I owe not having to do any of those things to Don Cain of Cain’s Plumbing in Mt. Vernon. Thank you, Don!
Fountains and waterfalls as you know are two of my favorite sights in all the land. Unless said fountain is inside the tiny cement block structure that houses our well. One of the many benefits of living as rurally as we do is that our water supply comes from a well. Not the above ground circular stone structure with a bucket that’s lowered on a rope.
I’m talking about a well that’s 400 feet below ground and relies on a pump to coax it through pipes into our home and external faucets. Above ground, inside the well house, is a tank and a series of PVC and brass pipes. In the winter when temps get below 30, we use a space heater to keep the well house warm so pipes don’t freeze.
A reliable system. Until early yesterday morning. What a sinking feeling it is to open a faucet to fill a teakettle with water only to be met with Plink.
Dressed for an arctic blast, I trudge across the west yard to the well house, situated alone like an unyielding child sentenced to an eternity of TimeOut. Crisp, frosty hay crunches beneath my boots. I open the latched wooden door and am relieved to hear the heater whirring. At least the thing hasn’t quit, I think, cranking it up to its maximum heat output. Back to the house I go, open up all faucets in the house so that when the pipes do thaw, which most certainly will happen in 34 minutes or less, water will stream through my home's vacant pipes.
An hour later, nothing. Another trip to the well. This time as a distraction from the ice cube air I count my steps. 78 one way. At least I'm getting some cardiac exercise. A peek into the well house to assure heater is still working and back to the house I go. One more hour is all it needs. An abundantly gracious amount of time.
When another hour plods by - it's now three and a half hours before the sun will begin its descent -
I crank the valve closed, flip off the circuit breaker, clean up the space as best I can and spend the rest of the waning day calling every plumber in the phone book. My daughter, with the help of her future mother-in-law led me to Don Cain.
Throughout this what felt like much more than 24 hour ordeal without water, I was thankful for two things: (1) the pipe hadn't exploded inside the house and (2) it was water I went without, not electricity. Had it been electricity there would have been no heat and my pets and I would have had to huddle together for warmth and being that collectively they weigh about 22 pounds and have a fur surface area of three-quarters of a yard, all of us would have formed icicles on our persons.