Sunday Melissa hooked up a hose to the barn hydrant so we could have access to water outside the barn. When she returned an hour later, the entire barn floor had flooded, covered in two inches of water. What?
She dug and shoveled until the water drained out, but then we had to figure out what was going on. She turned on the hydrant again, and about 30 seconds later, water came bubbling up through the dirt floor. We quickly shut it off again.
Water coming up through the floor isn’t good. And it literally bubbled.
Monday morning Melissa goes off to work. Dealing with these sorts of problems is now my job as Head Farmer, but I must confess that because Melissa has taken care of this stuff for years, I might have become…well…somewhat of a spoiled princess…
So first the princess calls the wrong plumber, the guy who does the inside stuff. “Nope, you want Mark for that.”
So then she calls Mark. He says he’ll send someone out. The guy comes a few hours later and is very nice. The princess shows him where the water comes up. He shakes his head. “Mark thought the hydrant might need a new float, but it’s clearly leaking from the pipe itself.” [She thinks the word he used was ‘float,’ but princesses don’t like to bother with technical details.]
The guy and the princess look at each other. They both know the pipe, which runs from the well to this hydrant, is six feet below ground. There is no room for a back hoe to come into the little barn and dig. “Someone’s going to have to dig with a shovel,” moans the princess. The hole must be six feet deep and four feet across so the guy can get down there and work.
The look on his face? It ain’t gonna be me.
The look on the princess’s face? It ain’t gonna be me. (She only uses ain’t when she really, really means it.)
The guy fiddles with the hydrant. “Let’s check the float first.Could you shut off the power to the well?”
The princess asks him how to do this, then runs to the house, fights her way through the laundry room to the breaker box, and shuts off the breaker to the well. She runs back to the barn.
The guy shows her something. “Look, this hydrant is really loose.” He turns the thing at least three times until it’s tight again.
“How could that be the source of the leak?” the princess asks.
“If the pipe was loose, the water could have leaked out the threads. Let’s turn the well back on and try it.”
The princess skips off to the laundry room again, this time confident she knows what to do, then returns to the barn. The guy lifts the hydrant handle and they both stare at the ground, watching for water.
Nothing! ‘That’s amazing,” the guy says. “We fixed it. How did this hydrant get so loose?”
“Perhaps partying racoons, or evil ducks, or barn ghosts,” says the princess. Really, she has no idea, but she cleverly disguises this with her reply.
Then it hits them both. “No one has to dig,” they say in unison, heaving a mutual sigh of relief.
The princess feels so proud that she’s resolved the problem (with a little help from the well guy), that she returns to the house and replaces the broken toilet seat in the master bath.