Nov 13, 2010

Hot Water Everywhere!

When I was about six, I have a vivid memory of one night in particular. I remember waking in up during what I thought was the middle of the night. The hallway light was on and I wondered why. I got out of bed and when to my bedroom doorway. That is when I heard a deep voice talking. It wasn’t my dad and this deep voice was getting closer. This man was climbing the stairs and he had the loudest food steps I have ever heard. I ran back and jumped into bed.

I must not have asked my mom about it the next morning because later when I first heard the story my parents didn’t believe me when I said I heard the guy coming upstairs. To really get the full affect of the story you would have to hear my dad tell it in person, but  basically my dad was working on the bathtub facet in the upstairs bathroom. Something broke and my dad couldn’t get the water shut off. The bathtub started to fill up with water (at a much faster rate than it was draining), my dad ran downstairs and told my mom he needed a bucket and she needed to call the fire department. She did and they came quickly and got the water turned off. That man with the deep voice and the loud footsteps was one of the firemen coming upstairs to help my dad.

So why am I telling you this random story?

Well we have these great front loading washers and dryers. We got them when we moved in to our house three years ago. I love them. When Jon was hooking them up, he couldn’t get the old hose off the facet for the hot water. It was rusty and just won’t budge. We ended up just leaving it off and we have washed our clothes in cold water ever since. They come out clean and nothing every shrinks. Perfect.

Well almost perfect. You see in the last three years we have had some trouble with our towels smelling mildewy even right after they are clean. I always though it was because our dryer has a sensitive sensor and doesn’t always dry them completely. I started running them through on timed dry. That didn’t seem to help. I thought it might be because they don’t get completely dry in out bathroom, but even after hanging them up so they get plenty of air. That didn’t help.

Last night I did some research. Seriously what did we do without the internet? Anyway after some research it seems that with front loading washing machines people have had some trouble with mold growing in the rubber seal of the door. It doesn’t affect clothes or sheets because they are thin material. It does however affect towels. The only way to get rid of the mold is to use some vinegar in the wash. Ok I can do that. But the only way to keep it gone is to wash towels this hot water. Hmm, I guess we need to hook that hose up after all.

I filled Jon in on my research and this morning he decided to take a look at it. Of course he turned the valve to the hot water off before attempting to remove the hose. He was finally able to get the old hose off but there was a little bit of water spraying out. So he put the old hose back on and had it dripping into a bucket while he got the new hose ready to go. Then he went to remove the old hose again and the entire valve came off! Like you know the spot where you turn the water hose on and off? Ya, like that part just came right off! So remember that little spray? No so little anymore. More like rushing water spraying out all over our laundry room. So I hear him yell to go shut off the water. Um, do you guys know where the water shut off is? If you do good for you. I did not. I know how to do a lot of things around the house but shutting of the water, not so much.

I decide it would be best for Jon to figure that part out so I take over in the now flooded laundry room. I am trying to hold the hose up to the spray and then point the other end into a rapidly filling up plastic tub (the bucket was overflowing at this point). Remember how I said it was the hold water hose? So Jon turned off the electricity to the hot water heater but that didn’t stop the already hot hot water from spraying out. Not so fun. So Jon is trying to turn off the water at the street but can’t find the handle. I tell him to call 311. They say they will send a guy out soon. Um soon? Really. I told Jon to give me the phone. He does and I called 911.

Obviously we are not in a life threatening emergency and I am pretty sure Jon did not think it was okay to call 911, but remember that story from when I was six? It worked then, it would work now. So I call. I tell the lady I need the fire department. She transfers me and I give them our information and tell her what is happening. A few minutes later we hear the truck coming (the fire station is like walking distance from our house). Just as they are pulling up our neighbor (who came out to help) finally finds the water cut off, buried under inches of mud. The water stops as the fire truck pulls up.

The firemen jump out and have squeegees ready to go. They helped get the gallons of water out of the laundry room, finish removing the parts of the old valve and move the washer. They were so nice and helpful. I seriously contemplated getting my camera out and taking their picture for the blog, but I thought that might be frowned upon. :)

When they were about done helping with the clean up, the guy from the city showed up. Man, I am glad we got the water turned off before he came. If we had had to wait we probably would have been swimming around the house! He estimated that we lost about 15 gallons per minute over about 10-15 minutes. Yikes! He gave us a sheet that we get to turn in with out water bill so we don’t have to pay for it. Thank goodness!

Jon went out and bought new valves and now everything is hooked back up. The water is back on, and we have some portable fans drying off the carpet outside the laundry room. Oh and now that every single towel in our house is soaking wet, we now have hot water to wash them in. Sure hope it was worth it.



Chelsa said...

ohhh what a story!! glad you got it all taken care of!

i leave the door to the washer open to let it dry out after i'm done washing- the store i got it from recommended that to keep the mildewy smell from coming!

Party of Two said...

I was so glad to read that someone else experiences the same "towel smell" as I do! I was even more excited to read your suggestions for how to get rid of it! I am actually looking forward to doing my load of towels now! Who would have ever thought! :)