A FEW DAYS ago, I wrote about where water comes from, and the annual cleaning of the underground cistern, a chore we handle ourselves, the two of us. Coincidentally, during that same week, the nearby pump that delivers water from the cistern to the tank on the roof made funny noises for the second time in recent weeks, so I decided to replace it. It was 17 years old, installed during the Hacienda construction.
It is not a pump you want to fail. Without it, there’s no water anywhere in the house.
I don’t know the useful life of such a pump, but 17 years seems a long time, and the pump looked quite ratty, as you can see from the photo. The new pump is big and beautiful.
Like Muhammad Ali.
Coincidentally again, and also water-related, the Honda got a new water pump last week, another precautionary measure. That pump too was the original, and the car has 210,000 kilometers. As I write this, the Honda sits in the shop having its A-C radiator replaced. The A-C decided to commit suicide during our hottest month of the year.
Yes, the Honda has a streak of malevolence.
But enough about the Honda. Let’s return to the house. The tank on the roof sports some sort of electronic gizmo — with mercury inside, I think. It dangles inside like a snake — that senses when water falls below half full. At that point, it signals the pump below, the one that was replaced, to ignite and send water from the cistern up to the roof.
Just after the pump started acting goofy, the electronic gizmo up top failed its mission, and the roof tank’s water level fell considerably below half. I knew this because I went to the roof, put a ladder against the tank, popped the top, looked in, saw the situation, and gave the electronic snake a shake. It turned on the pump below, and water started to come up.
But obviously, there was a problem. So today, Jorge the Plumber came with the new pump, plus a new electronic snake for the roof tank. Jorge is also an electrician.
So now I have a new pump down below and a new electronic snake up top. With luck, this pump will top the 17 years of the previous one, and the snake will last as long as possible. And the Honda’s A-C will keep me cool for a long time to come, especially in May.
The entire cost — the labor and materials — ran the peso equivalent of $160 U.S. The cost of the work on the Honda has yet to be determined.
Let’s go have a coffee now. I’m bushed.