When looking for a main water valve, it’s typically connected to a larger pipe running from the malfunctioning object back to a main water source.
Or at least, that’s how it works in a normal world.
If you could see the maze of piping running around the walls and through the yard of our house, you would understand our confusion. Not to mention the fact that it’s 9 p.m. and very dark, hot water is spraying from the laundry room wall like a fire hydrant, the dogs are jumping around like they’ve lost their minds, centipedes are lurking in the grass and there is a very real threat of electrocution from the nearby washing machine with exposed wires in the back.
Yeah, last night was interesting.
Our housemates went down to check on their laundry in the dryer and found a river of water flooding the yard. Never a good sign. One of the two random water spigots in the laundry room had been forced off the wall by the water pressure and the uncontrolled flow was now trying to create the next great flood.
You see how the spigot on the right is connected to the wall properly? Well, the spigot on the left (which I couldn’t find for comparison) was connected only by that green piece, which had been reattached to the wall using a smaller bit of PVC pipe to plug the gap (seen in the photo, still leaking water). Now, I’m the farthest thing you can get from a contractor, but that just doesn’t seem like good construction to me.
So, after about half an hour of searching for the main water valve (or a valve of any kind, for that matter), we finally turned a knob on a big pipe heading AWAY FROM the laundry room (which is why we hadn’t tried it sooner) and the water stopped. Hallelujah. What sense that really makes, I don’t know, but at least the steam was dissipating.
In the meantime, I’d called our landlord three times and gotten her voicemail options menu – not even her voicemail, but that automated lady that says “Please enter your mailbox password” – texted her and gotten on Facebook asking for the housing director’s personal phone number. The director finally called me back but it was after we’d gotten the situation under control. The landlord texted this morning saying she would come by first thing, but it’s almost 10 a.m. and I haven’t seen her, so I don’t know what “first thing” means exactly.
I finally got the dryer to work again this morning after it had been disconnected last night in the flood, but I had to flip a switch marked “hot water heater” from “on” to “off” in order to turn on the dryer. Which, again, doesn’t make the first bit of sense. And nobody in the whole house (3 apartment units) has any hot water for the foreseeable future, since we had to shut off the valve. (I say this because today AND THURSDAY are national holidays, which means nobody does anything, even in emergencies.)
So it’s a good thing we all like cold showers here in St. Kitts, but it would be nice to properly wash some dishes.
Post Script – I just went down to check on the dryer again and found a huge centipede lying outside the laundry room door. It’s in the sun and not wriggling, so I’m really hoping it’s dead, but I’m glad none of us found it with our feet last night.