Friday, December 17, 2010

Water


Our well pump died a few days ago and suddenly we were stuck without running water. But let's start at the beginning. I turned on the tap only to find that the water pressure was horribly low, usually that means that one of the guys has left the hose on. I called to dh to go check it out and came back with the news, there was no power in the well house. We checked the breaker and it was not tripped, so we were confused. We suddenly had to find the source of the power and after making a few calls we discovered that the power for the well comes from the garage. Now this was both good news and bad news at that time. It was great because we finally had that information, but it was bad because the only breaker box we knew of in there had a nest in it since before we moved here. After some tinkering we discovered that that was not in fact the box and so the hunt continued. On the opposite side of the garage there was an old fuse box, wouldn't ya know it, it had blown a fuse. DH went to the hardware store and picked up a new fuse and replaced the blown one. When he flipped the breaker in the well house to test it, the fuse immediately blew again :( In an effort to narrow things down DH took off the wires from the well pump and then started over, sure enough all the lights came on. He then attached the well pump again and the fuse blew as it had before. :(

As I have probably mentioned before, trying to get an electrician or plumber out to this area is almost impossible. We made a few calls and no luck. Finally we found an electrician who was willing to talk and he verified that the well pump was indeed the problem. DH went to work and was chatting with one of the regulars and the guy offered to come help us with the pump. We felt so blessed. The next day he came over and checked things out, not only was the well pump dead, so was the pressure tank :( We would need to buy practically a whole new set up to get water back to the house. Not good.

DH brought the pump into the house and asked me to start looking as he headed off to work again. There were quite a few pumps that seemed so similar, that I finally called my dad to figure it out. Once again we were blessed. We were able to find all the parts we needed at Lowes and so we got them home and were ready to begin. But life likes to throw curves so we suddenly found our self without help to install the new pump. The regular is a truck driver and he had to get back on the road. DH went out and began working on hooking up the pump and he got as much of it done as he could. We called every plumber we could find and even had one promise to show up . . . I'm still waiting. I was chatting with a friend and she suggested that I post an ad on craigslist, I had nothing to lose so I did.

Last night I got an email from a guy whose name I immediately recognized, but couldn't remember why. He was a local and estimated that the job couldn't be more than an hour or 2 and left me his number. I called him and sure enough we did know him, his wife is a para at EE's school and I'm pretty sure he had come by when we first moved here to see if he could rent our pasture. Once he realized who we were he said he'd come over first thing in the morning before he went to work and take care of it. Again we were blessed. True to his word he showed up with some of his men that he was taking to a job site and they had it installed in 30 minutes. He charged us $20, we were so thankful.

So I told you all this to say, what's your preparedness plan? Do you know how you would get by if you had to go days or even weeks without water? The farmer's Almanac promises that this winter will be VERY cold, what is you plan if your pipes freeze? Have you stocked up enough water to get by and if so, for how long? Here are a few things to consider:

1. Most important is water to drink
2. Water to wash your hands is also important, winter is cold and flu season
3. Water to cook/wash veggies etc
4. make sure you have a way to collect grey water to be able to flush your toilets.
5. Water to wash up, obviously a bubble bath is out of the question but a quick wash is very doable.
6. Don't forget that your animals will also need water.

Please add to this list.

2 comments:

Nancy @ momjustlikeyou said...

Janelle,

I was just recently reading about preparedness. The first thing to do is take care of the water need and you want at least a 72 hour plan. Each person needs 1 gallon of water for drinking and cleanliness. Bare min. should be 1/2 gal. per person. That adds up when you have a BIG family like ours. We still have 7 children at home so we're talking 27 gallons of water for 3 days! The better plan is 14 days of food & water. The wonderful thing is that many companies are now making pop-tops on their canned goods. Make sure you have a good hand can opener just in case you need one, too!

Tracy said...

We are blessed to have a working windmill (that we use for the stock tank) that has become our emergency backup more than once, hauling the water to the house in buckets.
However, that can also freeze, or the wind stop blowing, so we long ago learned to keep several plastic gallon jugs full of water in the storeroom on standby for water pump outages. At least enough to be able to heat some on the stove, or trickle over our hands for washing; for flushing to toilet once a day when there is no water. It is amazing how essential water is to our daily needs, and going without a few hours sure makes us appreciate it all the more!