You just do not realize how important water is until the moment you don't have it.

Going into the weekend (12:30 a.m. Saturday to be exact) my son was taking a shower after a long evening of lawn mowing. Normally he may knock on the wall a couple of times for forgetting his towel or something minor.

The urgent pounding on the wall let us now that there was definitely an issue. When we got to the bathroom, he said 'Hey! Who turned off the water?" Ok, I'll play along, who turned it off? "No dad there is no water." So I checked the faucet and sure enough, no water.

Being on a well my next move was to check the circuit breaker. Yep, it was tripped. So I reset and went back to see if water resumed normal flow. Not so much, the breaker tripped several times over the next 10 minutes.

No water means there will be issues as we all depend on it for our daily livelihood. Like showers, cleaning in general, washing of clothes, cooking, and drinking. Yes, it is an important part of our everyday life.

Now, trying to get a person to check on your well or plumbing for that matter, in the middle of the night, is a feat in itself. I called a well service that advertised in the Yellow Pages of having 24 hour emergency service. No answer and no answering machine. Next on the list offered the same thing, again, no answer.

By 2 a.m. I was frustrated with the fact I had no water and was not sure who was going to help fix the problem. 8:30 I am on the phone and got a plumber. At least they were up front to tell me that the guy who works on wells was on vacation and it would be a week before he could get to it. They referred me to another company who did come out, checked the well and said your pump is out but we can't get to it right now, however we have a another company that can accommodate you.

After a few calls, arrangements were made to have the pump removed and sure enough, the pump that had been in service for over 40 years had finally quit.

Clay Miller

Two and a half hours after the job started, new pump went back into the hole and within minutes, water was flowing once again.

I learned a few things during the hours without water.

  • Save some milk jugs to hold water for basics like brushing your teeth and washing your face, you know, the simple things.
  • If you are on a septic system as well, you can use this supply to flush the toilet.
  • Be prepared to have a back up plan if it is going to be longer than 48 hours with out water. Ask family or good friends if they will allow you to use the shower in their home.
  • Ask questions about the possible life time of new product being installed. Our new pump has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, that is no where near the life span of the one unearthed over the weekend.
Finally, have patience. It can run thin when you have uncertainty on what will happen next. There are far bigger things in life that can, and more than likely will, go wrong. We have now experienced one of life's game hurdles and crossed it.
Are you on a well system? How long did your pump last?