A Jinn In The Pump

…Just finished a one hour boxing match with my water pump.

My ego was bruised, my patience was battered and I bit my lip bloody trying to keep the cussing under control while tossing my punches ~ but when all was said and done:  I won the match and the water flowed.

A couple of smacks with a pipe wrench did nothing.  Violence is never an answer ~ even in matters of plumbing.   In the end, I had to out-smart the ancient pump with about eight inches of bright green cross-stitch floss, which I used to re-thread the stripped primer valve plug.

As mentioned in a previous post: each day (if load-shedding doesn’t interrupt the process) we get about fifteen minutes of fresh water piped through from a municipal tank to a small reservoir beneath our front drive way.  That water is then pumped up, on an as-needs-basis, to a tank on our roof so gravity may then then pull it through our pipes ~ filling our hot water heaters and toilets ~  providing us with water for showering, cleaning and kitchen use.

Ever since we moved into our place two years ago, we’ve had reoccurring problems with the electric pump that brings the water from our lower reservoir up to the tank on our roof.    For a good year or so, it has been functioning fine, but then a few weeks ago, it began grumbling and pumping very slowly.

This morning ~ during  a brief window of opportunity where our electricity was actually working, I went out to turn on the pump.  (This past week, load-shedding has provided us with only about five hours of power each day ~ illuminating sporadically at unscheduled times.)    Though the motor was working, no water began pumping through the pipes.  From past experience, I knew the pump’s primer had dried out and that the jinn inhabiting the device was thus, challenging me to fisticuffs.

The old Kingston Trio song “Desert Pete” came to mind ~ though I was singing other more “poetic” chants and rants while moistening, priming and trying to beat the pump into submission.

At long last, it was my cross-stitch floss that saved the day.  And “Why,” you may ask, “does a man such as yourself keep bright green cross-stitch floss on hand?”   No ~ I am not a cross-stitch hobbyist, but my mother back in Canada is.   Many, many years ago I realized during one of my candle making escapades, that some of her borrowed cross-stitch floss made great wicks.  Since then, I have always kept several balls of the brightly coloured string on hand for those special times of the year when I spend a few days melting old saved wax into new candles.   Today, I realized the stuff also makes handy-dandy (and pretty!) pipe threading.

So with my pump primer valve freshly flossed, my roof tank full of fresh water and my ego stroked with another scenario of successful self-sufficiency….I am reminded by the extra cross-stitch floss in my pocket and the electricity that will, no doubt cut out for another four hours just after I post this entry ~ that it is time for me to make candles again this weekend.

Categories: House, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Simple Living, Struggles & Setbacks

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “A Jinn In The Pump

  1. minhaji


    I always love reading your blog partly because its interesting and partly because its a glimpse of where my roots are, my fathers village is located not so far away from where you live. I rarely hear about where I come from except in depressing news and nor do I get to meet and see people who speak the same language as I do. So it give me great pleasure to kind of connect in away to that place. If you understand what I mean.

  2. Alia

    Salam alikum,

    You have a very interesting blog! I like Abbottabad a lot and I always thought that this is a nice place for writers and poets alike.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: