gone. Some are easier to give up for a bit than others. Lose power during a storm? Unless you’re relying on a piece of equipment for heat or life support, a few hours spent with oil lamps for light and actual human conversation for entertainment can be enjoyable, even nice. No water? Not so much.

4/17/2016 7:10:58 PM

I would take a sample of your water and, if you can get them, a sample of the fibers, and take them to either a water conditioner dealer who tests water, or your County Extension office. Those fibers may not be a healthy situation for your family. Better safe than sorry! Best of luck to you!

4/15/2016 7:14:08 PM

I keep getting these white fiber like things in my sink and shower head screens. I know our well was put in before 1996 and is 100 feet deep and we have at least a 40 gal tank. We've never had any experience with wells before so this is all new to us. We've had the house since 1999 and have never had any problems with it. Any ideas???

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters