10 November 2012

Flooding - and decluttering

The thing to do with a squeaky floorboard is to screw it down, right?

Not when it has pipes under it -
Because putting the screw in the wrong place can lead to holes in pipes, and water seeping - no, gushing - through the ceiling below -
(And the one below that... right down through the entire building.)

During boiler replacement, bathroom updating, and moving of radiator in the room in which the floorboard needed fixing, our plumbing was rearranged. In the process, we lost sight of where to turn off the water. This is something you absolutely need to know, and get to quickly, when water at mains pressure is gushing out of a pipe! After a lot of rushing about, finding pipes, and twisting things, we managed to turn off the water for the whole house. all three flats. The valve - which was in a part of the building that not so long ago was almost inaccessible (under the front stairs) - was very difficult to turn ... obviously no-one had been so reckless for decades!

A friendly plumber stopped by on the way to take his young son to the football game (it's Saturday afternoon, after all). He said he'd be back after the game to fix it. (Thanks, Mark, for putting us in touch with him.)

Two things are clear from this:
1. Know where to turn off the water (and anything else that might get out of hand) in your flat and/or house.
2. Know where the pipes run before nailing or screwing down floorboards!

I now need have no guilt or regret when throwing out anything and everything that is wet; in fact, I just want to be rid of all this soggy stuff. This unfinished project from 1992, for example -
The dark fabric has leaked onto the scrim - useless!

I know that this incident, the damage, is so minor, compared to what people who suffer hurricanes and flooding go through. It's the human-stupidity dimension that has us wincing.


Celia said...

I feel for you.

About 30 years ago I asked my husband to install a door stop.

The resultant fountain nearly reached the ceiling...

Julie said...

Ouch, Margaret! I hope you get dried out soon.

Celia Stanley said...

You need to get one of these:

SureStop - Turn off water at the flick of a switch

We have one an all you do is literally flick a switch off, like a light switch - it's brilliant.

dreaminginstitches said...

We had to deal with a flood at my mother's house a few years ago and I've never heard about flooding since without feeling enormous sympathy - it's hideous, whatever the cause. Find something you can punch if it all gets too much!

June said...

Aargh, this is the kind of thing that gives me nightmares -- this and hitting something electrical that's been hidden. Our house is 112 years old and every electrician who has worked on it groaned before he started. We avoid any walls that might have pipes, but I hadn't thought about floors.


servicemagic plumber said...

Plumbers, and tradesmen are not your enemies but, the more you understand the weapons of knowledge at your disposal today the better your experience will be.
Plumbing Services in Houston