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Battle of the Water Pump

May 24, 2009 | | Comments 0
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When I moved into this house the garden was in terrible condition. What would be needed most was water. I was assured that would not be a problem as it has this huge brick water storage tank. I was told that I would be supplied a pump that I could use to draw water from the nearby river and refill the tank.

Soon I learned that the pump would not lift the water anywhere near far enough to reach the tank. The hose had more holes in it than a soaker hose, but I was told to cut strips of inner tube and tie it around the hose. Actually that works quite well.

“Oh, no problem! You can get water from the irrigation ditch across the road.” “ Oh, it only has water during the rainy season.” Great. I can get water at the one time that I don’t need water.

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Useless Water Tank

All the above was a moot point as once I tried watering from the tank, I found I could pee farther than the water that came from the tank. Time to buy my own pump.

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Level 1

Now I know nothing about irrigation pumps so I read everything about pumps, specs,  etc., on the internet. Relating my newly gained knowledge through a translator to a Thai shop clerk was an effort in futility.

I have three levels of land that I have to come up from the river. So I finally used the most technical terms I could; “Give me a big one!”


The Rain Maker

Now I had a plan in mind of how I would use the pvc and run it around the property. I would put four faucets at different locations and use a hose with varying length with sprinklers on each.I can then just move them around as needed. I wasn’t ‘going to spend the money to put in a real “western” sprinkler system on a rental home. The pvc went easy. The sprinklers would cover the whole yard. I even put sprinklers in the air over my reading hut so I could make it rain whenever I wanted. It looked great.

Only one problem; the pump wouldn’t pump water. I spent three days trying everything imaginable to make the damn thing work. It would work and then quit, work and quit. OK it must be too high from the river level, I read about that.

I relocated the pump two times, changing the pvc piping each time. Finally I was as close to the water as I could get. I knew it should work because it was a “big one”. It didn’t.

Wait what’s this? It looks like air bubbles from the prime plug. Yes!! A bad washer. 3 days work because of a bad washer. Now the pump is staying where it is, far too close to the river, but it will do until wet season.

Well, time flies and the rainy season is here.  It’s raining, the river is rising and may overrun the pump within a matter of hours. I cut the pvc, carry the “big pump” up the hill and again connect new pvc. Great! It runs…… and stops, Runs and stops.

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Hot, Tired and Having Fun

Hey, I’ve been there before. An air leak. A rush job in the rain, the glue isn’t holding. Another day of ripping out pvc and re-doing everything, and then success! I have water. Not quite as strong as before but at least the pump is above the river.

With some friends visiting a few evenings later, I decide to show off my system. Great! The sprinklers spring to life, I have rain over the hut and then………….it stops. I want to scream.

Just then Thim comes out of the house to announce, “Oh, we have a power failure, it will come back on soon”. All is right with the world!

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