No…. Not THAT Tap…!


Sunday 17 August, 2014 by Uncle Spike

The laws beset by Marriage 101 dictate beyond any reasonable doubt, that whosoever was to ‘blame’ for ANY incident, should never be made known. Yeah right, as if…

Like all married couples, we have our differences, albeit very rarely (thankfully). However, equally, like all couples, we are not always 110% on the same wavelength, and here is a case offer as an example of such phenomena.

A few weeks ago, upon arriving home from her usual week working away, Aunty Spike drove up to find me in the garden, about to fill the two tonne water tank via a 30 metre (100′) flat pipe connected across the driveway to an outlet from the artesian pumped well-head.




I had connected the flat (flexible) pipe to a solid 2″ PVC pipe, and had already flicked the switch to fire up the 18 in-line pumps located 70 metres (228′) underground that delivers cold and fresh mountain water sourced from an underground river some 121 metres (395′) below the farm.

All of a sudden, Auntie Spike waved and hollered at me.

I looked over and saw that I had forgotten to remove the very large screw lid to the big 2000 litre plastic tank, and so the pumped water was just pouring all over the tank, and not going inside – doh.

No problem, with some arm and hand movements I suggested that the lid needed to be removed, and was jogging back to turn off the pump when…..


Aunty Spike has interpreted the signal to mean ‘close off the valve where the flex pipe was connected to the main PVC outlet’Oops. The BANG went right through me, for I instantly knew what it was, and the damage it represented. At the same precise moment, Aunty Spike had realised the exact same thing. But it was too late by then of course.

The 7.5 kilowatt 18 part in-line pump is one powerful beastie, and pumps up 10 tonnes of water every hour; so within 1.53 seconds of the valve being shut off whilst the pump was on, the very thick and solid PVC pipes split in multiple places like a size 9 boot on a prawn cracker.






Hey ho, such is life. I tried every so calmly to smile, but failed miserably I know (ashamedly). Added to the drama, some long-time-no-see friends had just arrived to stay the night (en route from Istanbul on their jollies). So even before they managed to set foot in the house, I was being chauffeured around the area at great speed in a snazzy large black air-con Audi (we had to go 25km away) to get the replacement parts after failing locally. As I was fasting at the time and had had nothing to eat or drink since 03:30 that morning, I accepted the help graciously, but we had to race the clock as Iftar was looming; or dusk, which is when we break the ‘fast’ and life across the Muslim world grinds to a halt (and therefore any and all supply shops shut).




Of course, 2 parts were wrong, so the next day a second trip was required, and after they drove off further south, I got the bus back home (my old car is not roadworthy for such a long adventure).

The following two mornings saw me happily sniffing fumes.

I was working within the ‘incident tent’ which surrounds the pump apparatus. I started each day at 5:30 (first light), as by 08:00am it was far too hot, plus fasting is not conducive to physical exertion to that extent I can tell you. After two sessions, pipes were cut, new pieces added, and 3 large tubes of solvent glue applied to weld it all together.




High as a kite was I – perhaps from the fumes, but maybe just because, when the pump was tested 36 hours later, there were no leaks, the job held. That was important. Not just for filling the tank for watering the veggies, but we rely on that pump to irrigate the main orchards, or 300 trees will wither very quickly.




All good fun, eh? And guess what, our friends paid for the repairs (NOT a cheap job either) as a ‘house gift’ – very bizarre perhaps, but very much welcomed all the same!

I guess I’ll have to write their names in perma-marker ink on the pipes as a record of the event 😀




12 thoughts on “No…. Not THAT Tap…!

  1. Thank goodness all is now repaired and the family can relax once more. Tell the
    boss ? to teach you semaphore sounds like it could come in handy at some time in the future , now he realises not everyone is perfect.


  2. this is *not* Spinal Tap! 🙂


  3. Dragnfli says:

    I’m glad no one was hurt when it exploded!


  4. fredrieka says:

    wow your a plumber. Hope your pants stay up when fasting, momwithoutpaws says spackle would be needed for your special area if they did not stay up


  5. Glad you got it fixed. Your friends were lovely to help out like that, what a lovely house warming present. 🙂


  6. joannesisco says:

    You have amazing friends! 🙂


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