The phone rang around 7am. I was just waking up. It’s one of my wife’s friends: her basement is flooding from a water leak near her clothes washer and she doesn’t know what to do.
“There should be two pipes leading to the washer,” I say. “One for hot water, one for cold. There’s usually a shutoff valve on each.”
“I see it! Just a sec…” and she puts the phone down as she tries to turn it off. I hear the rush and sloshing of water throughout all this.
“I can’t turn it!” she says.
“Try the main water line. Its valve is usually along the front wall under the front door,” I say.
“Okay, I think I see it…” A few seconds go by. “That won’t turn either! I have to go!” she announces.
“I’m coming over; I have to get dressed first,” I say as we disconnect.
I arrive within 5 minutes (I DO speed in emergencies). Her two upset kids greet me at the door.
“Hi guys!” I say. “Is the water off yet?” They’re upset because their mom’s upset with panic.
“No!” they say in unison.
I go downstairs and see their mom under a utility sink still trying to turn the water off. The cold water hose leading to the washer is cracked and water is shooting out like a geyser. Carpet in a six foot radius is soaked. The knob for the water is broken so it’s hard to get a good grip. I try it with a towel and it won’t budge. My hand is starting to hurt from the effort.
“We’ll have to turn off the main water line,” I say, which I should’ve done as soon as I got there. The main line has a knob on one pipe and a handle-like valve on a nearby pipe. I try the knob first and can’t move it. So I push the handle-like valve instead and it easily shuts the water off.
“Oh, Jody! Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
And the only thing I’m thinking about as I drive home is this will make a great blog entry!
(I looked for posts related to this and the only one is I Saved Someone’s Life, which is in a different league, I think.)