Monday, February 11, 2013

Post 2256 - A Neat Deal

So, I am back in the city this evening.  I would have left earlier had I not misplaced something.  I went through my car, Mom's house, my computer desk, every piece of luggage I had taken with me, to no avail.   I still can't find the dvd set I borrowed from the library.  Grr!

Anyway, the neat deal I promised you at the top of this post was pretty neat.

Mom needed to have the house water tank fixed.  It was water logged.  Ironically enough, this meant that the water in the tank could not be accessed.  Literally, if you turned on the tap to pour yourself  a drink of water, the piston pump downstairs would come on.  We had to fix this problem.

Please note that we grew up, and my mother still uses, a dug well.  It has been tapped into for over 50 years now.  Knock on wood, it has never gone dry.  In order to extract water from the well, a piston pump is employed to do so, which in turn transfers water to a cold water tank, which in turn feeds the hot water tank.  Clear as mud?

The plumber Mom uses explained to me over the phone on Sunday how to fix it.  But I wasn't catching on, so he agreed to drop by the house Monday morning.  He arrived around 9:30.

We went downstairs and over to the water pump and the associated tank.  He unscrewed a cap below the gauge, revealing a nozzle pretty much the same as what you would see on a car tire that you have to fill up with air at a service station.

We needed an air compressor.  Buddy had one in his truck, but Dad had a huge, honking one in  his old workshop.  We had not sold that compressor as part of the estate, so it remains there.  For the first time in a few years, it was called into service.

We unwrapped the hose from where Dad had kept it, and found it was just long enough to reach from the workshop to where the pump was.  Good news. 

We shut off the pump.  Opened up the valve.   Unscrewed the water drain pipe, which a piece of garden hose attached to it.  Turned off the water mains.   He applied the end of the air compressor hose (with a fitting that was just like the thing you use to pump air in your tires) to the nozzle I just mentioned, and the magic took place.

Within 10 minutes or so, because of the strength of the compressor, the water was drained from the tank.  The hose fed the water to the nearby sump pump. 

We reversed the procedure to get the pump to refill the cold water tank.  That took 10 or 12 minutes.

We started to talk.  He pointed out a couple of really old water pumps a short distance away and asked what I might want for them.  I asked him what he would charge for his trip to Mom's and for his labour.  He indicated a certain sum.  I offered to trade one of the pumps instead of paying him.  He preferred to have both pumps.  I agreed.  He found a piston pump repair kit, pretty much unused, in the workshop and I threw that in to the deal.  Maybe I should have charged a few bucks. 

We agreed on the trade, the barter.  We got the pumps upstairs, and he took them to his truck.  Much to Mom's delight, we told her we had reached an understanding whereby he would accept the pumps in lieu of payment.  She was very happy to learn that. 

I think this was a win for everybody.  He got pumps he wanted to play with and get working.  Mom wasn't out of pocked for the work.  I got rid of pumps that were incompatible with the working pump and which were just cluttering up the basement.  Plus, I learned how to perform this task so that I will know how to do it going forward.  It really is easy once you see how it's done. 

As the economy falters, I wonder how much barter will take the place of traditional cash in return for goods and services.  I say, bring it on.  The plumber expressed some interest in other things in the basement. Maybe we can do additional trades in the future.

I love a good deal.  Don't you?

Been a very long day.  Time to turn in.

See you tomorrow.


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