Last night I’m lying comfortably on the couch, playing a game, when Sara comes upstairs from her float. “The pump, it made a weird humming noise and then the circuit breaker blew. I don’t know where the breakers are.”
There are in fact several, both two regular circuit breakers and two ground-fault interrupters. Turns out it was the breaker on the power bar, so I reset it and gingerly tried the pump again. Nothing but a weird humming noise. I turned it right back off.
The only thing I could think of was stories I’d heard of epsom salt crystallizing inside pumps, and it suddenly weighed on me that we hadn’t run ours in a couple weeks. The cold snap had made the basement too chilly.
Today I plugged the pipes and opened the stopcock to drain the filter, then opened the pump. Look what I found in the pre-filter basket:
Spiky, two-inch long epsom salt crystals.
I scooped out as much of the salt as I could by hand, then poured in fresh boiling water to dissolve the rest. In the end, I showered no less than four times today to avoid tracking salt around. But the pump is running again.
New rule: we run the pump at least 10 min a day, every day.