Monday, August 19, 2013

The importance of sharing knowledge and the value of writing it down...

The Liberal Prepper is divorcing a controlling, abusive (explosively screaming and yelling, throwing things, lying, cheating, manipulating, belittling) person after more than 15 years of his vitriol and bile.  Why mention this, you ask?  Because of the septic system, dear fellow prepper.

Yep, the tank what stank.  The big poo box.  Poor, neglected thing hadn't been pumped out since it was installed, and as soon as I got my hands on some money to do so, did, about a month ago.  Worked fine.  

Then the alarm came on, and wouldn't go off.

Now, mind you, I know nothing about this system; 'DH' (short for dickhead) dealt with the contractor and knew whatever was to be known about it.  'DH' feels his only responsibility around the home place is mowing the lawn (with a riding mower, yet), so of course I'm 'supposed to know' all about the septic system?

I knew nothing past 'if the alarm comes on here's the toggle switch to turn it off'.

Big mistake.  

Any time you have a system that is critical, like the septic system, or the generator, or even a washing machine and dryer setup, all parties who use that system should be aware of alarms, issues, do's and don'ts, etc.  Otherwise, you have to a) rely on someone whose fondness for working on the house is limited to weekends only, and then only if the weather's nice, and then only if he isn't off somewhere else with his buddies, not very useful when the septic pump electrics go south on a Sunday and he's 'off work' until Friday, or b) call someone who knows what they are doing who knows someone who knows everything about the electrical end of systems like the one that failed and pony up a few bucks of large size.

Now, I don't recommend working on a system you don't understand, obviously, or that involves electricity if you don't have experience on such things, but even just understanding the alarms is of great help in diagnosing the problem.  Knowing not to toss everything in your septic system is a good thing.  Knowing how to prevent a problem is a good thing.

And that knowledge needs to be shared.  

If you are the only person who knows the ins and outs of a system, find someone else in your household to bore spitless with the details.  Then write it down, put it somewhere central where the rest of such valuable information is kept, and make sure to keep it updated; service dates, next dates to be serviced, all that and more is valuable when issues arise.

And it's not just systems that need this documentation.  Information on the emergency vet...who to call in a non-emergency but serious situation...where to find the gas shut off valve tool thingie...where to turn off the water to the house...all that is valuable common knowledge that is boring as hell but oh, so valuable when you need it.  Oh - how-to information, like using a PEX crimp tool, or how to change the furnace filter, or stuff like that...that's all good to share as well.

Like a basin wrench, some of that stuff never gets used until it gets used.  And like a basin wrench, when you need it, you need it now.

Write it down.  And if someone else has knowledge you think you should know, get them to bore you spitless and get you some edumacation that just might come in awful handy someday.