Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Things that go pump in the night



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By design, the pressure is supposed to drop when you, for example, open a faucet or flush the toilet. It is not supposed to drop simply because it wants to… which is what it’s been doing more or less for the last month and a half.

"Why is the pump running?" asked my Perfect Partner some time in July.

"Because it feels like it," I answered.

We both knew the real reason was because something was broken. I suspected it wasn’t the device at the end of the pipe – something called a jet and foot valve for reasons that escape me since neither look like their namesakes – because I replaced them last fall when they were leaking. That pretty much left the pipes in the lake or the pipes underground as the source of the leak. The pipes in the lake are a pain in the ass to replace; the pipes underground are close enough to impossible to replace that the difference really doesn’t matter. I prayed it was the lake pipes because if it was the ground pipes, Smilin’ Dog was going to be up for sale.

After much fooling around in cold water, dropping tools to the silty bottom, cursing and busting knuckles, I have definitive proof the leak is in the lake pipes. I also have new pipe I’ll install to the accompaniment of several more choruses of swearing later today.

I’m overjoyed I won’t have to sell the Dog but I’ll kind of miss having the pump wake me up in the middle of the night. At least until the next thing breaks.