Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our story so far...

Landlady called me back yesterday afternoon - of course I didn't blog about the pressure pump until I'd at least left her a message, because it all belongs to her and she deserved to hear it first - and contacted the local company that installs and repairs water systems.  At this writing, they haven't called me back.

I removed the pump - easy since the cistern it's connected to is empty - and took the housing apart.  Damage to the housing is even worse than it appeared.  With the bolts removed, it just fell to pieces.  As far as I can tell the motor is undamaged, but it seems to have been sold as a unit.  There are markings all over the motor, but nothing on the pump so I doubt we'll be able to buy anything but a new complete unit.

Fortunately Landlady wasn't planning to come up this weekend anyway, which gives us a week to fix and fill the system before she needs it.  Unfortunately it's likely to be expensive, and while I have my uses supplying money is not among them. 

I'll admit to feeling guilty about that.  I live here alone, using infrastructure wholly owned by another person.  Some tech needs to be used or it falls apart, like the Jeep.  I'm not shortening its life by using it.  Other things, like the pressure pump - who knows?  The simplest system of ethics says I should pay - wholly or in part - for the needed repair.  But I barely make enough money to stay warm and fed through the winter.  All I can contribute is labor, and unskilled labor really isn't much use here.  She has always seemed fine with that, an attitude I've never fully understood, but I'm really not.

One improvement we need to make, in addition to bolting down the damned pump, is a shut-off valve between the cistern and the damned pump.  This isn't the first time I've wondered what the hell the system builders were thinking.  There's a shut-off valve between the pump and the pressurized water, but nothing whatever between the pump and the cistern.  So how the hell are you supposed to service the pump without dumping 2000 gallons of water onto the powerhouse floor?  Dumb.


Big Wooly said...

Don't forget your entertainment value, Joel. I bet in person you're a real hoot!
Seriously, there is a lot of peace of mind in having a caretaker and someone there to just help. I have 40 more acres on the other side of the mountain that I can't keep an adequate eye on 24 hours a day, and unfortunately, that's where a lot of my "stuff" is. I'm trying to fix up the place so that one of my kids will move in and provide that security, but until then it's not protected. I bet Landlady sleeps well at night knowing you are there. Something I'd pay a nice price for.

DOuglas2 said...

"So how the hell are you supposed to service the pump without dumping 2000 gallons of water onto the powerhouse floor?"
With a pipe-freezer, of course:

Anonymous said...

I take it the pump housing has corroded away? If it's cracked and not corroded, you may be able to epoxy it back together. I did a "temporary" repair on the water pump of a 1946 Ford truck that was on there for three more years(the housing had cracked). JB Weld, PC-7, something along those lines of "filled" epoxies sometimes hold up well.
Some years ago, an uncle of mine "rented" a cabin in very rural Eastern Kentucky-the "rent" was just maintaining the property(clearing out brush, mowing,and that sort of thing-the only structure was a tiny cabin he lived in)-the owner was happy to have someone to do it..I suspect your landlady feels the same way.