Wednesday, May 15, 2013

bound up

Trimming hooves and weighing lambs and moving sheep wasn't the end of my work Saturday. I scrubbed water tanks, rolled and stored the temporary fence netting, cleaned out the barn. I was on fire. While I was still in my dirty work clothes, I decided that it was way past time to wash the sheep coats vacated on shearing day only two months ago. I am so timely. But washing is a bit of a chore, so I tend to put it off.

I am very lucky to have a dedicated washing machine in the basement for sheep-related items. It was our old top loader, that didn't give up the ghost but makes a heck of a racket when it is agitating. Imagine a donkey in labor. It can handle a few washloads per year, and it does a swell job of spinning water out of rinsed fleece and yarn, so I am most grateful for its assistance.

The one drawback: it isn't hooked up to a water supply, so washing requires filling the drum by hand. Bit by bit I fill it up, then it agitates in its noisy fashion while I stand guard to make sure the filthy spin cycle water is properly deposited in the sink. Lather and repeat for the rinse cycle.

On Saturday, after I had done two loads of sheep coats, I put a load of jeans in the regular washing machine and went off to do other non-sheepy things, finally. (If memory serves, I took a nap.) It was a bit of a surprise when Secondo discovered a flooded laundry area a few hours later.

Like many basement laundry set-ups, our utility sink (to the right in the picture above) drains into a dedicated box, which houses the laundry pump. This pump faithfully directs the dirty water up a pipe and into the septic system. When the pump fails to work, however, you have a flood.

All laundry was temporarily suspended.

Due to the demands of Mother's Day, my husband couldn't address the problem until later in the week. When he got the pump outside for a closer look, he was most annoyed to discover that the problem was...

Wool. Hundreds of fibers, wrapped around the pump's main assembly, preventing proper functioning. He spent an hour or so picking out the pieces with needlenose pliers.

I was already in the doghouse, when all the cuts on his hands (from trying to get into the assembly) started to get infected.

I have mowed the front lawn as penance. I think I will be sending the remaining fleeces out to a mill to be washed.

1 comment:

  1. We have a special filter on the outflow from our washer to prevent similar problems. Do you want some information on what we've got?