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Two Floors Up A Pipe Burst - King Rat
Private Life
Two Floors Up A Pipe Burst

So I was sitting in my chair reading a bit before bedtime last night, when I heard spattering from the dining area. I knew that sound! It’s the sound of water! I recognize it because the unit above mine sent water into my bathroom whenever the resident took her bath before she fixed the problem. This time it’s in an area where there’s no plumbing.

So I headed upstairs to the unit not directly above mine, but one unit over. I knocked. No answer. But I could hear water. So I went back downstairs and quickly looked up their phone number, but I was flustered so I couldn’t figure out the number.

Instead, I rapped on the door of the building manager across from me. She sounded grumpy when she yelled from the other room What is it? Being that it was after 11, I wasn’t surprised. I answered, We have a water situation I answered as she came to the door talking on a cell phone. (She was on her cell phone dealing with other grumpy residents about parking spaces.) She poked her head out of the door and I pointed down the hall to a puddle of water expanding across the hallway. I can hear water in 205, but no one answered when I knocked I told her.

She hurriedly looked through her sets of keys for 205 as well as her phone list and we headed upstairs. She seemed a little loopy. (That would turn out to be the sleeping pill she took 15 minutes earlier; I envy her night even less than my own.) I had her read off a number for me to call on the cell, but she stopped me just after the first ring. Wrong number. Had me dial a different one. Also no answer, so I started leaving a message while she tried to unlock that unit. But I was botching that call so I handed it to her. She didn’t realize it was their voice mail for a moment or two and started trying to talk to someone. Then she left a message telling them she needed to enter their apartment for an emergency. But she couldn’t get her keys to work.

Then I realized the water sounds coming from behind that door were not quite right. I told the manager I bet that 305 might be having problems too. So we climbed one more flight of stairs and sure enough could hear water from that unit. It sounded more like a spray than cascading water like the unit under them. However, no one was home at that unit either. The manager realized she had her own cell on her, so she called that apartment’s owner to tell him we were going in. Then she headed downstairs to find keys.

She returned with the keys and unlocked the door. Water everywhere inside. The water was coming from the toilet tank. But the manager was loopy and started freaking out about getting a plumber there quickly. or finding the correct shut off for the unit. I looked for the faucet knob under the toilet and quickly shut it off. That crisis averted. It was actually a plastic hose that burst.

Units 305, 205 and 105 were all unoccupied last night. If any one of them had residents, the damage would have been much more limited. As it is, the flooring in 305 is probably ruined. The ceiling in the bathroom in 205 looked to be falling apart. Luckily the water didn’t spread beyond the bathroom there. But the floor for my floor is cement, so the water hit it inside the walls and just spread out. 105 had a half inch of water in three rooms, and several walls were soft to the touch.

My damage: well, I slipped on a puddle of water in my kitchen not realizing water had actually entered my apartment. Biffed it big time, wrenching my shoulder pretty good when I over-extended it catching myself. I can’t lift my arm without a fair amount of pain. It’ll be fine in a few days though.

The carpet in my dining area was soaked. The ceiling in my dining area has some soft spots, and water came through the track lighting in the kitchen and down the wall behind one set of cupboards. Not anywhere near as bad as the empty 105. I don’t know yet what parts will need to be replaced.

The building manager called ServPro to come start drying the building out. That guy left sometime between 5 and 6 a.m., but he finished in my place around 4:30 a.m. He left two giant fans and a heavy duty dehumidifier. They are running quite loudly. Right now it sounds like I-5 runs through my condo.

Two Fans and a Dehumidifier

Two Fans and a Dehumidifier

After he left and the fans were running, I was about to finally climb in bed. Then something got me thinking about the light fixture in my dining area. It was off. It had been on. I turned the switch off, then examined it closer. It looked okay, but I had a sneaking suspicion. It took me five minutes to twist the fixture out, what with a messed up shoulder as well as what turned out to be a few extra pounds of water filling the fixture. The light bulbs were under water.

A gallon of water in a light fixture

A gallon of water in a light fixture

Where the water was

Where the water was

Not a good end to my weekend.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.


9 comments or Leave a comment
poh From: poh Date: September 14th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Holy shit!
evillinn From: evillinn Date: September 14th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh good lord.

I'm glad that light fixture didn't drop from the weight of the water, at least. Hope dealing with the rest of this goes as easily as possible.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: September 14th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gah! I went through something similar a couple months ago when the water heater 2 floors up developed a leak and I came home, walked through the foyer and was in the living room before I realized I had been rained on in the foyer. Wait...what?!?! Thankfully, no personal property damage for me, and it only took them about a week to get it all fixed (lots of waiting time when you have cut out sheet rock, let things dry, patch, let things dry, etc...etc...)

I'm glad you were home!!! That could have been ugly for you otherwise. Here's to it getting fixed up pronto!

a_muse_d From: a_muse_d Date: September 14th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm very glad you DIDN'T get electrocuted. hope your shoulder/arm feels better soon and that the damage isn't too extensive in your unit.
takolaura From: takolaura Date: September 14th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or a good start to your week.
gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: September 15th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel your pain on the water damage. A genuine blessing that you were home, for sure!! At least it's not winter, and you can open windows, etc. I'm sorry!
gkr From: gkr Date: September 15th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not supposed to open my windows until they are done with the dehumidifier. Currently it's about 90 degrees inside.
gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: September 15th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
That does not sound pleasant.
foote3 From: foote3 Date: September 15th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, Phil, I'm so sorry to hear about that. I've been on both sides of a similar issue -- both with malfunctioning toilet tanks -- it SUCKS.
9 comments or Leave a comment