Thursday, March 16, 2006


What a rough 24 hours I've had! Water hell. It all started yesterday evening, when I got a call from my landlord asking me if I was home, which I wasn't. He said that the old lady who lives beneath me had called him saying there was water leaking down to her flat from mine. Luckily I was only a couple of blocks away so I ran home, and sure enough, my washing machine (which I had left running when I left the house, which I've done before and which has always been fine) had flooded...water of about one full centimeter deep totally covered my kitchen floor. Not only had it flooded, but the machine had managed to jump out, exorcist style, about one full meter forward out from under the counter right into the middle of my kitchen. Don't ask me why or how (I was immediately inclined to get out my holy water and shout "the power of Christ compels you!"). Anyway, so the landlord told me they couldn't get anyone out to me until 7am the next morning (i.e. today), so I had to just clean it up and wait it out. I managed to get to Argos before it closed and bought a mop and bucket set (cos a swiffer sure as hell couldn't do it) and mopped up all the water, went down to see my neighbour (she is an incredibly sweet old lady) and apologize and console her - her bedroom is right below my kitchen and her bed got a bit wet (not soaking wet, just a bit moist). She was more upset about the fact that the flood managed to leak to her place, because apparently she's had problems with flooding in the past and thought it had all been taken care of (she's lived in the building for nearly 50 years).

Anyway, this morning I woke up at 7am to the guy they sent to check it out. There was some more water in the kitchen but not severe. He checked all the pipes, leads, valves, and everything looked fine. He turned the machine on spin cycle to flush out the remaining water through the pipes, and nothing seemed to leak - everything seemed OK. Once the water flushed out (I had my towels inside by the way, and they were soaking wet), he told me I could now turn on the dryer and dry my towels, and then he'd see what to do - either send someone to find out what was wrong with it and repair it or just have it replaced. And he left.

I stood there watching the dryer for a while, and it seemed fine. So I went to my bedroom to do a few things and came back out ten minutes later. And lo and behold... the frickin' kitchen was flooded again!! Nearly an inch deep this time, and the machine was full to the brim with water. It's one of those ones with a glass door on the front of the machine where you can see what's inside. Anyway, I immediately called the guy who had been at my flat earlier, and he said to just turn it off, flush out the water, and leave it to be replaced. So while I had him on the phone, I stood in front of the machine, with my pants rolled up and my Doc Martens protecting my feet from all the water, and he told me what to do to put it in spin cycle to flush out the water. Well, that's when all hell broke loose...or rather, the door broke loose. Apparently this whole time the water had been leaking through the door, which was slowly giving way, I guess in bursts (i.e. not continuously because we would have noticed that). Anyway, as soon as I put the machine on spin cycle and hit the on button, the door latch suddenly gave way and hot water began gushing out - I mean a sudden burst like when a dam breaks. I immediately threw my phone on the counter and pushed hard at the door to shut it - pushing against the water flow, and managed to almost close it, but apparently in the process one of the towels inside got stuck and wasn't letting the door totally click close. So, as I stood there, pushing the door shut, with more water still pouring out through the crack, I contemplated quickly opening the door and pushing the towel in. But I absolutely couldn't because even one second of opening the door would let gallons of water out, plus the water was almost boiling hot and I would have to stick my hand through to push the towel in, and risk getting burned (more from steam than necessarily the water).

Anyway, I got my phone with one hand and the guy said he'd send someone immediately (cos he was too far away now). I stood there, in nearly two inches of water now, pushing the door shut with water leaking out, and finally managed to get the door to shut on its own. But, water was still leaking out from the opening caused by the towel so I managed to put a bucket to catch it. Finally, two guys came over. One went to work immediately cleaning up the flood, and the other one flushed out the remaining water, came to the conclusion that the machine was officially dead (ya think?!), removed my soaking towels, unplugged the machine, removed it from its place, shut off all the water pipes, and they left with the promise that my machine would be replaced. My landlord called me and I'm getting a new machine on Friday. Meanwhile, though, the old machine is now unplugged and off to the side of my kitchen, there is a big empty space under the counter where it used to be, I see more of the area under the counter and appliances than I care to (the area that doesn't see the light of day for years), and I have no clean/dry towels till Friday. I have to air-dry my towels between now and Friday, which is gross, and I'm seriously considering throwing them out and buying new ones.

Mind you, this was all before 10am this morning. After cleaning up, I got dressed, went down to Mailboxes, Etc. to make photocopies of all my scholarship application materials (each scholarship needs four copies of everything for some reason), then went to campus, met with a professor to chat for about 15 minutes about my PhD research, turned in my scholarship applications, and made it to my seminar by 11:30!


  • OH MY GOD!! That is just insane!! Is your machine and washer/dryer combo? What make is it? I've had my washer flood twice here because of a loose pipe. It's horrible—water all over the place and just an absolute nightmare to clean up. Did the water get onto your carpet or anywhere else outside the kitchen? And how is the leak at the old lady's place now? Ugh!! Pictures?

    By Anonymous red, at 3/16/2006 5:12 pm  

  • Poor you! What a nightmare!!! Stuff like that gets me into hissy fit mode. Sorry I could not respond to your message at the time - I was in school. Glad it is all semi-sorted. Couldn't you have taken your towels to the laundry place we had found? Throw them out if they are mildew-y!

    I agree with red: pictures?

    By Blogger Raine, at 3/16/2006 8:58 pm  

  • In hindsight I realize I should have taken pictures but I was too distraught! I will take a picture tonight of the machine pulled out of the wall and in my kitchen, and will definitely take a picture of the new machine! I'm not sure what brand it is (I'm not home right now), but it is a washer/dryer combo... and it's quite old. Only the carpet directly outside the kitchen area got wet - not a large area but quite severely wet, cos now when I walk over it I can feel it move under me, meaning that the glue is no longer sticking it to the ground beneath. It's very firm carpet (not fluffy) - and as of this morning it still wasn't totally dry! As for my towels, they seem OK so far. I wrung them out as much as I could and then hung them on my laundry rack to dry and although it's taking forever, they are not getting mildew-y, and smell like soap. By tomorrow I'll have a new machine so it should hopefully be fine. And as for Maria, her flat seems fine...she hasn't called me since I saw her so the leak must have stopped. It wasn't very severe at all.

    Tomorrow is mega-cleaning day. I haven't bothered dettol-ing the floor and kitchen surfaces yet after the water and workers because they will be installing the new machine tomorrow so may as well wait. Suffice it to say I am staying out of my flat all day till I can go home and go straight to sleep, to avoid having to be in a less-than-perfect setting! My poor, lovely flat! :(

    By Blogger Kleio, at 3/16/2006 9:15 pm  

  • Damn girl! Guess you miss home so much you, yourself needed a good flooding once in a while! :oP

    By Blogger The Stallion, at 3/17/2006 10:26 pm  

  • Hahaha yes we all experience flooding in Kuwait. Somehow it's different there though - you don't feel as helpless and alone, trapped under a gushing flow of hot water!

    By Blogger Kleio, at 3/17/2006 10:35 pm  

  • Some people do get trapped in pools of water cause they attempt to drive in the rain! ;o)

    By Blogger The Stallion, at 3/18/2006 7:26 am  

  • hahahhahaha

    i can actually visualise the whole thing. funny ass shit. lol

    By Blogger Rampurple, at 3/18/2006 4:11 pm  

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