Island House Water Excitement

Late Wednesday afternoon my tenant emailed to let me know that while using the standpipe on the backside of the house (to wash the windows ~ love this guy) he suddenly lost water pressure. He observed water welling up from the ground around the standpipe, and then watched it recede. He quickly checked the house and found he had no water there either. That’s when he emailed. I called him on my way home from work.

I won’t go into the many, many details and diagnostics he and I went through via phone, but will share that he asked who might have a key to the lower barn, where the well equipment is. I said I was very sure I’d mailed him one when they needed to changed the filers on the equipment. As he rifled through the drawer he thought it would be in, he said, “My wife would know exactly where the key would be.” I laughed out loud, in violent agreement, saying that my husband would have said the same thing! Always find room for humor, even when your well is potentially pumping itself dry, eroding something yet to be determined!

A neighbor and friend brought keys over, and the tenant called to let me know he’d shut the pump off as it was running continuously, meaning there was a break in the system.

Due to the high water level on the property there was no way to tell if the supply pipe from the barn to the house was the culprit. The tenant was pretty sure the problem was around the stand pipe given his observations. He popped under the house to make sure nothing was amiss there. All was tight.

I made calls to the Amazing neighbor and four plumbers, and the company that hooked up the drilled well. Left lots of voicemail.

Thursday morning, early, I got ahold of the company that replaced the on-demand water heater. They were able to get to the house that afternoon. By 9:30AM the well company showed up. They never returned my voice mail, they just got out to the house! I am so appreciative. I called off my hot water gurus. The well company, following the tenants exploratory excavation (did I say I love this guy?), found a rotten galvanized coupler for the stand pipe. It’s been fixed.

The anxiety I experienced for 18ish hours was something I didn’t have a whole lot of control over:

  • I’m not there to see what’s going on. Yes, the tenant is handy, a willing excavator, and a great communicator, but the water system is ‘unique,’ and the potential for high dollar repairs exists, particularly when the responsible party is off-site.
  • Plumber availability on the Island is a rare thing. What if I can’t find someone with availability? I’ll have to put the tenants up in a hotel. $$$
  • The price of the fix could be dependent on who is available… It’s a weird water system that I am not there to explain the deep intricacies of to a new contractor in person…

When my well contractor show up I was elated. I don’t have the bill yet, but it won’t be nearly as exciting as my imagination was running away with, plus hotel bills. My tenant, a world wide dweller, always keeps water put by to do things like flush toilets! Again, love this guy.

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