*An Important Warning* and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

How long have I been putting off cleaning out the basement? Here’s a twist: I finally made some progress on it Monday night when I got home from a week away and found a mini-flood in progress. Now for the important warning — picture first:

Water Heater Expansion Tank

Water Heater Expansion Tank – complete with leak.

That’s the expansion tank on top of my hot water heater. See how it’s rusted out? (I didn’t — it’s my fault for not noticing) The important warning, of course, is check your expansion tank. NOW.

My ritual first task when getting home is to empty the basement de-humidifier. I almost didn’t walk around to the water-heater side of the basement last night, but when I did, I found this leak spewing out with enthusiasm — a fine spray shooting across the room, making puddles and dousing several boxes of stored, um, junk. It may have been leaking for days. It’s tame little arc of droplets in this photo because the pressure was down by this time. Even I was not thinking of taking pictures when water was running everywhere. Monday was our Memorial Day holiday here in the U.S., so I had to scramble to find a plumber on call for a holiday night emergency.

 I think I just heard “Hello, this is the Universe — it’s time you cleaned out the basement, now get to it!” Here’s another twist: I just gave away 3 books on Murphy’s Law (“If something can go wrong, it will”, and variations).

On the bright side:

  • I have really great neighbors — they came over (after 9PM!) to help when I found the water shut-off valve was too tight for me to twist. Of course Sam came through for me too — he came last night to move the heavy boxes.
  • I was forced to stay up late to empty the wettest boxes, as well as sort out some stuff that was sitting on the floor — painful at 2:30 AM but hey, now it’s done.
  • I got to learn to use Bob’s old wet-dry vac (Thank you Bob).
  • There are several more boxes that are damp enough to make me focus on basement progress the rest of the week. I’ll have endless fodder for “see what I found in the basement” posts.
  • It could have been far worse. I’m beyond glad that the remaining boxes of books are safely on the dry side.
  • I found some pretty interesting coffee pots.
  • A water cop would not have helped me here, so I don’t have to feel guilty (yet) for not following up on that.
  • Did I mention it could have been worse? I’m always afraid I’ll open the basement door and water will be lapping the top step.

 Here’s my new expansion tank:

New expansion tank for hot water heater

Isn’t it pretty and clean? Not to mention dry? Why didn’t I think to put a star filter on the highlight?

Wish me luck now, and let me know if you have any good plumbing stories. (I could use some encouragement.)

See more twists on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.




13 thoughts on “*An Important Warning* and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

  1. so glad it wasn’t worse. Congratulations on all the good things that came about – helpful neighbors & Sam, most stuff on other side, that you came home & walked on that side of the basement, et al.

  2. my ‘favorite’ plumbing story involves a husband who attempted to change a water faucet without turning off the water. We had only recently moved to the house. As the water was spewing forcefully into the air, he began yelling (yes, YELLING) at me to turn the water off. I had no idea where the shut-off control was, and obviously he didn’t either. After him continuing to yell and stand with the spewing water and me frantically running around the basement trying to find the shut off valve, I returned to him and said “I’ll stand here with the water and yell while you find the shut-off valve.”
    I did and he did. Problem solved!

    • Excellent story! The first house I ever bought blew a faucet when the water got turned on after closing on the sale. The agent had shown me where the water turn off was, but he was wrong, and in my panic I couldn’t find the right place. I had no clue about the shut off valve under the sink. (now I know)

    • oh my gosh, Laurel you are right, a sewer leak is one more thing that would have been lots worse. It still bothers me that the basements here don’t have drains. On a positive note, I got 6 more boxes out today. Donation and recycling trips are in my plans for tomorrow.

  3. Oh dear. What a situation to find coming home and at night. You may want to check the hoses to your washing machine and the ice maker. If they are still plastic, consider replacing with reinforced hoses for the washing machine and copper for the ice maker.

    • I wish I’d thought to have the plumber check the washing machine — good idea. I don’t have an icemaker, thankfully, but there is capped off plumbing for it. I did have him check the pressure reducing valve; sounds like my mind was on the basement. I’ll have Don take a look at it next time I have him fix something. Thanks for the reminders! (I thought about you when I was in crisis mode — thought I’d try to channel you, as you are always efficient — WWSD, right?)

  4. Pingback: Tally 31 Boxes, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra | Hoarder Comes Clean

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