Owning your own home can sometimes be a challenge. There is always something that needs an adjustment, repair or replacement. After a while you get to know your house and can anticipate what some of the problems might be and become pretty good at “DIY” (aka do it yourself) repairs. However, not all problems are what you might think they are.
There is an unusually high amount of sediment and minerals in our water supply; our well is over 350 feet deep so it might not be that unusual. We originally found out about it when our electric hot water heater started to short out. The electrician found a ton of sediment in the bottom of the tank and said it was bonding to the heating elements and breaking the metal off as it fell off it; thus the short. Next step–water softener for ‘hard water’. We got a water softener system installed and all seemed to be going well…until we solidified the resin tank. OK–next adjustment: add a pre-filter to the system. That worked pretty well for a long time and we added another filter after the (calcium salt) reservoir to remove the softener before it went in to the house.
That worked well until we burned out a well pump due to the calcium in the well water. Much time and money later, we had a new well pump…..and 300 feet of new and bigger tubing–the second time with a ‘check valve’ to prevent the second more powerful pump from burning out. Yeah!! Its working and we have lots of water!
Fast forward to June– hubby changed the filter in the “pre filter” and suddenly no pressure in the house. He bypasses the water softener and it gets a better. We debate about calling the water softener company and delay that when the service fee alone was $150 just to show up. We debate again and call a plumber who could evaluate the well pump and replace if needed, because based on past experience that was probably what it was.
So the plumber comes and checks this and that and another thing and….determines its NOT the well pump but something inside. He removes the valve and ‘t-piece’ to the pressure tank and low and behold its 90 % blocked with sediment crud and pretty much limiting the flow into the house. He replaces it and we have water!! But….he also suggests replacing the copper pipe up to the water softener because it also is filled with crud. SO he comes back, replaces that part and we have water again…..but the resin tank is again solidified and needs replacing at some point.
The moral to the story: just because you are sure you know what the problem is doesn’t make it so. Had we just called the well guy we’d have a new pump and the same issues of low pressure. Sometimes you need to set DIY diagnosing aside and let the professionals do what they are trained to do…for a reason. And you usually save money in the long run since you are only ‘repairing’ things once.
That being said, head on over to “Part 2″ for more personal diagnostics.