Monday 7 May 2007

Utterly exhausted

Last night I was up until midnight playing LOTRO. Nothing unusual about that, that's my usual 'bedtime'.

But I woke up at 3am and went to the toilet, and as I walked into the bathroom the floor was all wet. At first I thought the cat had gone mental and peed there. It was a totally out of character thing for the cat to do, but hey, it was 3am and my brain wasn't fully switched on.

After I got out of the toilet I realised that the cat wouldn't have done that, so turned on the light to find my whole entire kitchen flooded, with water snaking across the floor making it's way towards my records and turntables.

I opened up the cupboard where the hot water heater is, and water was pissing torrents out the valves and along the top.

I searched frantically around the house for towels and buckets, and then began searching for the water mains. I live in an old 19th Century converted barn, and I assumed the mains would be on one of the properties we were linked to. I found a water mains tap, and turned it off, but that did nothing.

So I ring the land agent and then their after hours emergency service number and no body answers.

I ring Rheem and they tell me it will be about $200 for the first 40 minutes and a stupid amount thereafter. Meanwhile my kitchen is looking like an indoor swimming pool. I now know why they are called Rheem...

So, I try to twist a few knobs on the water heater, nothing budges. It's all wet and slippery and I'm not the world's strongest guy.

I find the release valve and think "A ha! I'll turn this on and just let the water empty down the drain. It's a waste, sure, but at least it's not going to flood the house!"

So I squeeze the valve and watch hot water pour out of the valve and go straight against the wall, run down the wall and join the other water from the leak, further exasperating the problem.

So, I think "---- this" and call Water SA - maybe they can help. The lady tells me that usually they could tell me where my mains water meter is connected, but the program they use to look that up has been down all weekend and won't be fixed until the morning.

So I call back Rheem and ask if I'll have to pay up front, and they tell me yes, which is impossible for me to do because I don't have that much money, not even on my credit card. So I ask if the lady can give me advice - I know there must be some kind of shut off valve, but she tells me she can't provide me with that information.

It's now 6am, I'm utterly exhausted, sleep deprived, soaked to the bone, and so worried about the water damage this massive leak is doing, I can't even swear at the bitch.

I basically pass out for an hour, wake up when my flatmate sms's me telling me she doesn't know where the water mains is either. She gets home, sees me and the house and starts laughing, then offers to help.

Then, at about 8:30 the plumber calls, and he tells me how to turn the water off on the water heater. But, as I mentioned before, I tried all the valves and couldn't budge any. I work at the one he told me to, and nothing.

So my flatmate goes to the mechanics around the corner, uses her wily womanly ways and gets a spanner. After about 10 minutes of trying to get between the valve and the wall, I get the water shut off.

The plumber arrives, takes one look at it, and says it needs replacing and they need to ask the house owner for permission.

Thankfully he said yes.

But now I am so exhausted. Physically from mopping and sponging and carrying buckets outside, and mentally because I've only had about 4 hours sleep...

In retrospect it's pretty funny, and if my brain wasn't so frazzled from so little sleep I would have taken pictures...

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