You never want to hear the water pump cycle on when no one is using water. There’s only one thing it could be…a leak. Now we aren’t talking about something every few minutes, or even every few hours. It was more like once every few days, but I knew I had a leak.
Most of my plumbing is at least somewhat accessible, and it’s all above the floor, so you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find. Yet looking at all of the usual suspects–fixtures, valves, the washing machine, dishwasher, pump and tanks, etc.–there were no obvious signs. It was probably at least a couple of weeks later that I finally found signs of something wet–the carpet around the water pump.
Ok, so the water pump and/or fittings around it are leaking. Why wasn’t it more obvious? The drips were running down the underside of the pump body, down one of the legs, and under the carpet. Just replacing the pump head would be simple enough (I’ve done it before…), but this time stuff was wet. I wanted the rest of the carpet gone too.
So there’s what the area around the pump at the end of the tank looks like, through the access door. There are two pumps–the closest one on the floor is the leaky one that feeds all of the normal stuff; the wall-mounted one just feeds an outside faucet from the rear water tank. Since I’ve never used that faucet, and that water tank really wasn’t integrated with the other two, it was kind of a waste. And now I needed a pump–so it would seem there’s an opportunity to do some plumbing.
Here’s the plan:
- Drain the tank in the picture above. Stuff around it is wet, so I can only presume it’s wet underneath.
- Disconnect the tank and move it out of the way to remove all of the carpet around and under it.
- Dry things out.
- Paint walls.
- Reconfigure wall-mounted pump to feed city water, and close up the pressurized part of the system as quickly as possible.
- Bring all 3 tanks into a manifold, and feed them into the wall mounted pump.
- Re-route drain lines and overflow to share a common floor penetration, and get the valves out of the middle of the floor so it can become usable storage. (Previously, care was needed to make sure nothing would interfere with (or break) the rather vulnerable valves)
- Install vacuum breaker so that when tank is full it doesn’t siphon through overflow. This was a real hassle as it was previously set up.
- Get rid of extra fittings for tank level sensor, and remove old one-wire sensor wiring.
- Re-build fascia at edge of bed, utilizing dead space around tank to enlarge floor and sneak in a shoe rack.
- Enlarge access door, so it’s wide enough to get your shoulders in to reach the back. The old door was just narrow enough that it was virtually impossible for anyone older than 6.
That sounds like a lot, but really shouldn’t be too bad. Right?
Here’s what it looked like when I got some of the old stuff out, and started pulling up carpet:
This might take a while…