Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't go chasing waterfalls, something something something something, something something something SOMEthing (a.k.a. Well Done Broke Part 5)

The following morning, Mark arrived, along with an assistant well guy. Dave had been in contact with him and had given him some details in our case. I showed them to the crawl space and advised Mark to be careful of the mouse trap within the crawl space itself. It was out of the way, but no one needs a snapped toe. After only a couple of minutes in there, they asked if I had a water hose they could turn on. I went and rolled out the hose and turned on the spigot. Nothing happened, of course. Then Mark asked me to turn on the breaker for the pump. As soon as I did, water began pouring out of the hose.

"Wait. We have water?" I asked.

"Yeah," Mark said from the crawl space. "I just pressed the reset buttons on the power box."

"But I pressed the reset buttons last night. I pressed `em twice," I said.

"Ehh. Sometimes you have to press them pretty hard," Mark said. His theory was that the well might have run low and the power box shut itself down when the pump began to overheat. However, when he went to check the well casing itself, he noticed the thick bundle of power cables arc against the casing as he removed the lid. Turns out, whoever installed that particular pump, back in 2005, had not properly taped the wires to the pump's piping inside the casing. The wires were now hanging from the support plate at the top of the casing and were taking some of the weight of the pump itself, causing the plate to cut into the coating on the wires, exposing them. An arc between wire and casing, in addition to being dangerous to anyone touching it, could potentially cause a power box shutdown as well. So they wheeled their enormous truck into the yard, pulled up the piping, duct-taped the cable to it, lowered it and then electrical taped the cuts in the wire's coating. They also sliced open the wires and tested the electrical flow. There was a definite difference in the flow they got there and the flow Mark had tested at the power box before they'd taped down the wires.

Mark told me that everything else seemed fine. The pressure tank was keeping its charge and the water pressure even seemed to have increased a little, according to their water pressure gauge hooked to our hose. Awesome!

Mark asked me to check the faucets in the house. I did, but only got a trickle from them. Then I remembered that the water shut off valve back in the crawl space had been shut off. The hose water forks before reaching the valve, which was why it could pour with no problem. Mark crawled back under the house and turned it on and I dashed back inside to check the tap and flush a toilet before he was out of the crawlspace. Everything worked.

The following morning, shortly after I awoke, the wife went into the garage for something and called out, "Hey, this mousetrap you set in the middle of the garage caught a mouse."

"What?" I called from inside.

"I said... `This. Mousetrap. You set. In the. Middle of. The garage. Has. Caught. A mouse,'" she called back. I stepped into the garage and saw the trap in the middle of the garage floor did indeed contain a mouse. There was a problem, though.

"I didn't set a mousetrap in the middle of the floor," I said.

"Well, there's one in the middle of the floor now. And it has a mouse," the wife replied.

"Yes, but I didn't set any mousetrap there," I again noted. I'd had no coffee yet, so I was already feeling irritable. "It must have been one of the ones on the table saw. Maybe it was flung there when it snapped."

"No, it wasn't one of them," the wife said, pointing to the two mousetraps atop the table saw, one of which was still set, both of which were mouse free. This made no sense to me. How could a mousetrap have killed a mouse if neither of us had set it. I decided she must have been mistaken.

"Are you SURE you didn't set that mousetrap?"

"Yeah," she said.

"Because I'm SURE I didn't set any out here. I haven't set any mousetraps at all."

"Well, whatever," she said. "One got set and one trapped a mouse. There's no need to get upset about it."

"Well, I am upset! This is the kind of thing that EFFs up my world. If you didn't set it and I didn't set it, someone else had to have set it."

The wife just looked at me like I was insane, but I couldn't see how she was taking this lightly. If she knew she didn't set it and believed that I had not set it...

"I haven't set any mousetraps," I assured her.

"Okay!" she said.

Even her believing me (or claiming to) didn't help. It just meant we had a problem on our hands, because it meant someone else had set it. And what sort of person just goes around breaking into people's garages and setting mousetraps? The only other members of our household who had been in there were the cats. No one else had even been... oh, wait.

I went over to the crawlspace and poked my head through the door. I shone a flashlight onto the spot where I'd left the mousetrap beneath the house--the very one I'd warned Mark was there. The trap was missing. I then deduced what had most likely happened and it made my world far less EFFed. What must have happened was that the trap was already loaded with a mouse when Mark went into the crawlspace and he'd seen that mouse and set the trap and mouse down on the floor of the garage for us, probably near the crawlspace door. Our cats had also no doubt found it and had "played" with the mouse, skittering it out in the middle of the floor. This explanation worked for me. I went and made coffee and felt much better about the day.

Dave called that evening to ask how things went. He was relieved that the problems weren't as monumental as they had seemed the day before. We're now working on a day for the installation of our reserve tank. By all that is right in the world, I will have a lawn next year! (And, more pertinently, we will have water for Thanksgiving.)


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