Most of the disasters we’ve had around this house have been self-inflicted. Long time readers might recall that last year we remodeled the master bath–a month long do-it-yourself project that had us stumbling over scraps of molding, marble, and backer board until we finally threw our hands up and called in a professional to get us on track.
Since the house is only a few years old, unexpected disasters have been few and far between. In fact, I can’t recall any. But all good things must come to an end…
The other night we were taking some recycling out when Honey remarked while pointing to the garage ceiling “I never noticed what a bad job they did on that patch job.” (When we bought the house, the builder had part of the garage ceiling torn out to put in piping for the second floor laundry room). We looked closer. And it wasn’t a bad paint job, it was water.
We rushed upstairs to see what was leaking and discovered a puddle of water in the pan under the washing machine. We promptly shattered the same pan trying to pull the washer out to figure out where the water was coming from. There was no evidence it was coming from anywhere…and I suspected it might have been a result of oversudsing (that’s a word, right?). Off to Home Depot we went to replace the shattered drain pan. One dead drill later, it was ready to be installed. As Honey crouched behind the washer, we decided to test the drain pipe under the washer to see why the overflow had gone through the ceiling rather than through the pipe and outside.
Water poured into the drain just stood there.
“Maybe it’s clogged.” Honey suggested, “Should I blow into it?”
“I guess.” I said, resisting the temptation to make the obvious blowing a pipe joke.
“Do I have to put my mouth on it?” the joke became harder to resist, but I managed.
Pushing some air through seemed to dislodge something, as the water disappeared. I rushed outside to make sure the water was exiting the pipe. It wasn’t. Nor was it exiting at the ceiling. Then I saw a puddle. On the other side of the garage, near where the pipe should have been discharging out the side of the house. A little poking with a coat hanger revealed that the exterior pipe was basically a sham–a little piece of PVC shoved into the wall that had no connection at all to the one coming down the wall. I cursed the builder, and thanked the Bankruptcy God for exacting revenge on him.
The next step was to make sure the washer wasn’t still leaking, so we did a small load of towels. All seemed good…no leaks anywhere. Again, I figured the previous overflow was probably caused by too much soap in the front-loading washer. We breathed a sigh of relief and threw the towels into the dryer. A little while later, I walked past the laundry room and heard a screaching noise. I opened the dryer to find a fringed handtowel hanging from the inner lip of the drum, being slowly twisted into the inside of the dryer. I yanked it loose and noticed the fringe was burned. Who knows how much longer it would have taken before the whole thing was ablaze.