I was going to write about how we finally got water down to our barn. I was going to explain that when we had a plumber here for another problem my husband and he decided to figure out where an unidentified pipe from the back of our house actually travelled. The plumber hooked something to it and he said it went all the way to our barn! All it needed was the pump part that come up out of the ground to deliver water. We had been hauling water for four years down to our barn bc we didn’t know about this pipe! We arranged to have the work done. My mom decided to pay for it and the pump/hydrant will be named in her honor. I was going to show you a picture of the pump right next to our horse trough which is next to our barn and chicken enclosure. It would be a thing or beauty to behold. At least to us. Well I am going to show you some pictures of the water pump but as always what I pictured in my mind and what actually occurred were vastly different.
Here is what really happened : Our first issue occurred when the plumber realized he had followed an electric line to our barn. This was after he dug a very deep hole only to find an electric conduit. He left that day without telling us this fact and returned the following day and did alert us — then only after we saw him poking around the yard. He had to come in and hook a sensor to the pipe again so he could try to use his sensor wand thing outside to detect the line. His mistake the first time was that he did not follow the line right from the back of the house. He went right to the barn w his sensor thing ergo why it up picked the electric line.
So he began walking all over our back yard again and then he stopped and began digging another deep hole. And he dug and dug to…nothing. He can dig areally nice deep hole though. I know he thought this job was going to be easy and the price did not reflect him digging multiple holes. And he dug not one, not two, but three holes that morning. All three feet deep. The second one was in the right spot bc he decided to turn the pipe on and see if water came out someplace. And it did-a geyser! Smack dab in the middle of our dry lot! This is not where you would put a pump. It would be too dangerous for the horses. Why it ended there I have no idea. There was even electric wire running w it bc I think someone planned on putting a pump in with an outlet to plug in heated tanks or something. We weren’t interested in pursuing the electric part and were now worried with what to do about the end of the pipe being in the wrong place. Kevin and he pondered this for quite a while. It was not in the budget to have our plumber rent equipment to dig the rest of the way to the barn.
So it was decided that he would dig another hole about six feet back from hole number two and set the pump next to our back fence. It was not where I wanted it at all. It would still mean hauling water to the trough in the winter as the trough has to be near an outlet. (Maybe we can try solar next year it’s not in the the budget this year.) but it was saving time by avoiding going into the backyard and going through the chicken enclosure and over to the trough. It was better -much better -than it had been but it was not what I had pictured. I was rather deflated.
So the plumber dug his third hole and found the pipe and he then installed the pump and the boys and Kevin filled the hole with rocks and they filled all three holes back in for the plumber. That in itself was a big job. This plumber was a strong dude. If you live in Maryland you know we have a lot of clay and the ground is hard and it had been frozen on top. He dug three feet x 3! Technically four if you count the one he dug the night before.
The plumber needed to get to another job and briefly told me about the pump and how to keep it from freezing. I listened but didn’t take good mental notes. I had worked with pumps before at the farm where my horses were once boarded. So I knew already -right? No apparently not. I decided just this past weekend – when my husband was out doing the grocery shopping – that my son and I would hook the hose we had running from the back of the house to the barn to the new pump. We wouldn’t be able to use the hose all winter but we could that day and we would just leave it hooked onto the pump with a double hose hookup thing ( I’m sure it has a name). And I thought this was a great idea. We could use the hose on warmer days in lieu of filling buckets and carrying them to the heated trough. (In the winter the heated trough needs to be by the barn because it has to be plugged in to keep the water from freezing). I have no idea what the heck I did with my brain that day. Well I’ve written about my brain issues before so i shouldn’t be surprised. Anyway on Monday I was all proud about the hose being hooked up and the boys came in and said it was frozen. I said “of course the hose is frozen it’s freezing out” No it was the pump that was frozen. What? Holy crap, I forgot that you are not supposed to leave the hose connected to the darn pump. It doesn’t allow the pump to drain back the right way and it will freeze. Even at our old boarding barn we would hook up a hose winter and summer and would turn on the pump, water the horses and then turn off the pump, bleed the hose, and hang it back up. We did this out in the pasture too where they were lucky enough to have the a pump and trough. Why did I not remember this!? The plumber told me too. I knew going in that the hose we would have to use would be too long to drain properly to keep it from freezing bc the line was still too far from the chickens and the horses. So I thought it would be fine just laying it out along the fence to be used on warmer days. But I forgot about the need to unhook it. So now the pump isn’t working. I am thinking of trying to blame this on my husband somehow.
I’m hoping it warms up enough that it will thaw. I have read up on hydrants now (the top part of the pump ) and how one can cover them with a bucket to help keep the hydrant parts from freezing. I also read how to unfreeze the pump manually but am hoping the warmer weather in the next couple days helps thaw it. I am learning!
This is not the story I was going to tell but it is the reality of our lives and life on a little farm. Rarely does anything go as planned- every job is more expensive, and takes longer, and turns out different than I expected. The pump will work fine eventually and we can have a good laugh at my expense. Until the thaw, though, my boys have to haul water from inside the house they aren’t too pleased with me now. Oh well I can consider this payback for some thing’s I will not bring up here ( clogging the toilet and
Flooding the basement Twice) ok I won’t list any more. They won’t break carrying water anyway.
Thanks for reading..
PS- the pump is thawed the boys just alerted me! They are happy campers.