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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would share last nights events with everyone.

Around 10:30 PM my wife asks me to check the water pump due to a lack of water. Not a big deal because I have been having intermittent problems with the pressure switch any way (worn electrical contacts on the switch). When they start going bad, I will have to bump the switch occasionally. I am sure that many on the boards are familiar with similar issues such as old truck starters etc.,

So I open the Pump house and lo and behold the Pump motor is running. After scratching my head for a few seconds in surprise, I notice that the inlet pipe from the well head is broken in two. So I shut off the breaker and head to the barn for the appropriate repair items (pipe, couplers, glue, saw etc...).

BUT to my chagrine I do not have any pipe or fittings of the proper size. I have tons of every other size, BUT none of the size I NEED.

Needless to say this bothered me all night long. $5.00 worth of simple fittings was denying me of haveing running water in the house. I felt very stupid. I own a Construction company for goodness sake. I have spare breakers, outlets, plastic, lumber etc... But I did not have what I NEEDED for a simple water line break for my own home.

A trip to the Hardware Store this morning; $5.00 worth of fittings; and a few minutes work had the water back on.

I started another "List" of Emergency supplies last night. "Common Hardware repair items".

I still feel dumb. But at least now I will be a prepared dumb.

Jessee
 

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You should give yourself credit for the things you did RIGHT.

1. You did have the knowledge to identify the problem.

2. You knew what supplies were required to fix it and how to repair the break.

3. The repair was done. Just took a little longer than you had planned, because you had to make a trip to the hardware store to buy the pipe fittings.

(If this had been me, I would still be waiting for the plumber to show up. And wondering if I would need to sell one of my kidneys to pay the bill for his weekend overtime rates. LOL)
 

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I'd be more curious how the inlet pipe could have snapped.

I wouldn't kick myself too hard; that seems like a rare occurrence to me. I've never had one snap except when I snapped it once while moving the entire pump because a kitten had gotten stuck behind it. Since then I put in clear mesh house that's flexy.
 

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I keep both a binder in the house and a notebook in the car. Both contain measurements an sizes of most anything that could break or need replacing. When I see the item on sale or something breaks I already have the measurement.

I also keep clothing and shoe sizes in it, and car repair info I try to buy more then one when I buy the item so I have a back up.

Don't feel so bad and remember you just learned a valuable lesson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should give yourself credit for the things you did RIGHT.

1. You did have the knowledge to identify the problem.

2. You knew what supplies were required to fix it and how to repair the break.

3. The repair was done. Just took a little longer than you had planned, because you had to make a trip to the hardware store to buy the pipe fittings.

(If this had been me, I would still be waiting for the plumber to show up. And wondering if I would need to sell one of my kidneys to pay the bill for his weekend overtime rates. LOL)
Thank you for the kind words. My issue was with not having common (in my mind) repair items in my fix-it bag of tricks. The break itself was not a big deal. But for me not to have common plumbing fittings ON Hand is not normal for me. Normally I would use my personal supply, and then "replace" the used items at my leisure. Not having the common fittings on hand for such an important asset such as water supply bothered me.

Jessee
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Surely you could have improvised? If you weren't able to go to the store the next morning, you definitely would have improvised.
Not really. They inlet fitting on the suction side of the pump broke. Again, the lack of water at 10:30 PM was not an issue. The fact that I did not have the required common fittings in the proper size for my Home was my issue.

As I mentioned, I have other size fittings from 1/4 inch up to 6 inch in my barn or in one of my construction trailers. BUT I did not have any of the size I needed for the inlet side of my Home's water supply.

No adapters such as reducers or anything improvise to the existing pipe. If in a shtf scenerio you are correct, I would have improvised. But seeing that it was the suction side of the pump, it would not have been pretty.

Jessee
 

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Don't kick yourself. We've had hundreds of threads like this showing how easy it is to overlook things, even though we're all trying not to. Some have happened when the water or power went off. Other times when something broke like in your case.

It's good to always read these and think how we can apply the lessons someone else learned to our own situation. I much prefer to learn from other people's lessons than have to learn my own lesson the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd be more curious how the inlet pipe could have snapped.

I wouldn't kick myself too hard; that seems like a rare occurrence to me. I've never had one snap except when I snapped it once while moving the entire pump because a kitten had gotten stuck behind it. Since then I put in clear mesh house that's flexy.
Over 20 years of vibrations from the pump switching on and off finally did its work. It is rare. But as you mentioned, things happen some times. Its funny that I have a complete "spare" pump and motor in the barn, but I did not have the fittings. Duh..

Jessee
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I keep both a binder in the house and a notebook in the car. Both contain measurements an sizes of most anything that could break or need replacing. When I see the item on sale or something breaks I already have the measurement.

I also keep clothing and shoe sizes in it, and car repair info I try to buy more then one when I buy the item so I have a back up.

Don't feel so bad and remember you just learned a valuable lesson.
I keep a similar log book. Mine is primarily to keep track of expendibles from the business; Boxes of nails, screws, caulk, bolts etc...

I am also bad about stocking up at Auctions and yard sales. Prepper = Hoarder? My wife just shakes her head and laughs at me and her Dad when we come back with a trailer full of "treasure" from the equiptment auction.

This little incident was not a big deal, and if any thing, I am greatful for it, and feel better prepared from the experience.

Jessee
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don't kick yourself. We've had hundreds of threads like this showing how easy it is to overlook things, even though we're all trying not to. Some have happened when the water or power went off. Other times when something broke like in your case.

It's good to always read these and think how we can apply the lessons someone else learned to our own situation. I much prefer to learn from other people's lessons than have to learn my own lesson the hard way.
You are correct, and that's why I shared the story. I also like to use these opportunities to teach my 10 year old son and my 18 year old wannabe son-in-law how things work. Best lessons are when you have them help troubleshoot and then fix something.

It is fun watching my 10 year old troubleshoot. He already has a knack for seeing things "that don't look right", like the broken water pipe.

If I can teach them critical thinking, they will be able to handle anything thrown at them. There is a positive side to events like this.

Jessee
 

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Having done these kind of repairs through out the years I can conclusively tell you that no matter how much spare parts you stock, when something breaks, you will be missing the part that you need. It will also happen when it is inconvenient and the stores are closed. Worse yet, when you do have the correct fitting, you will somehow screw up in the repair and destroy it or something else that you also find you do not have.

It is simply the Gods of Maintenance exacting their toll on the unfaithful. Cheer up! If they had really hated you you would have found that the Hardware store did not have any of the fittings you needed though they normally carry a lot of them. And the only other place you could find them the owner decided to take the week off to go fishing.

Pointless to rail at the Gods. :cool:
 

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Having done these kind of repairs through out the years I can conclusively tell you that no matter how much spare parts you stock, when something breaks, you will be missing the part that you need. It will also happen when it is inconvenient and the stores are closed. Worse yet, when you do have the correct fitting, you will somehow screw up in the repair and destroy it or something else that you also find you do not have.

It is simply the Gods of Maintenance exacting their toll on the unfaithful. Cheer up! If they had really hated you you would have found that the Hardware store did not have any of the fittings you needed though they normally carry a lot of them. And the only other place you could find them the owner decided to take the week off to go fishing.

Pointless to rail at the Gods. :cool:
It's actually called Murphey's Law :)

Seriously, though, it's always a good idea to have extras of small, cheap parts on hand. Whether it's a few 2x4s or an extra hammer, screwdriver, etc. I'm learning that more and more living out in the country. Very few things are more frustrating than having to run into town to get a cheap $5 or less tool/part because you didn't have an extra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Having done these kind of repairs through out the years I can conclusively tell you that no matter how much spare parts you stock, when something breaks, you will be missing the part that you need. It will also happen when it is inconvenient and the stores are closed. Worse yet, when you do have the correct fitting, you will somehow screw up in the repair and destroy it or something else that you also find you do not have.

It is simply the Gods of Maintenance exacting their toll on the unfaithful. Cheer up! If they had really hated you you would have found that the Hardware store did not have any of the fittings you needed though they normally carry a lot of them. And the only other place you could find them the owner decided to take the week off to go fishing.

Pointless to rail at the Gods. :cool:

You are so right. Today while I was repairing the suction side pipe, I broke to outlet side pipe. At least I had correct fittings on hand so it only took another 20 minutes to "repair".

I learned long ago not to rail at the Gods and try to live by a simple rule, "Don't sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff". Living in Hurricane central as we do I try very hard to have anything and everything on hand for things like this. During Hurricane Ivan we went without Grid Power for about two weeks. Gas stations closed; hardware stores closed, etc.. We operated like normal due to being prepared. During that storm, my brother-in-laws pump house was flattened by a tree. I had the parts on hand to repair his connections.

As I stated earlier, the pipe break was not a big deal. Not having $5 worth of specific fittings on hand "could have been" a big deal during Ivan.

Jessee
 
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