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Jury rigged

January 3, 2023

One of those “stories for another day” I mentioned the other day is this one.

During the run up to Christmas when the pipe from the well froze and I crawled into the crawl space to switch the water source from the well to the cistern, I noticed the filters were pretty black. It annoys me no end that this is one of those jobs I simply cannot do. I don’t have enough strength to tighten the filter containers sufficiently to prevent leakage and if they are sufficiently tightened I do not have enough strength to loosen them. Manly man required.

Joe to the rescue the next day. By the time he was in the crawl space the pipe from the cistern had also frozen, so it was a bit of a moot point, but still worth getting the job done before the pipes unfroze. Unfortunately, when the job was done and the water switched back on, there was a leak from the pipe that joins the two filters. Not a terrible leak, a drip drip that could be dealt with by a bucket (and phone reminders to empty it regularly). Switching the water back on had caused the pump in the crawl space to start screaming, so I unplugged it and went back to melting snow on the stove so I could wash dishes, flush the toilet once a day and have a bucket bath. (If it was good enough for Nigeria, it’s good enough for here.) 

The thaw finally began and on the morning of Christmas Eve I went into the crawl space to plug the pump back in. Yikes! The trickle was now a spurt. Not good. If this could not be remedied then I was going to be without water until after Boxing Day when I could get an actual plumber over. Phoned Joe and, apologising profusely because it was Christmas Eve and his daughter was visiting, explained the situation. Bless him, he agreed to come over which he did – with his daughter and Georgie, who kept trying unhelpfully to get into the crawl space. (Georgie, not Joe’s daughter.) Some solution needed to be found.

Joe asked if I might perhaps have a big enough piece of wood to divert the leaking water out of the crawl space. Probably something in the shed, I said. We went to investigate. Yes, there were various sized sheets of wood, but also something I had completely forgotten – a piece of plastic pipe that had been in the shed since we bought the house. Pipe good, but now what? Let’s have a think. A garbage bag? Yep, got some of those. Oh, and of course, duct tape!

It ain’t pretty.

But it got the job done. Showers and flushing toilets for Christmas. Hurrah!

Good news until the morning of December 27th when I finally give Scotty, my plumber, a call. Then the news becomes incredibly sad. My lovely, lovely plumber (officially retired years ago but still happy to come out for me) is in the final stages of cancer. I can’t claim to know the man well, but I am very, very fond of him – and not just for the number of times he’s bailed me out. I was at a loss to know what to say to him other than how very, very sorry I was to hear the news.

As sad and dismayed as I was, I also realised another plumber would need to be found. Rang a friend for a recommendation then arranged for someone to come the next day. 

The new (to me) plumber voiced his appreciation of Joe’s ingenious jury rigged solution. Scotty would appreciate it, too. 

From → Blog

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