Softly, As The Water Goes

You would think that we would have realized that the water softener process wasn’t processing, but we didn’t. The soap wasn’t as soapy, my skin didn’t feel as slippery after a shower rinse, and no middle of the night roar from the softener processor woke me up. Still, the 2 plus 2 didn’t activate in my brain, so no thought that we no longer had soft water.

Then Culligan, which services our system and has a strong person haul 50-lb. bags of salt to our house and put them into the softener, called to say that when the delivery person was here to dump in the salt he saw that the softener wasn’t working. Thanks for letting us know because we, who use it every day, apparently were totally unaware. Hubby checked and sure enough, the system was offline. After testing with an appropriate electrical tester and checking the switches on the electrical panel, he decided that the outlet had burned out. After a trip to the hardware store, buying and installing a new outlet, and waking me from a nap to help him test it, we were outside installing the new outlet. He turned on the power and TaDAAA! Wait! Oh no. No tadaa. It didn’t work. Electrical tester used = no electric to the outlet.

Out to the driveway to look at the electric panel, again. Check all the switches, again. All are OK, again. I see a note at the top of the panel that says something about a “sub panel on the right,” but I’m not the one who took electronics in high school, can wire amateur radio antenna systems, or plays with all the electrical tools, so I kept quiet. Hubby was getting tense. That is a good time to keep quiet unless you are absolutely 150 percent sure you know the answer and are capable of giving it in a manner that sounds like just a wild guess. Right?

Hubby gets on the phone with a contractor friend. They chat. We go back to the water softener. Hubby takes out the outlet then reinstalls the outlet. While he is doing this I notice some vines growing over the edge of the fence and begin cutting them away. That was over an hour ago. My hands still itch – but that is another story.

After reinstalling the outlet, it still doesn’t work. Hubby screws everything back in place though so it is protected from the elements. I keep working on the vines. Hubby goes back to the electrical panel and then comes back quickly, picks up the plug to the softener and plugs it in.

ROAR!  The machine roars to life. Yippee. Hubby is happy it is working and very annoyed that he missed looking at the sub panel which, when he found it, was clearly labeled for the water softener. Something had caused an overload in the past few weeks. He spent the next few minutes resetting the time and when the machine was to recycle. The recycle is usually set for the middle of the night because you are not supposed to use any water when the system is recycling or it will pull salty water into the house system. No washing hands, no shower, no dishwasher, no flushing toilets for two hours. No problem. We will be fine.

So far, so good.

Back inside I want to wash my hands, but the softener is running. No problem. Open refrigerator and take out one of the refillable water bottles and use some of the water to clean up. Then hubby goes to the bathroom and on the way tells me that he is going but won’t flush because the softener is running so please remind him to go back and flush when the softening cycle stops. Sure honey. A short time later I hear water. He forgot and flushed. Oh well.

Then he calls me to come to the master bathroom. He’s heard a funny sound and thinks the bathroom fan is on the fritz. He already has his tool kit and the ladder. I walk-in, listen, go over to the empty whirlpool tub, and push down the power switch. Quiet. Apparently one of our cats had stepped on the button and had just enough weight to turn it on. So now that it is turned off we are concerned that running the pump with no water in the tub might have damaged the system. No problem. Hubby says that he will fill the tub with water and turn on the switch. The water has been running for a bit when I have a second thought and say, “ah, honey, we aren’t supposed to be using water.” He laughs and reaches over to turn off the water. He takes the ladder and tool kit away and I’m shaking my head. Such a little thing to not use water. While I’m in the bathroom it is a good time to use the toilet. Just remember VJ, don’t flush, don’t flush, don’t flush. I’m still telling myself don’t flush as I get up, adjust my clothes, and out of decades of automatic response I turn around and flush.

Why did I do that? Really VJ, focus! I can’t be the only one who ever did something that dumb. Maybe it is that thing about brains not understanding negative direction, so instead of telling myself “don’t flush” I should have said????? I don’t know what. Any ideas?

Anyway. The softener is working, we didn’t notice any terribly salty water, and all is well.

Every Day is a good day. VJ


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