Monday, January 12, 2009

Morning Fun With Water Heater

You know it's going to be a weird morning when you let the dogs outside and hear this odd rushing sound in the wall by the kitchen sink while you're standing there waiting for the dogs to relieve themselves.

I knew it was water. It just didn't sound like the usual running water through the pipes to cater to the toilet that is constantly refilling itself in the master bathroom. No, this was much more... free and unrestrained.

The dogs got very excited when I started to run. I didn't know where I was running, but I knew this was a situation that required running. I grabbed the phone on my way past, because I felt I was going to need it. I ran outside in my nightrobe and looked under the addition (I was thinking exposed pipes plus freezing weather). Dry. I went back inside and peeked under the kitchen sink. Dry. I then ran up and down the hall trying to pinpoint the location of the noise.

Yes, it was a glorious romp for the dogs. I nearly killed myself tripping over Star, who has not yet learned the art of moving the hell out of the way.

Then I flung open the closet under the stairs, where we access the water heater. This was a mysterious and uncharted land for Star. She crammed herself into the closet with me. There was water pooling on the floor, and it was spraying on the walls like crazy from somewhere around the water heater.

Phone call to Byrd. "We have a major problem. I need you home right now. Water everywhere." No more explanation needed. Over the phone, Byrd walked me through the steps to shut off the water to the house while he sped home with the yellow light on top of his work truck flashing as if he were a cop (lol).

I went out to the front curb, still in my nightrobe, and found the shut-off valve by accident when my foot plunged into a two-foot hole concealed by weeds and leaves, like a miniature lion trap. The plastic cover was gone and the hole was mostly filled in with dirt. I had to dig out a foot of dirt before I could access the valve.

Byrd got home and assessed the situation. The culprit? A pinhole leak in one of the ancient copper pipes connected to the water heater. Byrd went to Home Depot, bought some fancy new flexible plasticky hoses, replaced the copper pipes with the new hoses, and headed back to work. I mopped up the water and pointed a portable heater inside the closet to encourage rapid drying.

Byrd said he was glad I was home when this happened. I think that was his way of pointing out that I'm worth a lot to the household even when I'm not actively working on a paying job.


Dennis the Vizsla said...

Yikes! It's definitely a good thing you were there to catch that!

daisydog said...

That was a close one, water can cause so much damage! yes its good you are the dogs are home making sure everything is taken care of.

forsythia said...

Always something! Good thing you were at home. A friend of mine came home after work and noticed water dripping from a light fixture in her dining room. The break was in a pipe on the second floor. Took them months to set things right. Ruined carpets, ruined ceiling. What a mess.