Monday, June 27, 2011
The Kitchen Beach
Sadly, we did have a sand beach in the kitchen, and not by choice. We get our water from a well, about 400 ft deep, out of the Roubidoux aquifer and pumped right into our home. Wells use a check valve to keep the water from flowing out of the pipe back into the well. When the valve loses pressure, the well pump turns on to pressurize the system. Our valve is having issues and we are experiencing abnormal use of the pump, which uses electricity resulting in higher electric bills. To replace the valve, the well company has to pull the pipe all the way up and replace it. It is expensive.
Now the pump switch is getting "stuck." When it stops working, all the water plummets down the pipe and into the aquifer. We had to smack the switch to unstick it which caused the water to come back into the house.
Unfortunately, this stirred up turbulence so when the pump brought up water, it also brought SAND. The sand went into everything: the bladder (pressure container), the water softener, plus anything we did not have connected to the softener such as the refrigerator water/ice and the kitchen sink lines.
My husband noticed that the cold water was not flowing so assumed there was some type of blockage. He removed the handle of the sink because the cartridge that sits below it was blocked. He turned the shutoff valve back on to break up the silt and then we had a volcano- of Sand. Fine, silica sand, which is similar to the texture of a facial scrub, only softer and smaller.
It was on the floor, in the sink, on the counters, on everything on the counter, on some clean dishes, on my husband, on the cabinets, on the handles-- you get the picture. Remember, this is fine, fine sand- soft and very difficult to clean. And clean we did. Washed and swept, swept and washed. The floor felt as if it were a shuffleboard table, even after vacuuming several times.
well image credit
(Too bad it's not this easy!)
Now it's clean and just about silica free. We will probably have to purchase a new water softener and somehow clean out the pressure bladder- if we can. It will be a couple of thousand dollars to fix the well plus the extra expense of the softener. It's not going to happen soon, not with this economy and a carpenter husband. So, we turn off the water when we leave and at night so we don't lose pressure. We turn it on when we return or get up. We monitor the pressure and make sure the switch is working. I really don't like this, but what are you going to do?
We have an investment account that isn't doing much, in fact with things the way they are in our government, who knows if it will be there tomorrow. I may cash it in and take the hit. At least we'll have a working well.