Lesson #42 The Reset Button On the Well
There are many valuable lessons to be learned when you live by yourself and try to maintain a 30 acre ranch. Neighbors and well-meaning friends teach some lessons. The "fix-it guys" that eventually have to come over when the advice given by the neighbors and friends does not work as promised, teaches other lessons.
Case in pointseveral weeks ago, the relay switch on my well pump burned out and I had to have it replaced. Because my electrical knowledge does not extend beyond changing a light bulb or plugging in an extension cord, this little $15.00 part ended up costing me almost $100.00 for the service call, the replacement part and the ten minutes of labor that it took to replace the $15.00 part.
So much for my hay budget! But the water was back on and life again was good. Before he left, the well repair guy showed me where the reset switch was for my well pump and told me that if I ever lost my water again, check the circuit breakers first and if they're okay, hit the reset button next. As I wrote him the check, I told him I would keep that in mind.
My well cap, pump switch and pressure tanks sit just off my carport. Also on the pump switch is a pressure-release spigot. Strangely, this spigot points directly into the carport and at the front bedroom window.
When I got up this morning, I had no water. The thermometer on the front patio read about 10 degrees, but it's also in the shade. I figured the water lines were frozen and it was just a matter of an hour or so before the sun thawed out the lines. Yes, I have everything outside "winterized". At least I thought so.
Well, it's getting to be about 10:00 AM, and still no water. It really wasn't that coldat least in the sun it didn't feel that coldeven on the coldest days, I usually have water by 9:00 AM. I didn't even feel that cold when I went out earlier to feed the horsesso in theory, I should have water.
Checked the circuit breakersthey were on. Remembering the advice given by the well repair guy, I walked over to the pump switch box and hit the reset button.
One thing he forgot to tell me. DO NOT stand in front of the pressure-release spigot when you hit the reset button. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD (and other expletives that I can't put into print)! That water comes out fast. It comes out hard. It comes out about a half degree above ice cube. It also hits you right in the crotch and will soak you to the bone and into tomorrow between your waist and knees. The surprise will also knock you on your butt, so now you're not only soaked in the front, but your hindquarters are getting wet as well and you're at face-level with the spigot. The water only shoots out for a few seconds. Seems like hours. What water missed me hit the front of the house and turned to ice almost immediately.
All I could do was sit on the ground, shake my head and laugh. What else was there to do? The pump was now humming away and I once again had water. I can't even begin to describe how I waddled-walked back into the house, soaking wet and turning into a popsicle. It was something between a Grouch Marx and Charlie Chaplin type walk.
A hot shower, some dry clothes and a cup of coffee let's see how the rest of the day goes. I think I'll just go take a nice long nap .
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