Friday, July 31, 2009

The Pump Man Came Back Again- 30th July 2009

Only in Ireland

Now it's a big blog coming up tomorrow but I just had to tell you about the pump man's visit. We decided we would have the submersible pump, which would remove the horrid little pump house from the middle of the parking area and hopefully be more efficient than the old surface pump. Sean Minogue (Kyle's Dad), also said he would fit an outside tap on the top barn wall and put all the pump 'extras' inside the barn out of the way. As a bonus he said he would put a couple of sockets in the barn and lighting, as we don't have any in there at the moment. All good stuff.

So along he came on Wednesday. The first job was to remove the old water pipes from the well. 'Can you give me a hand Gina' says he. So we pull. Ha ha, not a thing happened. I said I thought he'd need a stronger person than I am so I went and fetched Jim. Pull. Nothing. He thought maybe something was wedged down the well, which is only lined for the first few feet, after that it's rough rock, so a rock could have become dislodged and wedged the pipes. Both the builders appeared and much scratching of heads ensued.

Right, next idea was to tie the pipes to a rope and attach it to the back of Sean's jeep and use that to pull them out. Jim drove, Sean and I tried to guide the pipes, which just bent. Not good. The first pump house wall, which we were using to brace the rope, fell down! Much swearing from Sean. 'Give it another go' he says to Jim. Jim drives off slowly and the two brass fittings at the top of the pipes fly off leaving bare raggy ends. Much swearing from Sean.
Joe the builder offering suggestions to Sean (in hat). The pipes can be seen sticking out of the ground below Joe. As you can see, one of the pump house walls is already down, so now they are trying to use the other to brace the rope against, tied to the ragged end of the pipes.

Sean mutters 'If we can't get the pipes out, we're focked' (please excuse the language). He mutters this many many times! Plus 'if the pipes snap, we're focked' and other slight variations. We all kept rather quiet, realising the seriousness of the situation. Either of those disasters would mean drilling a new well. Many thousands of euros. No water for us for some time. Not good.

So Sean drives the jeep down to the other side of the remaining wall, ties the rope and Jim has another go at driving it.

The second wall falls down. 'We're focked' says Sean.

Sean and Joe try to hold the rope over the wall and guide the pipes up. In between times Sean has drunk several cups of tea and smoked about 20 cigarettes.

That's when wall number two fell down.

Sean decides he needs a piece of equipment that is at his house in Ennis, half an hour's drive away. (Why didn't he bring it?) Jim volunteers to go and fetch it so that Sean can get on with doing the other things he needs to do. We're all thinking that if the pipes don't come up or break, this work will be a waste of time, but nobody says a word. Off Jim goes and returns with the wheel on a stand.

Martin exits stage left and leaves Jim and Sean to figure it out. Note 2nd wall - now missing. If you look through the little cage thing you can see the ends of the black pipes, now tied to the rope, which is attached to the tow bar of the jeep again. And guess who's driving now? Yes, me of course. What a responsibility.
Sean takes a rest, has a fag, Jim ponders, Buster tries to help. The pipes give a convincing 'V' sign and not one for victory either.

'If they don't come up with this, we're focked' says Sean for the umpteenth time.

The real problem was that I was driving, so unable to take a photo of the pipes coming up, should that happen. However, needs must and I used my great clutch control to edge forward, taking up the slack and praying that the pipes wouldn't break. Martin, Joe, Jim and Sean all held the 'wheel' to stop it from toppling over. Like the walls. I felt a jolt. Oh no. Oh yes, they have appeared! So up they came, unbroken. Sean sighed a huge sigh of relief and had a cigarette. We too were filled with relief.

The brown pipes on the ground are the bottom ends that were deep down the well. Jim is holding a cup of tea and even Joe looks relieved. The little wheel, four men and one woman eventually pulled the darned pipes to the surface.

A much happier Sean, a bounce in his step. I had to drive the jeep that far down the hill to get the full length of the pipes out. The well is approximately eighty feet deep.

Sean says in all his time as a pump man he's never had that much trouble getting the pipes out. In the photo above, Sean is lowering down a weight on a long string to measure the depth of the water. This is to enable him to know how much wire and new pipe he will need to put down on the new pump. The weight fell off and plummeted to the bottom of the well. 'Fock' says Sean. We all go quiet again. Buster is investigating Joe's van for any left over lunch. So Sean ties something else to the string.

Or he would, but the string has got all tangled up like fishing line. You couldn't make it up!! Sean tries to unravel the string but Joe takes pity on him and goes and fetches his long line from his black van.After that, it all went pretty much to plan!!

Sean not only turning the air blue but making sparks fly. Note the lack of gloves.

'Sometimes when you stop you realise your shirt's on fire' was Sean's reply to my 'do you wear gloves at all?'

The shiny new submersible pump all wired up and ready to go down the well.

The ceremonial lowering of the new pump!

Sean was hoping to complete the whole job in one day but because of the earlier slight problems, he had to come back yesterday to do the lighting. It's marvellous to have lights and sockets in the top barn at last. Sean was duly paid and gave us ten euros back 'for luck'. He always does that with a new pump apparently.

So we have a silent pump instead of our old incredibly noisy one. The water is very brown so I daren't use the washing machine yet. I expect it will settle in a day or so. We are still being careful as the well is still pretty low in spite of all the rain we've been having. Best to top it up now then hopefully it'll be back to normal again.

Do call tomorrow if you can. It's the big blog post on Seth Apter's Disintegration Project and I'll have lots of photos of the item I have made from my original bundle.


willow said...

Oh dear, what an ordeal. We're familiar with just these same kinds of things at WM. We had to drill a new well after the first week of living here. Oy.

Glad to hear things turned out okay!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a production. I know how relieved you will be with a pump you don't have to worry about going out. Believe it or not at my In-laws today their pump went out. They had to have a new one installed due to iron corrosion. It is always something.

Penny said...

Hate to say it but sounds like a typical day here when things go wrong!

Valerie said...

What a major upheaval! I admire you for taking photographs of it all.

Bea said...

I've been busy with family here and now they have all traveled back to their homes. I am getting caught up with your life. YAYAYAYAY a new pump. Life is good. Well, life was good but now it's a little better with water, right? lol
Thanks for the pictures, what fun to watch the process. If I had been there with you we could have made thoughtful comments. lolololsnort :)Bea

Heckety said...

In Kenya we has a word for a day like that-TIA, This Is Africa! I'm glad it turned out well as then I could laugh! You described it all brilliantly!

BT said...

Thanks Willow. Basically it's not too good a well I think! Hey ho!

What a coincidence Lisa.

You're so right Penny.

Thanks Valerie.

lol, Bea. We could have been really annoying, couldn't we?? ha ha!

Thanks Heckety, I tried to inject some humour! You have to laugh, don't you?

Mildred said...

What a chore! I notice that Buster is in a lot of the pictures I guess to supervise the workers!