Tag Archives: leaks

Halfway There

8 Jun

Back in early February I mentioned that our water pump began running constantly due to a leak someplace in the system.  For several months we had to turn the pump on and off when we ran the dishwasher or take a shower. We had to schedule trips to the bathroom.  In the meantime we had various professionals out to see if they could figure out the problem.

The inside plumber had us pulling up sections of the floor to see if there was a leak under the house.


He also suggested we replace the pump, but we decided to keep looking.

The outside plumber wandered around and opined there was a leak in the pipe between the well and the house. This would involve running a new line, and he could fix it for “only” $6,000.

No thanks.

Quite a few years ago some people had come out to dig up iris and nicked the line with a shovel. The plumber du jour  had used an air pump to force air backwards through the line, watched for bubbles, and patched the pipe. The Squire thought the patch might have failed (this is something he could repair himself) so he and a young man from church dug down, located the patch, and found it to be in perfect condition. That as a classic bad-news-good-news situation. Easy to fix, but it wasn’t the problem.

One day this week The Squire used a sump pump to empty the well so he could take a look at the foot valve. (For those of you who are city folks, a foot valve is a caged ball which floats upward when the pump is running and allows water to reach the house. It drops back down when the pump cuts off to keep the water from flowing back into the well.) He discovered that the acid in our water had completely dissolved the plastic ball, which is why the pump was running non-stop; it could never built up the pressure needed to cut off.  Another call to another plumber,  and the foot valve was quickly – and cheaply – replaced.  However, having to run the pump for half an hour at a time when we ran the dishwasher meant it wasn’t working as well as it should, so The Squire toddled off and bought a new pump. The plumber will be back out to install it one day this week. At least now the pump does hold some pressure after we turn it off, so we can, say, brush our teeth without having to run turn the pump on and back off.

A nice place in the country isn’t always as great as it’s cracked up to be.

The Lake Under Our House

12 Feb

The fellow we’ll call the “inside” plumber came out on Friday, looked the place over, and made some suggestions as to how we might avoid trouble in the future if, indeed, we have a leak inside the house. He did not offer to help with that part of it, but left his phone number so we could call if we needed his help.

The Squire unscrewed a section of the bathroom floor, and found that while we do, indeed have a lake under there, it is not from leaking pipes. Oh, that it could be that simple! We have crayfish, and they have dug tunnels into the crawl space (Yes, there was plastic down there. Did you really think it would stop those bloody buggers?)  and we have lots of water down there. We’re going to need a mini-sump pump, but that is all. That is enough, frankly.

Saturday, we removed everything from the corner cupboard, piled it on the dining room table, and then unscrewed a section of the dining room floor and poked around under there with a mirror and camera. No leak there. The Squire also pulled up another section and we looked under the china closet to see if the pipes were leaking. Nada.

Now came the real fun. Trying to get the corner cupboard back into place without ripping the wallpaper to shreds. The cupboard is solid chestnut and weighs a ton, and was NOT made to be moved around. We will draw a veil over the rest of the afternoon.

Yesterday, Monday, the “outside plumber” stopped by. At this time, the only place left for the pipes to be leaking is between the well and the house. The fellow measured the distance, fiddled with his calculator, and smiled broadly. He should be happy! The estimate he came us was for over $6,000. I didn’t ask The Squire for an itemization, but suffice to say, that amount of money is simply out of the question. If things ever clear up enough to work outdoors, he will ask a likely young man from church if he’d like to earn a few shekels digging a hole in the front yard.


Water, Water, Everywhere. . .

7 Feb

. . .And not a drop to drink.

For the last week or so, the pump has kicked in just about every hour, on the hour, whether we were using water or not, and run for about five minutes. Today, the pump ran for over half an hour before either of us caught on. The Squire turned off everything, and waited until the pump casing had cooled down.

Tuned it back on, and still no pressure. The pump has lost its prime. We will be using jugs of water we have to haul from the well to wash dishes and our hands. Water from the pond will suffice for flushing. This is serious business. He called the plumber and they will be out tomorrow around noon.

I don’t want to think about what this is going to cost.