Water!

Two weekends ago, the Handy Man set out to fix our water pressure tank. Living on well water is something we really enjoy, most of the time. It gets a tad inconvenient when the power goes out, and we keep a large 10-gallon cooler full of water during the winter “just in case”.  Of course, since we started doing that, we have not needed to use it.  We needed it a few Saturdays, though.

The nicest thing about our well water is that is tastes so good. The Handy Man takes a cooler of water with him anytime he goes anywhere to work–he isn’t taking any chances on drinking municipal water! It doesn’t matter how good the water system is, it always tastes of chemicals to us, not to mention that it gives him heartburn. Last summer when we visited St. Augustine on vacation, we took our large cooler of water. Of course it lasted all of a day in that heat. The children are as much water snobs as we are.  We spent a small fortune on bottled water for the remainder of our week. It is quite pathetic, really.  We can shower in sulfur water, but we won’t drink it!

A few months ago I noticed that the well pump was kicking on an off a lot more than usual. It would run for a short time, and then it would kick off only to turn right back on again. It took me awhile to convince the Handy Man there was a problem..he has selective hearing  is actually deaf in his left ear and could not hear the pump cycling on and off like I could.  I know there will come a day when we will have to replace the pump, and I was afraid that this might be the time. Replacing our well pump will not be a small feat. Our well is 715 feet deep, and our pump sits 680 feet below ground with 600 foot of water in the reservoir. Any work on it will require a special truck that can pull that much galvanized pipe out of the ground in order to reach the pump. So I was very happy to learn that the problem was not the pump but the pressure tank.

The pressure tank sits under our house and holds the water that is pumped out of the ground. It is pressurized so that the water has force when it comes out of the faucet. Our well puts out about 1/2 gallon of water per minute, which is not a lot of water, but because our well is so deep (the water comes up to about 15 feet below ground) we actually have plenty of water. The pressure tank maintains the water pressure in the house so that we don’t get air in the lines.  Inside the pressure tank is a rubber bladder that expands and contracts to allow the water in and out and still maintain the correct pressure. Our old pressure tank was 16 years old.  The bladder was completely shot, and the Handy Man said the tank itself was so waterlogged that it was amazing we were getting any water out of it.

The Handy Man found a new pressure tank at Lowe’s. He also decided to change the configuration a bit by adding cut-off valves before and after the tank in order to make any other replacements easier to do. As it was, he had to drain all the water out of the tank, and then the water that was no longer under pressure in the house also drained. The Handy Man has always hated the plumbing in this house; the pipe they used in the construction was cheap and has given us many problems. He took the opportunity to change out some fittings and replace some pipe to conform to modern building codes. He has slowly been replacing pipe as repairs have been needed around the house.  (The children’s bathroom will be the next plumbing make-over. The only pipes he really cannot replace are the ones that are under between the floor joists and covered by the moisture barrier.)

We spent most of Saturday afternoon without running water, but after several hours of hard work, our water was back on and our new pressure tank was doing its job.  It is good to have running water! I am very thankful that the Handy Man knows what he is doing when it comes to plumbing and home repairs.

The Handy Man will never run out of things to do because his to-do list is long and growing. Hopefully we will see some painting in the next few weeks–the outside of the house (his domain) and our bedroom and bath (my domain) followed by the completed remodel of the children’s bathroom. We have lived with one bathtub for more years than I care to think about. I promise to post here when THAT job gets completed! For now, I am happy to have properly running water again.

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