Melissa takes matters into her own hands
Yesterday, Mark and I painted the guest bedroom. Cole was going to daycare, so we thought we’d take advantage of the time alone and paint. Just as I was finishing up the trim, Mark decided to hop in his car and look for curtains. I asked if he wanted me to clean up the paint supplies when I was done. He said yes.
It was very cold out. I knew I had to wash off the paintbrushes and rinse out the pail but I figured the tap outside had been turned off for the year. We have a big wash bin in the furnace room, just next to the laundry room. I headed there, pail and brushes in hand.
When I got there, I remembered Mark had warned me not to use this sink. Something about the faucet not turning off. I was pretty sure that if you didn’t tighten it hard enough, it dripped and it could waste a lot of water since no one really went into that room. Not the end of the world, I figured. I’d just twist the faucet very hard and be absolutely certain it was off before I left the room. I turned on the hot water and rinsed out my pail. I rinsed off the brushes. I was very proud of how clean I got the paint tray.
I turned off the tap. But the water was still coming out. Not a drip drip drip as I’d expected. More like a small steady stream. I turned tightly on the faucet, but it wouldn’t budge. I decided to turn it back on again and then turn it off again. I repeated this several times. Each time, not only did the water NOT turn off, but, in the OFF position, more hot water was streaming out of the tap. My glasses began to fog up.
Mark has no cell phone.
I ran to our phone and called my dad. No answer.
I called Mark’s dad. No answer.
I called my dad again. My stepmom was home. She helped me find the faucet to turn off the water to the laundry room. It didn’t help. The water was still pouring into the laundry basin. Finally, I turned off the faucet to the hot water heater. The water stream subsided. But I wasn’t sure if that was okay, turning off the water to the hot water tank. Can a hot water tank run with no water in it? Could I break it?
I slipped boots on and ran outside. I had blue paint splotches all over me and I was wearing shorts and I jogged up and down the street but none of my neighbours were home. I stood staring down Manfred, wondering if I knew some of my more distant neighbours well enough to ask for help. I wondered whether it would be insulting to knock on Jessica’s door and ask if her husband was home. Or if I should just ask her for help. By the time I made up my mind and got down to her house, I realized there was no car in her driveway either.
I was standing dumbfounded in our front yard when Mark returned.
We called a plumber. The plumber fixed the problem.
But Mark wondered aloud why I had decided to use the tap which he had explicitly instructed me NOT to use. I couldn’t really answer that. It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Today, I tried to open the electronic air cleaner unit to find the model number to figure out what type of filter I need for it. I turned OFF the unit before opening it (I’m no fool). And I proceeded to electrocute myself anyway.
And then I ran a load of laundry for a half hour in the laundry machine with no water because yesterday I turned it off.