In Episode Two, I related how I had gone to the spring to see why I wasn’t getting water to my house, and discovered that water was running into the barrel and not filling it up. So obviously there was a leak in the system somewhere; thus I was faced with the task of determining where the leak was.
When I could find the time I managed to separate a connection at the bottom of the ridge and found the water was making it to that point. After that the line goes through a tile where it’s lying in the stream, and then goes up onto a bank for maybe another 100 feet until it disappears into a hole where it’s connected to my original, underground water line. I thought most likely the section going through the tile was where it had cracked, so I tried holding up the pipe and peering through the tile, but couldn’t get it up high enough to see if there was water leaking.
That entire length of the new line is Pex pipe, which I’ve since learned is supposed to expand quite a bit when it freezes, then resume its original shape. Now my fear was that the problem was in my original line, which is buried for about the last 200 feet to my house! Or perhaps it was just in the connection between the two. I decided to investigate that next, though the connection was now buried in the hole, and I had to do some digging to get to it.
With some effort, I was finally able to loosen the pipe clamps and start to separate the pipes. As soon as I did I could hear water getting ready to spurt out. Obviously the water was making it to that point. And it wasn’t leaking from the connection. I checked that, because there was a little water at the bottom of the hole. But it was just standing water, which didn’t surprise me, knowing that there’s generally water within a few feet of the surface (sometimes inches!) here. (Most of the water you see in the hole is what I poured on the pipe clamps to wash the mud off so I could turn the screws.)
So obviously the problem was somewhere in that last 200 feet or so of line that’s buried a couple of feet underground. I was about to call on a backhoe service to dig up the entire line (!) but some homesteader friends of mine said not so fast – maybe they could help me find where the leak was without digging it all up. (What would I do without helpful friends and neighbors?)
To be continued …
For the other posts in the Water Problems series: