The Water Pump

I'm a wimp. Four months into an Alaskan winter and I packed my bags and high-tailed it south to Salt Spring. It wasn't the blowing snow, frigid temperatures and short days that did me in. It was the water pump.

At some point in its history, our house froze causing a massive crack in the old water pump. This year's temperatures plunged, our water pump embarked on a slow and agonizing death. We called friends and experts to come over and diagnose the problem and each concluded that our pump's days were numbered.

So, we bought a new one and we brought it home. Easy Peasy. Next, we called to book an appointment with the one man in town who was qualified to install water pumps and we were told that he was gone. Gone for how long, nobody could tell us. He was just gone and we'd have to wait for him to come back. 

So, with our cracked, coughing, sputtering, ever-running water pump, we waited. And waited. And waited. We babied the old pump. We kept it warm and turned it off when we weren't using it, just hoping to coax as much life out of it as we could. It was to no avail. It died.

Lovely. Hunter and I were left with no water. We had to snow shoe to the neighbour's house for a shower, melt snow on the stove to clean the house and flush the toilet and buy exorbitantly expensive bottles of water to drink. Desperate, we summoned the handiest man we knew: Matt, the heating guy.

Matt spent two days in our basement working on the pump. At one point, Hunter and I had to take the water pump back to where we bought it. This meant hauling the now-full water pump upstairs and out to the truck in the dark, while wearing snow shoes and walking over a few 6-foot snow banks. Matt brought it back the next day without snow shoes sinking deep into the 6-foot snow banks lugging the still-full water tank on a sled. He was cheerful but I could tell that this was probably the worst job he's ever taken on.

While carefully pouring over the instruction manual, Matt got that pump installed and working. Matt was our hero! We had water! Life was grand!!! We celebrated by taking a shower and washing some clothes.

Early the next morning, the well ran dry.

We'll get water again when the snow melts.  That should be sometime at the end of April.