My life has a habit of just hanging a left now and then for no apparent reason and of course, this is one of those times. There is no such thing as being stuck in a rut at my house. Most of the time, we just muddle through trying to hang on while the winds of fate whip us around.
Everything seemed pretty normal lately, which should have been a sign of impending doom right there. We’re getting settled into our summertime routine of going to the camper every weekend. Our Beagle Boy Cletus spends Sundays sleeping in the Jeep, trying to hold it down so it can’t go anywhere without him.
I was ready for bed the other night and made one last potty break and discovered the toilet wouldn’t flush. Well, that’s peculiar. And no water came from the faucet, either. Sady, that’s familiar.
That’s what happens when the pump in the well dies. If you have water issues, like leaks, or drains that don’t, you call a plumber. If you don’t have water, you call the well man. We had just replaced the pump six years ago, for the second time in our 22 years at the house.
They’re supposed to last about 30 years. I don’t know what happened to the first one we replaced, but the second one was essentially murdered. And right under our noses.
It all started about a year ago when Dave called me at work to say we had a pretty substantial water leak. A pipe burst and water was shooting up to the ceiling, soaking our newly installed insulation. He shut off the water and I called our new insurance.
They sent out a plumber right away, who fixed the broken pipe. He also said our pressure tank was bad and we needed a new one. We happened to have one kicking around on the back porch, but he said that one wasn’t any good, just a big chunk of scrap metal. Pretty much like the one he took off.
Now what? He said not to worry, he could just bypass it, we didn’t need it anyway. And so he did. After that, any time we ran water or flushed a toilet, the pipes would jump around for a while. I should’ve known right then something was seriously wrong, but those blue tanks are about $200 and then we’d need somebody to install it.
We don’t have that kind of money and besides, he said we didn’t need it, right?
Fast forward to last month. Our No. 1 son brought his plumber friend around to give us an idea of what was needed to fix our plumbing problems. He did and also mentioned we needed to get on it right away because there was nothing regulating the water pressure.
It was coming straight out of the well full blast, which is why the pipes jump. Eventually that would wipe out the pump in the well. OMG. We have to do something quick. We got a blue tank from a neighbor who had recently replaced his for an upgrade, so his should still be good.
We had the list of things to get and an offer of help from the plumber friend. What we were waiting for was the month’s bills to be paid and that third payday of the month that happens only a couple of times a year and lets us do things like this.
It just came about a week too late. I think the pump is dead. Murdered by a plumber who said we didn’t need the pressure tank. Now everybody is saying, "well of course you need a pressure tank." Where were they a year ago when we could have spent about $300 and fixed the problem before it became a $1,500 nightmare?
I told Dave we didn’t have any water. Ever the rock steady one, he said, "Oh well, good thing I already set the coffee pot then."
Since we had the power outage not long ago, I’ve been filling jugs with water and stockpiling them in the utility room. When the power is out, the pump doesn’t work, so there’s no water. I didn’t have any water to fill Cletus’ dish. So I became a water hoarder.
At least I had water to brush my teeth in the morning before I called the insurance company. Girlfriend explained that they didn’t cover wells. OK, but what about the podunk plumber you sent me last year? This is his fault. He should be paying for our new well pump.
She said she’d have him call us. I’m still waiting for that call. Our son said the plumber should be forced to pay for it. Like how? Take him to court? That takes money we already don’t have and we can’t go without a functioning toilet until the case comes up in court in like February.
I called about my IRA account, which I learned is different than a 401k. You don’t have to meet any hardship criteria like the year our furnace died in February and they didn’t think that qualified. With an IRA, you just have to ask for your money and pay the taxes you would have anyway if they’d never taken that money out of your paycheck to start with.
In the meantime, we get to live at our camper until the check comes and the well is fixed. I can live with that. Whatever anyone says about my life, you can count on one thing, there’s never a dull moment.