In my life, there has seemed to be an unwritten rule of the universe: that plumbing doesn’t fail until you have guests in the house. I had thought it might be a Ted thing as we have a storied history of plumbing issues when we have company in town, but I guess death didn’t change that.
To be honest, I had known something was amiss before Ted was ever admitted to the hospital, (and so did he by the way), but it wasn’t mass critical, so I let it go. The water would lose pressure about once per day (usually while I was in the shower), but after 5-10 seconds, the pump would then kick on and everything was hunky dory once again. As the hospital stay got longer, so did the pauses in water outages until the pressure would again kick on.
Just prior to my friend arriving, I counted to 30 Mississippi’s before the water decided to turn back on as I stood all lathered up hoping that I hadn’t waited too long to instigate a fix. I thanked the plumbing angels when it did resume and vowed that I would take action. Just a few days prior, I had googled the issue and came to the conclusion that it was the pressure tank switch and I should just call the neighbor, whom has had many discussions of plumbing with Ted, and so, I would ask him over to consult.
Of coarse, things then got busy. My friend was here and we were catching up and visiting other old friends and while I didn’t get the neighbor called, I did warn my friend for when she decided to take a shower. We were able to still do dishes, laundry and showers -up until yesterday – mid morning that is. I went downstairs to tell Devin we were leaving and he said something was amiss and asked me to come check out the leak in the ‘control room’ (that is as loose of a term as you can possibly imagine – think mad scientist workbench in with all the plumbing apparatus of radiant heat with 12 zones, no covers to any wires and stuff stashed everywhere).
Water was dripping from a switch and starting to smoke. Seemed bad, so I turned off the pump, turned four shut off valves – I figured, better to cut off water as much as possible until we returned, and then, on our way out, called the neighbor.
He came over after work and we both came to the same conclusion that it was very likely the pressure tank switch. My job was to drain the pressure tank and check the pressure as that would tell us which switch to purchase – they come in various pressure ranges. The good news was, I was filling up 5 gallon buckets like no ones business and was able to flush all the toilets, fill their tanks back up, put a bucket by each one in case someone needed to flush again, and also water the plants and some of the shrubs outside. Overkill Fill (common reference for Ted), had, of coarse, the largest pressure tank available and so it felt as though I’d never get it all drained.
Once drained, I checked the pressure, and wouldn’t you know it, he also had the switch with the largest pressure range to go with the big tank. My handy dandy neighbor had stopped and picked up the switch on his way home. One of us had watched a YouTube video enough times to know how to swap it out proficiently – it wasn’t me – and by mid-evening, we again had water. It likely went so smooth because my company had just left earlier in the day and we no longer had the ‘guest plumbing curse’ active.
I suppose this is how things will be now that I don’t have the consummate repair guy in the house – try to figure things out, make a guess, call in the reserves and stand there and hold tools and parts as needed.
At least we have nearly all the tools and spare parts to fix almost anything (finding them is another story). And he left me with lots of great people who are willing to help out.
Thanks for the support.