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fixing our water softener

January 20, 2010

Thanks so much for all of the kind words yesterday.  I really appreciate them, and writing about our bad news has really helped me feel better about it.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you all read these words that I type, and that you all respond in such a sweet way.  Thank you!

And with that, we can continue our adventures in homemaking.

Or misadventures.

Like that one time the water softener exploded all over the basement (slight exaggeration), leaving puddles of water throughout our basement laundry and utility rooms (no exaggeration).  It happened last weekend, and I was sure that 2010 was trying to kill me.

This is what the backside of our water softener looks like (we have the Culligan Mark 100 circa 1994, in case anyone is interested):

See the white plastic piece that the wrench is wrapped around?  That piece (and his brother piece) connect the house water supply to the water softener.  Together, they are called the “soft minder meter” and if you can say that 15 times fast, I’ll give you $1.

The soft minder meter on the left was leaky.  So we spent a ridiculous amount of time unscrewing them, only to find out that the pieces simply pulled apart – no unscrewing necessary.

Jason cleaned out the pipes surrounding the soft minder meters, and I cleaned out the pieces themselves.  We thought that replacing the O-rings on either end of them might do the trick, and then Jason attacked them with some silicon-based lubricant that he had stashed in his brewery (aka the garage).  Unfortunately, the soft-minder meter was actually cracked, and needed to be replaced.  So we called up the Culligan man and asked to buy his parts.  (Because they are proprietary.  Boo.)

And, I’ll bet you can’t guess the price of these two small plastic dealies?

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. For some glorified PVC pipes with a bit of wiring attached to one.  I know, ridiculous, right?  Sigh. At least we avoided the $75 trip fee.

And at least the $150 pieces of plastic have fixed the problem.  We’ve got soft water again!  The super-overdry skin on my hands is gonna be so happy!  And our dishes can resume their un-spotty state!  And hopefully, our newly-painted laundry room will remain unflooded!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 12:25 pm

    Woo Hoo!! I am glad it is fixed. How nuts to pay $150 for that one part. I am thinking you were going to say $20 at the most. But at least it is fixed!

  2. January 20, 2010 2:23 pm

    Glad you were able to get it fixed and skip that extra fee!

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