Sunday, March 31, 2013

When Things Go Wrong...

We all have things go wrong sometimes...

...but why does it always seem to happen on a weekend?

Do you know what this is...and why it's in our yard?

Yesterday morning after milking, we noticed that we didn't have any water.


We first thought that it was a minor problem, and that we had it fixed. However, we soon noticed that the well pump continued shutting off, which is definitely not a minor problem.

Thankfully, we have a cistern, which holds several thousand gallons of water. It collects water from the rain spouts on the house, and after a day or so of rain, it's full.  The cows can drink this water, and we can use it for washing dishes, laundry and showering.  The only thing we don't use it for is our drinking water.

We switched over from the well to the cistern, and called the plumber.

He went to the pressure tank in the basement, tested some things (I make no claims to understand all the electrical terms enough to explain them to you!) and determined that the problem was with our well pump.

He needed to pull the pump out of the well...which is 380 feet deep.  The first step was to take off the well cap...

To get started, he attached the tubing inside the well casing to his "wheel".  He grabbed a shiny metal can out of his truck, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized he was using the sun's reflection on the metal can to act as a flashlight, so he could see down into the well...

His "wheel" is run by electricity, and it spins, pulling the tubing up out of the well...

In case you ever wondered what a well pump looks like, here it is...

The old pump is still under warranty, thankfully, so we should get some credit for it. He replaced the faulty pump with a new one, and lowered it back into the well.  Problem solved?

Not quite.

There was a problem with the new pump.

So...we had to go to plan B...staying on cistern for the rest of the weekend.

Because we used the cistern recently, and it hasn't yet been replenished by heavy rains, we had a load of water delivered to fill it to the top...

They emptied two thousand gallons of water from the truck into the cistern...

We should be good until the plumber comes back pull the "new pump" and replace it with yet another one.

This wasn't exactly how we had planned to spend our afternoon yesterday...but we are glad we have the cistern to fall back on, and we're glad we have a plumber who was available to help when we needed him!


  1. Be thankful it is in warm weather and not -30C with 3 feet of snow! Glad you have a cistern. We didn't.

  2. Interesting. At least it wasn't a dry well. Around here there's seldom enough rain to fill a barrel, much less a cistern. Hope the pump fix doesn't set you too far back. Things like that always seem to come with quite a ka-ching.

    1. Thank goodness the pump is under warranty. The type of pump we need is pretty pricey! Having the plumber out two times, and pulling the pump twice will add up, but it's still better than buying a whole new pump. :)

  3. Wonderful you have a cistern for back up, you really don't here much about those anymore. Water is something we definitely take for granted until we don't have it anymore.

  4. Glad you were able to get some help and water delivered. Hope you are back to normal soon!

  5. Wow that is so cool. Out here our water level in thousands of feet down. Not to mention the huge tank and pump we have to have to get it up to the top of the ground.
    I love the idea of the cistern. At least you don't loose the rain water.
    I do hope it all gets fixed today. I have always wondered why things like that happen.

  6. Ugh, that's maddening. And you're right, always happens on the weekend.

  7. You are right about bad things happening on the weekend. Water problems on a farm is real serious stuff. I hope that your water will soon be fixed. It'a a good thing that you have a cistern as a stand by.

  8. Well problems are never any fun. It's nice that you guys have the cistern. I hope they got it fixed today!

  9. Bummer to happen on Easter weekend! I find your cistern very interesting. I guess I have never heard of one that large.

  10. Alica, we have had to replace our well pump since we moved to our place 8 years ago. There's nothing like that feeling of "uh oh" when the pump doesn't come on. I'm glad yours ended up fine!


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