Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wow, design fail.

Yesterday I spent nearly four hours catching up on my shit-shoveling, after the snow/cold of the weekend. Four hours of wading through mud so I could pry horse shit out of ice, since the ground thawed everywhere except where there was horseshit. No doubt the real explanation is that where the ice had thawed, the horses pretty much trampled everything into the mud, which then had to be raked and forked into the wagon. Half a dozen trips to the manure pile - uphill, of course - with a wagon filled with mud and ice chunks. Fun times. But I kept at it and now that part of my life is done with.

I was rewarded, as I got ready to go, by an unexpected burst of good karma. J said, "Hey, tomorrow morning I'm going to (the town that has the plumbing supply shop I need). You still need to go?"

Why yes, I did. So this morning I met him, we drove out there, and when I told the guy at the counter what I needed he didn't even blink. The stuff I needed wasn't even out of stock! Incredible! Zip zam, I had the valve and all the needed fittings in my hand.

Got home, grabbed a screwdriver and a hacksaw and a teapot full of hot water, headed up to the pumphouse. When I cut through the flexible pipe I saw part of our problem right away: water came gushing out of the hose from the cistern. I expected some, but wow - I do believe the flow rate in the wrong direction exceeds the flow rate from the pump. There's got to be some serious back-pressure against that pump.

Be that as it may, the cistern is filling on this succession of sunny days we've been having. Not fast, but it's filling. And now there's a nice brass check valve in the line coming out of the well, so the water that gets to the tank will stay in the damned tank overnight.

I checked the flow at the spigot outside the Lair. It belched and gurgled and filled a bottle with water the color of coffee, which told me the ice plug at the base of the cistern has melted. After about ten gallons it started running clear and hard, but I've still got nothing inside the cabin. Opened the drain spigot under the cabin and got nothing, which tells me the line coming up from the ground is still frozen. I'll put a hose on that valve and set it to drip, and hopefully that'll break it up since the weather for the next couple of days is supposed to get quite warm. Today it's almost too warm for a light jacket, in the sun.

We're getting there. But I think in the spring we should look at relocating the supply line to the top of the cistern instead of the bottom, since at the bottom the damn thing still freezes.

No comments: