Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Water Water Everywh.....or Not

Water has been a constant issue in the new house.  During the initial water test, while we were still trying to get a mortgage and stuff, the test results came back showing Total Coliform bacteria in the water.  This isn't that big of a deal apparently.  The well contractor I spoke to said that there was more Coliform on the tip of my index finger than there probably was in that water.  We had the well shocked, which was sufficient to appease the mortgage gods......but we still won't drink it.

I keep meaning to have it tested again....but I keep procrastinating (as was to be expected really).

The weekend before we moved in, the water heater stopped working.  This was the first thing to really go wrong, so we freaked a little.  It needed a new gas valve, which was a $400 part.
Thankfully, the heater was under warranty for another 5 years, so the part was free.

One day a few weeks ago I went to turn on the kitchen faucet.....and nothing came out.  I ventured into the basement to stare at the expansion tank like I knew what to do....tapped the pressure switch a couple of times, and declared it outside my means to fix.  I went to work.

My husband came home that day, did something to the pressure switch and the water came back on.

Knowing there was a problem with the pressure switch, we got a new one with the intention of installing it at some point.

Fast forward to Friday night....around 9:30pm.  I'm in the shower.  I don't get to shower half as often as I'd like to, so I was reveling in the hot water and soap.  My hair is washed and rinsed, and I'm all lathered up in my favorite body wash......

The water shuts off.   "F#%@!!!"

Happily, I'm a raging dork.  My phone was balanced on the lip of the shower door because I was listening to an audio book while I was in there.  So I wiped my hands on a towel and called my husband.

Me:  "Honey, I need you to go mess with the pressure switch on the water tank.  I'm in the shower covered in soap and there's no water."
H: "Fucking really?" Click.

So I'm assuming he stomped downstairs and messed with the pressure switch.  15 minutes go by......seriously...15 fucking minutes.  I'm still standing in the shower....soapy.

Finally the man comes in the bathroom and tells me he can't get it to work.  I'm going to have to help him install the new pressure switch.  (Well, I'm sure he could have installed it himself, but how long was I supposed to stand there exactly?)

So I wipe the soap off my body with a towel (THANK GOD I had already rinsed my hair), put my jammies on and go down to the basement.

Between the two of us, and google, we managed to install the new pressure switch.

And the water still wasn't coming on.

At that point it was 11:00 PM and enough was enough.  I was going to bed.

For some reason, he and I both determined that because there wasn't a lever on the new pressure switch, that it must be defective.

So in the morning, I drive into town to buy yet another pressure switch. 

In talking to the nice men behind the counter (who absolutely thought I was an idiot), I start to think maybe it isn't the pressure switch.

So we bypass the switch, meaning there will only be direct power from the electric panel to the water pump, no switch or controls.  The point of this is to make sure the pump is working.

No water.

After some more farting around, and google, and calling people who know more about this than we do.....we determine that our well pump has shit the bed.  Died.  Gone on to well pump afterlife. 

As in we need a new one.

So we start calling well companies.  We have a submersible well pump.  Apparently not everyone does this.  The first guy referred me to another guy.  So first I called the number on the pipe in my yard that is apparently my well.

Wrong number.

So we call the guy we were referred to.......

HOLY SHIT.  Our well is over 400 ft. deep.  So that means the company has to bring in a crane to get the pump out.  New pump, labor and materials.....$2,300.00 freaking dollars.

Yeah sure...we have that.  Just lying around.

So the short version of the next 2 days is that we are borrowing the money from our parents.  Half from each set.  We should have the cash in about a week.

Until then......I've actually done this before.  Maybe 6 months before I met my husband, the well at the house I was renting went dry.  A new well had to be drilled.  It was a long and complicated process which resulted in us having no running water for a month.  4 weeks.  30-ish days.  Think about that.....really think about washing dishes.  No laundry.  No shower.  All of that can be circumvented simply by living around the corner from one's parents.  The really hard flushing the toilet. the time a friend of mine came to the rescue by letting us borrow a 200 gallon water tank with a hose on it.  We filled the tank at my parents' house and drove it over to mine in a truck, and filled buckets to bring inside.

So that is what we are doing now.  Same water tank.  Probably the same buckets.  Same level of annoyance.

As my husband said last night, "It's like camping....only not fun."

It's Ok

In other news.....

Who's fucking idea was it to buy a house?  Oh.  Yeah.  Mine.

I love my house.  It's cute, and old and a little charming.  It has 5 excellent acres, and the view from the back yard is pretty damn picturesque. 

But most of's mine.

I haven't even lived in it for 3 months, and already it feels more like home than the house I rented for 7 years. 

That being was a fixer upper.  That's the only reason we could afford it.  We had an inspection done.  We had a friend who is a contractor come out and look at it and tell us what needed fixing and how much that would cost.  We had a pretty good idea of what we were getting ourselves into.

Or so we thought.  Every day something else is wrong.  We worked on the house every day after work and every weekend for 2 months solid.  It was to the point where I was paying the babysitter more than going to work was worth.  I would leave for work around 8am and wouldn't get home again until 8pm.  My son was visibly upset by the lack of time he was spending with us.  My daughter's schedule was a constant juggling act.  We were so tired and so burned out.....we just couldn't do it anymore.

So....I pulled the pin and we just moved in.  It wasn't ready....but if we were waiting for the house to be done it would be years before we could move in.

So we moved in and set up a make shift bedroom in our dining room.

First night there, we found out just what "no insulation in the walls" means.  We froze.  The dining room is on the opposite end of the house from the new pellet stove we installed.  It couldn't have been more than 45 degrees in there.

My daughter's room is right above the dining room.  She also froze, but she sucked it up like a big kid and didn't say anything.  The one time in her life, ever, that she just sucked it up and didn't complain and it was over something totally reasonable to complain about. 

The next night she slept on the to the toasty pellet stove. 

My son spent most of that first week sleeping in our bed with us.

The first night, my husband brought him in bed with us at the wee hours of the morning, and the poor boy's legs and feet were icy.  The very next day I was at Walmart picking out fleece to make him a baby sleep sack (like a blanket they can't take off). 

The 2nd day we were there, my husband messed around with the heating duct and cleaned it all out, replaced it in some places, and POOF it's warm in there now.  In the duct work was enough cat hair to make two cats.  Hmmm...Maybe that's why the heat circulation sucks.

I spent the rest of that first week trying like hell to unpack.  It turns out that trying to fit a 3500 sq. ft. house into an 1800 sq. ft. house is like trying to get a fat girl into a wetsuit.
I have NO CLOSET SPACE.  I have maybe 8 less kitchen cabinets than I had in my previous house.
There isn't so much as one shelf, cabinet or closet in the bathroom.  I have an entire box of bathroom stuff that is still sitting in a box in my living room because I have nowhere to put it.

After 3 weeks of sleeping in the dining room, during one of the coldest winters in history, our bedroom was finally sheet rocked, taped and painted.  We moved our bed upstairs.

The next day we put up pet gates and brought the dogs home.  Our poor dogs had spent the previous 3 weeks in a kennel at my parents' house because I didn't want my un-neutered stud dog hiking his leg on my bed (Because I'm an unreasonable bitch like that).  I pulled into the driveway with five dogs in the back of my car, barking and drooling like....well like dogs.  My husband stood in the doorway and called the mongrels.  They all lost their minds.  Being stuck in a kennel for that extended period of time made them a little hyper, but they're home now and starting to settle down.

In general, my attitude about the house is different than my husband's attitude.  I see it as an investment, as a milestone, as the place my kids will grow up and where we will spend our life.

He sees bills and work.  To his credit.....there are plenty of both. 


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Shouldn't You Be Working by Bethany Davenport is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.