Where’s the water??!!
The house we lived in in Ohio was around 125 years old when we bought it. We lived there for more than 13 years and I only had to work on the well system once. We’ve been here at HRGS for nearly seven years and I have no idea how many times I’ve worked on this well system. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been 40 times or more. Last Thursday I told you that we were having well troubles. It was so bad that we were not able to supply water to the community all week from Tuesday on. Even with the community valve closed, the pump could not keep up since it would run dry after pumping for less than one minute and have to rest for at least 10. So, the day after I said here on our blog that we hoped to work on the pump with a full water tank, we worked on it with a practically empty tank. Talk about being under the gun! I really wanted to have video and photos for you. I had the camera and tripod all set up … and never took a single frame. Once we shut off the pump, we moved like we were in a cobra pit with just a stick. In other words, as fast as we could.
A little background …
Long, long ago someone dropped some pipe into the well, reducing its useable depth. We tried unsuccessfully several times to retrieve it. A few years ago, a professional was able to remove the old pipe, but we still had the pump sitting at around 115′ below the ground, well short of its potential depth and way too close to the top of the dry season water table. All we needed was some time to make the pipe change and get that pump farther under water. Friday was supposed to be Peter’s day off, but the system was getting behinder and behinder, so we decided it could not wait. (I know, “behinder” isn’t a real word, but if it’s good enough for Lewis Carroll it’s good enough for me.) Our mission office had sent down two 100 foot rolls of polyethylene well pipe and all the fittings we needed to replace the fragile and unwieldy PVC pipe we’ve been fixing for many years. We “just” had to get it all up the hill.
We also decided that since we were pulling an old pump and had no idea what its internal condition was, we should get a new one. So I zipped over to the pump store and found just what we needed. Since the well is actually above the radio station and in Dr. Solomon’s back yard, two of his workers helped Peter and me pull up the old pump and pipe. As many times as I’ve unscrewed those 20 foot long sections of 1-1/4″ water pipe, you’d think I’d have developed a way to do it without getting soaked. Nope. Anyway, the new pump and new cable went down the hole … and down … and down. We estimate from the left over new pipe that the new pump is close to 150 feet down now. And, wow! It pumps!! I initially let it run for over 25 minutes non stop. The other pump couldn’t run for even one minute, no matter how long we waited for the well to recover. By the next morning, our roughly 10′ by 10′ by 10′ tank was nearly full. It probably would have been completely full, but there was a hitch. I’ll explain.
The late night hitch …
I was almost asleep, a little after 9:30 PM, when Mildred answered the phone. It was Peter. He had gone to check on the pump and it wasn’t running. It took me a while to get the cobwebs out of my head and I’m pretty sure I sounded like I was mad at Peter. He was very apologetic when I got up there. I assured him that he was not the object of my displeasure. I did confess, though, that I’d been wishing he had waited till morning to check on it. 😉 Thankfully, the Lord led me almost immediately to the cause of the problem. I checked the pump motor current and it was kind of high. I opened the pump control box and instantly saw what happened. The starting capacitor had vomited it’s inside stuff. We went to the shop and grabbed a spare that I happened to have squirreled away and, after another late night climb to the well, the pump was as happy as an island mosquito on a tourist’s neck. Peter and I were pretty happy, too, and pretty pooped! I got back to bed well after 10:3o, long after my bed time. I think I took another shower first, but I was so tired, I can’t remember if I did or not. Mildred assures me that I did.
A plan came together, at last …
Saturday was a light duty day. Peter got robbed of his day off the day before. I was just whipped and still had a day to make up for as a result of our burglary, so we each stayed home as much as we could. As a result, I felt pretty energetic Monday. Among other things, I went to the shipping company and brought back various packages, one of which had our new network firewall. Ever since that last lightning attack in October, we’ve been stuck using a router that has been driving us crazy. Jim Avella, our IT guy at the home office, had quite a few interruptions and delays, but once he got the new device set up, it is wonderful. I spent Tuesday and part of Wednesday putting in all the reservations for equipment that had changed from Jim’s latest information. I plugged it in Wednesday afternoon and it took right off. I love it when that happens!!
In the Audio Update below, we didn’t mention the well. We did talk about the adventures of replacing the demolished door for the transmitter building. And other topics, of course.