So, we were back at the house. It was cold, raining, windy. I had somewhat recovered from my “24 hour” bug (I was now 16 hours into it).
Open the tap- nothing comes out. Walk up to the 22,000 L tank behind the house- completely empty! Walk further up the hill to the 750L header tank which feeds the troughs and house tank- mostly empty, with no flow coming in from the spring. Ack! (This also meant no hot shower after the long international flight!)
So I spent Friday trudging back and forth across the property, somewhat incoherent as I was not yet really recovered. I found a leaking seal in the pipe (probably steppped on by a horse), and after much futzing around, got it fixed. Some water started to flow through.
Saturday we had water flowing into the main tank, but the tank was not filling. There was some water for the house, but not much. We thought the water loss was from a running toilet, but after switching off all the toilets the tank was still not filling.
Sunday morning I discovered the cause of the water loss- the solar water panel on the roof had burst, and our gravity-fed system had flushed 22 tons of water out the panel and down the drains. We cut the panel out of the system, and the tank started to slowly fill. We had water! Yay!
But no hot water. Seems when the system went dry, it killed the hot water cylinder.
So Monday I called and got a new cylinder arranged for installation Tuesday (Thankfully we were due to have it replaced anyway, and a new one had been built and was ready to go). I also went up and worked on the spring to try and improve flow. Thursday I hammered a pip into the bank to see if I could get direct water flow (as opposed to our “catch basin” that was made decades ago from plasic sheeting and piled rocks). After an hour of vigorous hammering with a sledge hammer- no water came out. Drat! So I spent time and worked on repairing the catch system of the spring, and managed to get much better water flow into the system.
And then the next week the water cylinder died. At least that turned out to be a failed element. This apparently happens occasionally with new cylinders- if there is a pinhole in the element a drop of water gets in. When the 3kW element turns on the water flashes to steam and bursts the element open, destroying it. At least it was only day or two before that was fixed. We were very glad that our friend Kerry lent us her shower during these hot-waterless times, so that we could occasionaly de-stink.
So, once again we have water, and hot water. This is a good thing. Now we just need to get the panel replaced. It is covered under warrantly (yay!), I just need to keep poking the manufacturer.