I’m back home! Whew! Let me tell you folks, 11 hours is a long, long time to sit in one small, cramped spot. I was never so happy to get off a plane!
I was all set to write a post today sharing some helpful tips on how I survived those 11 hours in the air with my sanity still intact, when something happened that I thought was way more important to share. I hope this will save you major heart-ache down the road.
This morning I spontaneously awoke at 4 AM, then realized it was 10 AM in Italy. That’s actually over-sleeping in Italy time, since I was normally up by 6:30 or 7:00 AM for our early morning departures each day.
I spent the wee hours of the morning unpacking, sorting clothes, doing several loads of laundry and slowly but surely making my way through my Inbox. I’m still not finished returning emails but the laundry situation is at least looking a lot better.
I also spent the morning mopping up copious amounts of water in the laundry room. When I walked into the laundry room this morning to begin washing clothes, I noticed a big puddle of water on the floor. At first I thought my ancient, much-loved washing machine had finally given up the ghost.
As I puzzled over where the water was coming from, I thought I saw a drop fall from one of the water connections going into the back of the utility sink. You can see the sink buried under “stuff” in this previous photo. Remember the party I held out on the porch in the midst of a tornado–the one where my guests wouldn’t leave the porch?! lol (You’ll find that post here: Party on the Titanic)
Investigating a bit further, I leaned down and reached out to touch the area where I thought I’d seen the water drip. As I touched the hose, it exploded and I instantly had my own personal version of Old Faithful right there in the laundry room! Oh. My. Gosh! Freak out time!!!
I immediately looked for a shut-off handle and saw it right beside the gushing geyser. I tried with all my might to turn it and it wouldn’t budge. Are you picturing this…me in my pink, cupcake-covered, flannel pajamas, squatting in an ever-increasing pool of water, frantically trying to turn a handle that hasn’t been turned in at least 15 years. The last time that handle was used was when I had the old sink replaced with a newer version a gazillion years ago.
Trying to buy myself a few seconds to think, I clamped one of my fingers over the opening and was just barely able to stop the water. I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to keep my finger there for very long. I’ve always loved how strong the water pressure is in this sink because it’s the sink where I fill up the large watering cans I use throughout the summer to water the trees and plants out on the decks. Now I was feeling the full force of that pressure under my trembling finger.
I also realized when I first clamped my finger over the opening, the water that was spewing out was getting hotter by the second. It was the hot water hose that had burst! Before long, the water gushing out of that opening would be way too hot to hold a finger over, even if the pressure hadn’t been so strong.
What to do? WHAT TO DO!!!
I knew it would take a wrench or pliers from the tool chest in the garage to turn off the stuck faucet handle and I knew exactly which drawer held all my pliers. Sometimes being an organization freak pays off! 🙂
With no other choice, I reluctantly removed my tired finger and ran the short distance to the garage as fast as my soggy, flannel-pajama-clad legs would carry me. I grabbed a pair of pliers and flew back to the laundry room.
At first the handle still wouldn’t budge. What sweet relief when I felt it break loose and finally begin to turn. Once I got it going, I was able to turn it the rest of the way off with just my hand. So, the water only made it onto the laundry room floor and not to the hardwood flooring in the kitchen or the carpet going up the back staircase.
I was so annoyed with myself when I realized that both hoses going into the back of the sink were made of that vinyl type stuff. Many, many years ago in my previous home, I was sitting at the breakfast table when I suddenly heard a loud, swooshing water sound. The hot water hose going into the washing machine had burst and was gushing water everywhere. We were so glad we were home, otherwise we would have come home to a destroyed downstairs. I’m guessing it would only take about 15-30 minutes of that business to flood an entire downstairs.
When that first burst-hose-incident occurred, I was told by the nice guy at the hardware store to never allow a washing machine to be installed with the typical hose most installers use. Those hoses are ticking time bombs. He said it’s usually the hot water connection that goes first because it goes through so many temperature changes, heating up then cooling off repeatedly over the years. So, I purchased the metal type hosing that he recommended. It’s much more reliable, longer lasting and is the only kind of hose I’ve ever used for my washing machine since that day.
I was so mad at myself this morning that I had never noticed the laundry room utility sink was installed with that same awful vinyl-type hosing. I’m not messing around with this repair. I’m going to call a plumber on Monday and let a professional replace both hoses with the good metal kind. Water (and electrical) is one area that’s not worth taking a DIY risk. I’d hate to come home and find my whole downstairs and the basement below flooded because I didn’t install the new metal hose properly or tight enough.
I’m very lucky it didn’t rupture while I was in Italy! It was apparently hanging on by a thread. All it took was touching it this morning to make it explode into a geyser. Another lesson to be learned from this: if you see a hose dripping water, don’t touch it before turning the water off at the source. Then you won’t end up with Old Faithful inside your home!
Do yourself a huge favor today. Go check all the places that water enters into your home (sinks, washing machines, etc…) and if you find any with that vinyl type hose stuff, shut off the water until you can replace it with the metal type or something that’s way more reliable. It’s always the hot water that goes first, but it’s best to replace them both. The metal type hose costs more, but could save you a fortune in the long run, not to mention the nightmare of having to cope with massive water damage.
Have you ever had one of those bad vinyl-like hoses burst in your home?