Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Why I blog.*

If you are lucky enough to own your home (check) and it is an ooold home (check) with old systems (check) and you are not rich (double check), you’ve probably had an occasion to be treated to a scene like the one above.

This is our water pump. Well, maybe it is our third or fourth water pump - not sure.
I was down in the cellar this morning to try to determine the cause of the loud noise that recently began accompanying the pumping of water.
My guess was that the vibration of the pump had caused it to shift on its platform and come into contact with related items that transmitted the vibrations to other related items until there was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.
Please excuse the techno-jargon.

As I looked at the shiny new fittings that connected the pump to the copper waterlines of the house, I realized that I’d been here at least twice in the last twelve months.
I’d come down to the cellar for something last winter (Christmas decorations?) and heard that familiar sssssss-ing sound before I saw the water running on the floor. I turned on the light in the back section of the cellar and saw the jet of water coming from the side of the PVC coupling that threads into the body of the pump. (see Fig. 12-J) – just kidding.
The ‘pump repair’ guys (summoned in a previous emergency, no doubt) had managed to force a 1 1/4” fitting into a 1” outlet. Only a pro would attempt to do this. Or a maniac. Granted, it was probably a Sunday evening or a Global Holiday – thereby making the proper fitting totally unavailable. It worked – for a while.
Skip past this next part if you are a poor old house owner – you already know it.
I drained the pressure tank and cut the fittings apart. There’s an hour. I took the coupling out to the hardware store to be sure I was getting the right part. There’s an hour. I cut new PVC pipe to replace what I’d cut out and I dry-fitted the new parts together a couple of times to make sure they’d line up with everything that hadn’t been cut out. There’s an hour. Is it too late for me to make a long story short? Basically, you’re looking at half a day for a non-professional plumber to replace the fittings that connect a pump to the rest of your water system. Oh – I’m a non-professional plumber with about 29 years of experience here at the classroom.

About six months before this I had gone through pretty much the same process because something about our water doesn’t get along with copper. Yeah - go figure. Our water eats little holes in the copper pipes, and then water gets out in places where you really don’t want it to.
To correct this problem, repeat the process outlined above, but this time you'll substitute copper pipe, flux, solder and a torch for the relative pleasures of PVC pipe and vision-inducing solvent glue.

Next week on "This Poor Old House": Let's re-wire!

* So that I've got someplace to share stuff like this - that's why. Thank you for letting me tell you that.


Aaron & Alaine said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting me! I appreciated your thoughtful comment and the bookmark. I am a mother with very little time to comment on all the things that cross my mind, but from one business owner to another - I thought I'd check you out too. Thanks again - here's to blogging, reading and staying in touch.

MQM said...

Yes, indeed.

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2woofers said...

Multiply that by an 18" crawl space and lots of mud........

MQM said...

Oy! I feel yer pain, bro.