Monday, September 22, 2008

Where's that rock?

First it was the roof…what we thought was a little leak turned into a major project costing the better part of a month’s salary.

Then there were the cars…first mine, then his. Not so bad as the roof, cost-wise, but a major inconvenience since it made us a one-car family for two+ weeks. At that time I wrote a blog entry about bad things coming in threes ( ).

Well, the other shoe has finally dropped. This morning my husband, in mid-shower, yelled for me to go see if the geyser (hot water heater) was turned on. You see, with the Eskom power crisis still upon us, we often turn off our geyser in the evening to ease power demands, and occasionally we forget to turn it back on. Hubby was standing in the shower and had run out of hot water well before he should have.

I went down to the guest suite…the geyser is in a cupboard in the hallway there…and opened the door the suite. It only took two steps to know something was wrong…I was standing in warm water!

Reluctant to touch a light switch while standing in water, I went to the kitchen for a flashlight and upon my return, opened the geyser cupboard and flashed the light inside. Water poured down the outside of the insulating blanket and streamed, in half a dozen rivulets, onto the floor below. Since the floor is ceramic tile, it had nothing to soak into…except the oak transition strips between the hardwood floors in the two rooms and the tile floored hallway.

Hubby jumped into some clothes and ran outside to turn off the water to the house while I collected buckets to catch the water. Every large towel we own was pressed into service, soaking up the wet mess to be wrung out into the guest suite bathtub. Once the water to the house was cut off, the geyser ceased to be pressurized and the flow slowed to a trickle. Who knows how much water flooded the house? It’s a 200 litre tank (about 50 gallons) and it sure looked like it had puked its entire contents onto the floor!

A “triage” plumber has been here to assess the situation and he said a full crew is needed. The full crew arrived (two guys) and after poking around a bit the guy tells me that the geyser has burst…no surprise there. The good news, however, is that the geyser is still under warranty so the company will replace it for free.

So, we wait for the geyser replacement people who may be able to get to us today. We have no water to the house…thank goodness I had the foresight to fill my largest pots (big soup kettles) with water before Hubby shut off the water…Thandiswe is now washing a weekend’s worth of dirty dishes using that water…and I did a lot of cooking this weekend, so there’s quite a bit. No water means no laundry, no cleaning, no showers, no toilet flushing, nothing. It gives you pause to reflect on how your ancestors lived without running water or electricity…and makes you grateful for the technology that makes out lives cleaner, healthier, easier.

I’d go find that rock to hide under, but I’m afraid the geyser replacement people wouldn’t be able to find me there!


  1. Yikes! Hope things get better for you soon. Found your blog through Scoutle.

  2. I can identify with your situation. We live in a remote location and during the winter there are major windstorms that drop huge trees over the power lines. Without power we are in the same situation that you describe ... "no laundry, no cleaning, no showers, no toilet flushing, nothing". Consequently, we have water stored and ready to use when the power outages occur. Best wishes for getting a new hot water tank that's in excellent working order today or ASAP.


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