Saturday, February 7, 2009

Unexpected Plumbing Project

I went outside today to transfer my rainwater around so that I have the most space available when it rains. By the way, it did not rain a drop today. What's up with that Mr. Weatherman? First, I prepared to fill my RV tank. I turned on the pump. It made noise but no water came out. Darn. I tried again, I shook the pump (isn't that the first step in trouble-shooting?), I looked for a reset button (none), I turned the pump on and off many times. Still nothing.

My first thought was that the pump had finally died. It is 6 years old, maybe that is its lifespan. Then I remembered the only thing that I know about pumps...they have to be primed. I unscrewed the top faucet and poured water in. It worked! Water shot up like a fountain. Ok, the pump still works. That means it is the check valve that is faulty (also called the back-flow prevention device). Now I had to go to the hardware store and hope that they had one. I wanted to make sure I bought the right thing so I attempted to unscrew the thing. That failed and I had to cut off one end.

I made a list of other plumbing items that I needed including back-up faucets and connectors for the 2 other tanks. While trying out different connectors another faucet broke off inside another piece. I attempted to get it out but only succeeded in slicing my finger. Well, it's not a job well done unless there is blood, sweat and tears, right?

Just as I pulled in to the parking lot of the hardware store I realised that I forgot my bag of plumbing pieces. I went in anyway and tried to remember what I needed. That was hopeless, everything looked alike, so I went back home and got my bag.

Once at the store a nice gentleman helped me (it is much easier to get help at the little Ace hardware store than to track someone down in Home Depot). He even unscrewed the stuck end of the check valve (with a vice) so that I didn't have to buy so many pieces. He also showed me a compression fitting I could use so that it would be easier to disassemble if I needed to replace it again. He asked if I was doing the project myself. Yes, I said. He said, "I thought so because you were paying special attention." Yes, little girly me is doing her own plumbing.

Total cost was $70 (ouch) but now I have lots of faucets for those plumbing emergencies and $15 of that was on brackets for my shed's shelf. He also told me a good tip, to store my pipe glue upside down so that the lid doesn't get glued shut. I had to buy more glue because mine was, of course, glued shut.

When I got home the wind was really kicking up but I quickly put my pump back together and it worked! I didn't glue it yet because I want to reposition the tank a little bit so I have to wait until it is empty. But it worked fine without being glued. I finished transferring my water, did a load of laundry and now I am ready for the rain. I sure do hope it rains tomorrow. The weather man promised!


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Glad you figured it all out. I work with pumps a lot on the theoretical side, but my practical knowledge of them is limited :(

I agree about Ace vs Home Depot. There are a few good people at my Home Depot, but unless they happen to be working, help is hard to come by.

Also, I'm going out to the garage right now to turn my pvc glue upside down right now. Thanks for the tip. I am assuming the primer is ok to turn upside down too?

Daizy said...

I would assume the upside-down theory is the same for both. Learned to turn unopened natural peanut butter upside-down from my parents. Easier to mix that way. Not the same theory as the glue. :P

Anonymous said...

Aw, I mystery shop those little Ace Hardware stores to make sure they are attentive and polite. They are usually very helpful. EXCEPT the one time the guy kept calling me "pretty lady" and rubbing my upper arm. And said, "Am I crossing a line? I guess not because I don't see a ring." Too bad I was taking notes for later and writing up a report for corporate, dude!!!

Daizy said...

Big Sis, that is so funny! I want them to be attentive but not THAT attentive. I wonder if he got fired.

Sharon S said...

Hi there-very well done on sorting this out, another job successfully done!

6kids4me said...

This is off-topic, but did you put any extra payments toward your mortgage in Jan? What are your plans now that work is slowing down? Will you continue with your repayment strategy or put money away for a possible job loss???

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

Daizy, do you even know how to ahve a quiet weekend???

Daizy said...

Hi Sharon Rose, I am glad it was a success too. A new pump would have cost a lot more.

6kids4me- You reminded me to update my mortgage progress on my blog. No extra or Jan. It all went to cleaning up the house. Hopefully Feb. will be better. I have some money in reserve right now but want to wait until my short term renters are gone and the new ones have settled in. The house might need something, like new linoleum in the kitchen if the patch didn't work. I have another emergency fund for job loss that I haven't touched yet...and hopefully won't have to.

Lizzie, I would only have a quiet weekend if I didn't get out of bed...except that the cat would yell at me. So that wouldn't be quiet either :)