Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ain't It the Life?

Ain't it the life?  (With a nod to Foo Fighters)

This week I had all kinds of time off, which I used to get the boy arranged to go to prom and work on the EstrogenFest memory books, as well as spend some good ol' fashioned family time.  I even got to attend the aforementioned Fireside Writing Session.  I didn't explain the typer thing in that post.  The collective realized that few of us actually write as opposed to typing ... anyway.  I find calling myself a typer less oppressive than calling myself a writer.  The response is 'huh?' rather than 'Oh, what have you published?'

I'd planned to spend yesterday tiling, the thing I'd originally planned to do but didn't the whole rest of the week.  Well.  Come 5am Rory tells me that we have no water.  He's tried messing with the pressure regulator, which we've had to reset several times in the past couple of weeks.  I gear up (slippers, pjs and attitude) and head out to the garage.  There's the little pressure switch thingy with its arrangement of wires and nuts and the box that comes off of it with the red reset button.  I alternate between tapping the switch with various (non-metal handled) tools and pushing the reset button.  Usually this gets things going again, but we've got nothing going on.  Time to summon a professional.

Rory leaves early for work and brings along a towel so he can shower there.  The kids and I brush our teeth employing bottled water and proceed to stink our way through the day.

First I call and leave a message with a plumber that looks like a likely choice given a search through the yellow pages and on google in a pathetic hope that I could find reliable reviews on the businesses I'd hoped to employ.  (I didn't.  C'mon people, review review review!)  Then I wait.  Can't tile, need water for that.  And wait.  Can't wash dishes, need water for that.  And wait.  Can't do laundry, need water for that.  Finally I call them back around 9:30.  Even though I left my phone number twice, apparently she couldn't understand it on the message tape.  How does Friday sound?

Um, let me call around a bit and get back to you, says Kami, contemplating having no water until Friday and imagining trucking bottled water out to the goats, filling the washing machine with bottled water, and the toilet so we can flush, etc.  Friday doesn't work for me.  If possible I'd like to flush today, okay?

Plumbing company #2 gets a call.  She's in the middle of something and she'll call me back.  Forty five minutes later I call her back.  There's some sort of emergency and she apologizes.  She'll call me back--whoa there lady.  The last time we did this--she changes her mind and says since she's not making any headway with the emergency anyway, she'll take five minutes now to deal with me.  She'll call me back, really.  It takes a while for me to explain what's going on with my water system, which is discouraging but hey, she's just the receptionist, right?

She does call back after talking with one of their plumbers, but apparently they don't handle this sort of thing.  Huh.  I've just wasted a total of three hours and my early start on the problem is basically out the window.  I call our local appliance guy, who does fabulous work.  Well, the unions have convinced the legislature that if it involves water, they have to handle it.  He can't even touch a hot water heater anymore.  ??  Who does he recommend?  A local plumber.  I call said local plumber, who turns out to be a real champ and explains a critical detail to me.  Turns out plumbers don't work on this sort of thing either.  Well WTF?  I'm really glad I didn't wait until Friday to find out that pumps are a specialty and plumbers don't know what the heck to do with them.  There's one (ack!) contractor who handles this sort of thing in our area.  The good news is that it's a very good, reputable company.

I call them and explain.  I'm heartened because they appear to understand what I'm talking about at last.  Within an hour a truck pulls into the driveway, setting off the Doorbell of Unconditional Love (barking.)  I lead him to the source of the problem (or so I thought) and adopt the homeowner with a problem posture (hands on hips, puppy dog eyes.)  After some exploration he discovers the reset button isn't actually attached to anything.  The wiring has been bypassed.  !!??  Okay, I've been pressing an idiot button.  I feel so much better now.  More exploration.  The breaker for the pump is off and, when clicked back on, jumps off again.  So we go to the well head.  We dig out about ten gallons of mud and plastic bags and two live moles (so cute with their soft gray fur and little hands.)  Part of the wiring had been wrapped in electrician's tape, implying a previous issue, and it had been chewed through as had some of the copper wiring.  My mind goes into MST3K mode.  This arrow may have something to do with her pain! (aka gee, maybe a severed wire is the reason why we get only intermittent service from our pump.)  He wires it back together and we hit the breaker.  Power!  Pumpage!  Huzzah!  We have water.  Except.  The water tank's bladder has clearly burst, probably a long, long time ago.  It needs to be replaced, which will help to alleviate some of the water pressure bounciness we experience that I've learned to just live with and thought was normal.  Like I'd know!  Long-time city gal here, remember?  

The genius/rescuer promises to return tomorrow (today) with a nice new, bigger water tank.  The best part is that we have water while we wait.  Yay water!  Yay laundry!  If only I'd had enough energy to tile after we got water, but all I managed was a shower and I was done for the day.  I hit the sack early last night.  On the agenda today--late start for work, clear out a path for the tank through the garage, maybe tiling at last (doubtful) and a late start to work because the pump guys probably won't be done until noon-ish and my shift starts at 11:15.  But we have water!  Ain't it the life?


Kai Jones said...

Whew! That's a lot of stress. Very glad it turned out so well at the end.

Kami said...

Me too! And our new water tank is fab. I love it.