“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One day of decent weather, then more single digits.


Today was the most pleasant we've had in some time.  It got up to around 48 degrees, which feels balmy after all these very low temperatures. However, it will be single digit again tomorrow night, Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, the weather forecasters say it will be in the low twenties at night, which I used to consider cold. Now that seems quite tolerable.

I went down and checked the well head, found no sign of a leak.  I don't know of any way to tell if water is constantly running through the line up to the shop, because there is no pressure tank on that line and hence no pressure gauge. Pressure in the house is about 38, which is normal.  If the pump is actually running full time down there 178 feet below surface, because there is a leak somewhere between the well and the building, I'll find out before long two ways .One, my electric bill will be colossal. That's not the most definitive method, since it was already twice the normal due to my having to run extra heat in the outbuildings. But the other method is beyond question. The pump will burn out.  It's only built for burst pumping, not hours at a time, and it will go. That will answer that question, but it will cost me about $1000 for a new one if it happens.

You would think there would be some other method of determining when water is running through a pipe, but if there is I don't know it.  I am going to call the well drillers tomorrow and ask them if they know a way to do it. I don't want to cut the pipe, which I know someone will suggest, and I'm going to try to exhaust any other possibilities before I resort to that.


I have noticed some tempers getting frayed on some of the blogs.  I would imagine that the long cold spell, with all it's attendant problems and trouble, have worn people down.  I can understand that, and it's a rare person indeed who doesn't give way to a moment of pique when they are under stress.  Enough bad things have been happening to some people that they would be inhuman if they weren't reacting to it.  I'll be glad when the weather gets more normal and we all have less to deal with.  No one needs the aggravation of bitterly cold weather related problems.

23 comments:

  1. Stethoscope? You'd be amazed how sound travels. Even a long stick with your end covered by your thumb would work. Otherwise I'm at a loss as to a remedy. Good luck, either way.

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    1. Excuse me, then the your thumb stuck to your ear....sheesh.

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    2. If I had any sense, I'd have put a pressure gauge on that line under the pump cover. The thing is, who could have foreseen this bizarre winter weather. I'd have given you ten to one we would never have a streak like this. I've been right here since 1986 and we never have. Still , it would have been the smart thing to do. I have a gauge on the line going to the house so there aren't any such questions about "is it running water now or not." No matter how hard you try or how well you think you have done, something always comes up to bite you in the ass out of nowhere.

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    3. Stephen, I actually thought you were kidding about the stethoscope and the stick. But apparently that's quite a good idea. I am going to ask my sister in law if she has one at her office I can have.

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    4. You can also tell by measuring the temperature if there is a big enough difference between the air temperature and water temperature. Shut off all water at the house. If there is no leak between the well head and house there will be no water flow to heat or cool the pipe and the pipe at the well head will slowly drop or rise to air temperature. If there is a good leak between the well and house the water will keep flowing and the pipe will stay the same temperature as the water coming out of the well.

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    5. That sounds logical. I can try it. Thermometers I have plenty of.

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  2. Good luck finding the leak. The wind is picking up here after being lite all day. I went and shoveled the 3" we got last night. It was cold but not bitter wind chill..YET

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    1. If I have a leak, that is. I don't know that I do, I'm just paranoid about it. Today was really nice, but it's cold outside again.

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  3. Harry, Sorry I snapped a you on my blog I apologized there as well. I think I'm getting a little worn down doing the water test. We have had Fog/inversion for over two weeks and I want to see the sun again even if it is cold.

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    1. None of my business of course but hey I don;t shy away from any unpopular opinion. Maybe you were a bit snippy, again not giving an opinion on that but I will say your words were true about things being fair across the board. I don;t think Harry meant it the same way of course but you are right Jamie trying to be fair is what has gotten us in the position we are all in.

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    2. Actually, I wasn't sure just what you meant, Jaime. I think when you typed your thought you left out a word or two, or got something out of order. I was actually talking about something that happened on a New Mexican blog when I talked about people getting mad.

      However, it's very easy to be misunderstood on blogs. You can't see the other persons face, or any other body language. You can't hear their tone of voice. Almost no one uses emoticons anymore. So communicating by writing on a blog is fraught with peril. If I made you mad about something, I'm sorry. You know me well enough to know I'm not unpleasant to anyone intentionally, ever. If I got the impression that someone didn't want me to visit their blog, I wouldn't.

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    3. Harry, The word "Fair" is one of my least favorite words but it's because of my siblings not you and I shouldn't take it out on you when someone else uses the word "Fair" as in (Stompy foot tantrums) and it's one of the words that can push my button especially when I'm tired.

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  4. I would think you could have something like a water meter installed. I mean hell it sure works for the water company.

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    1. I need a pressure gauge. Then I could give my wife a radio, have her stand up in the apartment. She could tell me the water was not running in the apartment. I could then look at the gauge and see if the pressure was fluctuating, which it does when the pump kicks on and off, there being no pressure tank on that line either. Right now I don't have one and unless I get a good indication of a leak I won't put one in while it is so cold. However, that's how I could wind up with a burned out $1000 pump.

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    2. I've never actually seen a water meter. That might actually be better if it is like a power meter and has a little dial that shows rate of usage. Might be more expensive than a cheap pressure gauge though. I'll ask at the farmers depot. Those guys get involved in everything here so they have a good fund of knowledge.

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  5. Yes, stethoscope. I've done it and it works. Turn off the breaker and listen to the top of the well casing to adjust your hearing to no sound then turn the breaker on and you will be able to tell if it is running and sometimes can even hear the water running down the casing. You may even be able to do it without the stethoscope or get some young person who can still hear well to do it.

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    1. Maybe you guys are right. It makes sense. I'll get one from my sister in law or her husband, they are both doctors so they have to have one laying around.

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  6. A current probe on a multimeter would tell you if current is running to the pump. Like one of these: http://www.omnicontrols.com/detail.aspx?ID=76862 or anything similar. Probably cheaper than fixing a burned out pump.

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    1. Let me look at that. I am trying to get a stethoscope from my sister in law, she must have one laying around the office they don't use anymore. But this sounds like a good thing to have too. I appreciate the advice.

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  7. It has been pretty pleasant here as well, then rain M-W and even the possibility of a bit of a wintery mix. Crazy Stuff !
    Last weekend while up at our SC property, we got there and turned on the water, and did not know there was a busted pipe in the one vacat trailer, until the next morning. It was a mess! But we got it fixed and after a bit of crawling around under the attrocity, Senior found the main shut off valve for the trailer. Once we are out of probate, we are having it removed.

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    1. Pipes have been breaking all over the South. Down in Atlanta a huge pipe broke right in front of the Public Water Works office and all that water sprayed up and froze all over their building. I but crawling around in that was fun, but at least with this cold you didn't have to worry about snakes. I wouldn't go under a trailer in South Carolina in the summer time for all the tea in China!

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  8. Back and forth weather. We really need some snow, or rain. It's dry, and a lot of farms are here.

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    1. That new channel that Direct TV replaced Weather Channel with has a big drought map, and I see the plains states are getting hit hard. Too much drought and it could be dust bowl time out there again.

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