16 October 2009

Adios, Water Heater

It had to happen. We live in an older house. You could hear it in the occasional clanging and moaning coming from our water heater that it was going to give up the ghost sooner rather than later. Sadly, unlike an eerily silent ghost, when the water heater gave out today, it went out big. Unfortunately I was too lame to notice. Here's how it all went down:

My home office is in the basement and I settled in at 530AM this morning for a day of calls and catch up after a brutal few weeks. I was on conference call number three at 8AM-ish when there was an unusually loud bang from within the room that houses the water heater. Loud enough that I jumped but given that it makes noises like a Ford Pinto without a muffler, I didn't give it another thought. This was a bad call.

About 45 minutes later, I'm on yet another conference call when the stunningly patient SML comes down stairs asking what happened to the water (she'd just gotten out of the shower). That turned into a scream when she yelled, "The water is ALL OVER THE FLOOR!" I looked down and no lie, it was! About an inch of water was below my seat. Now, you might ask how did I not notice this...A) I was sitting on my feet so they weren't touching the ground; B) it wasn't like a tidal wave so it was pretty quiet; and C) who thinks to look down for water at any given moment?!

Anyway, it turns into a mad scramble to rescue all the electronic stuff off the floor, followed by a dash into the room to figure out how to turn off the water heater. FYI - it's the valve above the heater. Something I did not learn until after 10 minutes of furious struggle this morning. Then we started bailing. We used every towel in the house. Meanwhile, the stunningly patient SML calls a supposedly reputable local plumber here in town who responded by saying: "We're too busy today. Call someone else." Completely awesome. Not. The second plumber was fantastic. Lenert Plumbing was so helpful and were on the scene in no time. John, the plumber, was an incredibly calming influence too. Funny as well. I was apologizing for the disaster in the basement and he said, "I've just spent the last four days in a seven foot deep sewer trench. This is great!" I called our insurance company as the water was still pouring and they were great too. We had a disaster recovery team onsite within 90 minutes and an adjuster called within a couple of hours, saying we'd probably have a check in a day or so. Incredible. The recovery people from Servpro were amazing. Four guys dove into the mess and had it torn up and on the way to drying so fast. We were really impressed with Tim and his team. They've done a great job.

So now we've got most of the carpet thrown away, the baseboards off, holes drilled in the wall, seven fans blowing and a dehumidifier working OT. And the stunningly patient SML is already planning the re-do of the basement. Painting. New carpet. Good times.

Here's some pictures of today's fun:

That's the dehumidifier, not a nuclear reactor.

No comments: