Of Broken Pipes and Burned Towels

6 08 2009


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.




20 responses

6 08 2009
noe noe girl

whew! Life comes at you fast! Glad you found that towel!
And all Honeys have good intentions! You swine!

6 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

I know. my Honey is the best. Most of the time. 😉

6 08 2009
The Incredible Woody

I really don’t think I would have been able to resist the joke!

Reminds me of the time Vol Fan was working on the plumbing at his mother’s house. Let’s just say it didn’t end well. And I was of absolutely no help because I COULD. NOT. STOP. LAUGHING. I giggle everytime I think about it:)

6 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

that joke might have meant that no other…um…pipes got blown for a long time. If Ive learned anything its that you dont make inappropriate jokes when the house is falling apart.

6 08 2009

This is just weird. I had the same situation about a week ago when I found a large puddle around the floor on my washer. (No drain pan. Never knew they existed.) I won’t go into details but I never did figure out what caused it. Every day I check around the bottom of the washer and find nothing. Can they overflow? The only think I could think was that I put too many clothes in on a “large” load but even that’s not likely. Odd. But I’ll be on the look out now for that damned towel since you’ve warned me as to what’s next.

6 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Asa…thats the only thing we could figure too…that a too big load with too much soap caused that.

6 08 2009

It comes in 3’s. Watch out!

6 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Bite your tongue!

6 08 2009
sista #2

Coat hangers are a wonderful invention. Full of fabulous uses!!!


8 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

indeed! pick a lock, beat your children, snake out a toilet…

6 08 2009

The joys of homeownership…

6 08 2009

I just hate dealing with this kind of stuff. Just make sure mold doesn’t start growing inside your wall! That happened to us and we had to tear a whole wall down to fix it.

8 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

thats what I am afraid of…theres no easy fix if mold gets in there!

6 08 2009
Little Miss

Damn! You have the craziest stories! And that they’re true makes it even better. 🙂 Glad you didn’t catch things on fire.

8 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

me too! If If I hadnt walked by then, who knows??

7 08 2009

You had a sucky day. I had homeowner related emergencies. It’s always when you don’t have the money to fix something and causes lots of stress and discontent in the home. GRrrr.

8 08 2009
The Vinyl Villager

yes you’re exactly right! So far, so good though. Done a few loads and no more water…fingers crossed

9 08 2009

Sounds like ventured momentarily into my life….did you happen to get a speeding ticket, too..? I did – 59 in a 45. And I was a good girl, too! He was going the other way & flagged me over – I went…I didn’t argue, had my seatbelt on, all leagl-like (wasn’t always the case…), didn’t try to deny it or get attitudy, hadn’t had one in forever, I figgered I’d get off with a warning. Nope! Asshole. Maybe he needs to have his pipe blown out :/

9 08 2009
Liz C.

It’s actually staggering, the amount of fires started by the dryer. I’ve had the exact same thing happen with a terry cloth robe. By the time I got to it, it was no longer new & was in shreds.

However, these days, I dry many loads on just plain old air dry. Just for good measure.


10 08 2009

Fringed towels are of the devil.
Glad you got everything fixed!!!!!

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