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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Out with the old (the truly horrible and decrepit) and in with the new

I've lived in this house for nearly two years now.  I can't believe I'm still here some days.  It's the kind of place I never would have imagined myself living, but a few bad decisions get made and suddenly *poof* everything changes.  I try to walk around with my eyes half shut all the time so I don't really have to see where I live.  Slowly.....e v e r    s o    s l o w l y...things get better.  My parents have helped with innumerable small projects, like putting in stair rails for safety, adding baseboard to my bedroom (yay, the first room to have proper baseboard!) and other helpful projects around the place.  There are some jobs, though, that are too big to tackle by myself, or even with my parents' help.  A major one was the installation of a safe heating system this past winter, which was finally finished in late January, even though the work on it started in October.  Yes, things take a long time to get done around here sometimes.  At least I now have a full baseboard heating system that runs on propane, along with a safe, properly installed wood furnace.  The old one was incredibly unsafe and not installed according to code.  A fire trap waiting to happen.  Ugh.

Today's improvement wasn't related to the heating system though, it was the installation of a proper water pressure tank and upgraded well pump.  This morning, the water pressure in my home was about 20 psi, and it was connected to a piston pump such that the water came in little gushes all the time, interspersed with lulls of minimal water.  Taking a shower was a dreary exercise, and it took forever to get the shampoo out of my long hair with such minimal water pressure.  To improve the pressure, one had to repeatedly drain this enormous, hulking tank that was supposed to retain an air pocket at the top to put pressure on the water, but it constantly lost pressure and was essentially useless.  Add to this the fact that the tank was corroding both on the inside and outside, and you've got a potential mess on your hands.  A small leak in the corroding tank would have meant that the pump would start running, and running, and running, until you could paddle yourself in a canoe around the basement.  Not a good scene!

Lest you think that I exaggerate....I present to you, the former pressure tank.  I left the chopped wood in the picture so you could get a sense of the size.

In this picture, you can see the spigot on the end of it - that's the size of a normal outdoor hose spigot, so that is one massive tank.  It was at least 5 feet tall when installed.

Here's a close up of the corrosion....really bad pitting.  This was happening on the inside too.  How do I know that this was happening on the inside?  Well, when the plumbers tried to drain the tank, they couldn't fully drain it because there was so much corrosion debris inside that the water couldn't get out.  Yuck. 


So, here's the new tank!  Itty bitty!  That's a half a pallet that it's sitting on, to give you an idea of size.  On top of the tank is a brand new jet pump that brings in water from the well.  Far more efficient and much faster than the piston pump that used to run the system.

So now, instead of it taking about 3 minutes for the toilet tank to fill after flushing, it takes about 30 seconds. The shower is behaving like a normal shower, that actually gets the shampoo out in a reasonable time frame. The kitchen sink is positively gushing with excitement.  My water pressure is now about 50 psi, which is a normal home pressure.  And it only took 2 years to get there.  Goodness gracious.

Oh, and another recent improvement related to the water system...a new hot water heater!  Here's the old one, recently removed.  When they removed it, they were amazed it was still working.  It was over 30 years old.  Far longer than the average lifespan of a hot water tank.  Well done, Sears!  But it was time for it to go.

Here's the new one.  Efficient, clean, and modern.  Oh happy day....

Not cheap projects by any means, but progress is being made.  The aesthetics of the place has to take a back seat to practical things like heat, water, and...soon...a new roof, because the current one leaks.  But that's a story for another day.




12 comments:

Lin said...

Well,see, I have this theory that you never really appreciated hot water and water pressure before....and now you do! :) Isn't it amazing on what we take for granted?

Happy new water tank, water pressure thingy and baseboards.

Patty Woodland said...

Hooray! I'm glad the improvements are being made.

Baseboards? What be they? I have none and my house is brand new. ;)

Willow said...

We just replaced an over 20 year propane water heater for a more efficient electric one that looks very similar to yours. Mundane but needed. Hopefully our roof holds up many more years I don't look forward to replacing that anytime soon.

Laura Pike said...

Yeah for you! Your showers will feel like heaven now. I know how frustrating it is to live with things like those items looming over you. You always feel like somethings gonna go at any minute. Those are some real improvements! So one step at a time towards your goals.

edenhills said...

Glad to see progress is being made!

Pam said...

Two Thumbs....UP!!! :)

Melody said...

I am so happy to hear that your sink is gushing with excitement! (and I do so love a gal who can maintain a sense of humor in the face of low water pressure). This has been an informative post... Our old farm house came with the little blue pump thingy, and I didn't really get what it did until today, so thank you! (there is NO running water, so we carry in drinking water and pump the rest from a hand pump at the well outside and truck it to the house in a bucket 100 feet away.....) Don't worry, we don't actually live there yet! :))))
ENJOY your properly presserized flowy water!!!
So glad to hear your bags arrived!

Andrea Chalk said...

So glad to see you getting your feet under you. We're cheering for you!

Spinners End Farm said...

It is amazing how a good long hot shower with high pressure will put a big grin on! That closeup picture of the pitted tank has some pretty colors in it...a nice dye colorway?

Sandra Curry said...

Ok, I am caught up now. I found your blog through Feedly a few weeks ago. Everything has been interesting to read about and then this post made me wonder what in the world you were dealing with to have such an old holding tank. I went back to the beginning of 2011 and finally caught up. You have had a crazy two years! I don't know many people who would have kept at it like you have, but then your parents are nearby so I am sure that is what made the difference. Keep working at it and let us know where Jet came from, the new goats, and the new job. You are a very entertaining writer and I look forward to continue reading about your adventures. I see there is a new chick post. Talk to you later.

angela said...

Slowly slowly and it will get done. We are all behind you. Xxxx

12Paws said...

Cool! Keep on keeping on.You have karma & ambition--you'll make it.