Monday, February 18, 2013

Water adventures

This past weekend I didn't have any immediate "must-dos" - no classes, no exams, and no urgent homework. I planned to get some serious writing done; it's almost time to submit Operation Earth for editing, and I have some work left to do on it.

Who thinks it worked out like that? Any takers? No? I usually try to keep my posts up-beat, but this one will be kinda gloomy. Just sayin' - if you're not into gloomy you might want to come back Tuesday for a kick-ass interview with Misa Buckley!

Anyway, late Friday night I thought I heard water flowing in the pipes, it sounded like when the shower runs, and I assumed we forgot the garden tap on or something. It was past midnight, so I thought, "Screw it, the yard needs some water."

Saturday morning, Mikey asked if I heard flowing water too. I called the landlord, she didn't want to call a plumber at all at first since I didn't "see water," but after some discussion she decided that we could have someone come over Monday morning. That way they wouldn't have to pay weekend fees. I said I worried both for the house and for my water bill, because it sounded like a lot of water. She told me to just turn the water on, because if the leak was invisible and under the house, the water would just go into the ground.

I said, "uuuh, okay, I guess" and thought, "I wouldn't do that, but it's not my house..."

Mikey wanders around a lot at night, and got up around an hour after we went to bed. Turns out the leak was big, the concrete slab under the floor became saturated, and we had almost an inch of water in the kitchen. The surrounding carpets were soaked, and I thought, "Well, I wanted a swimming pool, but I didn't expect it to be the kitchen..."

I pulled out all our towels, they were immediately soaked, and didn't faze the pool the least. I saw no way to dry the mess up and thought we'd have to call some form of specialist to come suck the water up. Mikey said, "Okay, you go back to bed and I'll work on this."

"Sure, whatever." Maybe not the most supportive thing to say, but it was 2:30 in the morning and he is a night owl.

When I came up the next morning, he had soaked up 40 gallons of water. (That's about 150 liters.)

I called the landlord again. She said, "Why didn't you turn the water off?"

"Because you told me to leave it on."

"You should have turned it off anyway, at least at night when you don't use it. Who goes to bed and leaves the water on when they know there's a leak?"

A valid point, but we sometimes use more water at night than during the day, and to be honest, it would have flooded anyway. It was a huge leak. We did turn the water off as soon as we realized there was a problem, and she told us to turn it on, because it would all go into the ground... Yeah, I'm not taking the blame for this one. I thought, "I asked for a plumber yesterday, it would have been easy to call one."

She called someone that would come help clean the carpets. (Still no plumber.) The carpet guy showed up after about an hour with something that looked like a giant vacuum cleaner. He was really nice, but didn't get much water up.

Great. Now we had a soaked house, and no water. Everything that was on the kitchen floor - like my china cabinet - became water damaged.

This morning, a plumber finally came. He said, "Why didn't they call us Saturday? It's only $50 extra for a weekend." He had the coolest stethoscope thing and listened to the floor. They went through the outer wall, right on the leak.

Right now, we have water, yay! It's amazing how many times you touch a faucet in a day without thinking about it. Not to mention flushing, and showering, and water for the dogs...

We also have a dehumidifier buzzing along, trying to dry out the house. The kitchen cupboards are kinda warped. The carpets stink, and I get an asthma attack every time I walk through the front door. Wheezing, coughing, nose bleeds, fantastic... I hope it passes as the dehumidifier does its thing, or the remaining months of this year will be long. (I have crappy lungs.) Might be something from the soaked carpets, or from the stuffing under the carpets and the vinyl kitchen floor. Mikey found an old HEPA filter from when we lived in a moldy apartment and that helps a little.

Seeing things from the bright side - we live in Florida, and I have a laptop. I guess the doggies and I will stay in the yard, LOL, just hope it doesn't rain much...

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