Stuff at the beach was sorted and carried to the cabin in the wheel barrow. The water pump was retrieved and the oil changed. The lake was calm and that made putting out the water intake line much easier than it could be with a wind. Now the pump would not start. What is the problem? No loose wires and a check for spark was negative. We suspected the switch, since that was about the only thing that could cause the problem and something we probably could fix. Don went to the beach to get the tool box and before returning to the pump he heard the motor roar to life. Ken had disconnected the wires from the switch and the motor started on the first pull. We figured that the switch had failed in the closed position and was permanently shorting out the spark plug. Now we stop the engine by putting the wire that used to go to the switch onto the spark plug. Ugly but effective.
We primed the pump until it would take no more water. Since the intake line was floating quite high on the lake, we suspected it was mostly filled with air. Starting the pump, the input line slowly sank to just level with the water, starting at the inlet and working itself slowly toward shore. The pump was running cool so we just let it run at normal speed. Eventually, after maybe 6 minutes, the input line filled itself with water and the pump started to labor as it bit into the water and started to pump at full output. The shunt by-pass valve was open and water started to spray back into the lake. By closing that valve, the water was forced up the line to the tank high on the island. Ups, we found another problem, a significant leak in the output cutoff valve housing. After filling the tank and shutting off the pump, this valve is closed to keep water from draining back down the hill and through the pump into the lake. Now the water was leaking out of a large crack in the valve housing. The hill top tank wouldn’t last 10 hours at this rate. How that valve got cracked is a mystery. It was left open all winter but it looks like some water somehow remained in the valve and the freeze expansion did the dirty work. There are a lot of thing that can go wrong over a winter where the temperature drops to 60 degrees F below zero!!Obviously we had to find a fix. Up at the cabin we found a similar valve in use to cut off the water going into the cabin. If push came to shove, we could use that valve. Before doing that plumbing, I thought there might be an extra valve on the plumbing at the water tank. A quick trip up the hill revealed that indeed, there was an unused valve on the tank that we could cannibalize. With the spare valve swapped out, we were free to continue the process of getting the cabin straightened out. Eventually, Don was able to fix the leaking valve with JB Weld. It has held up for 4 years, something Don considered as impossible.