monkeys and marbles

The Great Flood of 2007…In My Basement

Posted on: April 17, 2007

Content Advisory: The following post contains profane language, and may not be suitable for all readers. I’ve had a very bad day!

Last night, after both boys were asleep (Zander in his bed, Logan in my arms digesting his last bottle), Carlos heard a strange noise coming from the basement. He went downstairs to investigate. That’s when I heard him yell “Holy SHIT!” at the top of his lungs. This was followed by the sound of slamming doors, and objects of varying sizes being thrown in all directions. I thought “maybe the cats have done something….again”. Since Logan had just finished eating a few minutes earlier, and was now sound asleep in my arms, I figured I would wait for Carlos to come back upstairs to find out what had happened.

A few minutes later, there was still no sign of Carlos. So I decided I should probably find out what type of mess he was attempting to clean up down there. I buckled Logan into the chair of death, made sure I had wedged enough under the legs to prevent him from injuring himself….again….and made my way downstairs.

At the top of the stairs I could already make out the sound of rushing water…my heart started beating harder. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I saw the pool of water…”What the fuck????”. I turned the corner to see the root of this river that was threatening the life of my laminate wood flooring. The water heater was spewing forth steaming hot water, and flooding our rec room. Shit!

In the time it had taken me to come and see what the commotion was, Carlos had turned the water off to house and started to drain the water remaining in the tank into a bucket. He had just plugged in the shop vac, and started to madly suck up as much water as he could. In the meantime, I ran back upstairs to retrieve anything I could lay my hands on that might help sop up the water that was surely starting to soak into the flooring….old sheets, receiving blankets (of which we have thousands), etc. I did what I could with the blankets, and helped keep an eye on the bucket the tank was emptying into.

Carlos kept emptying the shop vac and bucket into basin in the laundry room. That is, until it was plugged with cat hair that was being sucked up along with the water. The tub was now full of nasty-ass, dirty, cat-hairy water, and it wasn’t draining. I could feel my last thread of sanity that remained after the events of the last few days starting to fray.

On our side was the fact that we have a walk-out basement. I opened the patio door leading to the backyard, and we started dumping water, and throwing non-salvageable items outside. (I’m sad to say that the cats’ scratching-post-condo-thingy was saturated beyond redemption, and we had to say goodbye.)

It took just over an hour to drain the water heater, and contain and cleanup the ensuing flood. We then took stock of the situation.

First of all, the mentally disabilitated (yes, I know that’s not a real word) builders of this fucking house didn’t put a fucking drain in the floor of the fucking furnace room where the fucking water heater is! I still can’t believe that passed inspection, even 20 years ago when this house was built. I mean, COME ON!

Secondly, Carlos called the company that we have been renting the water heater in question from….lets just call them “The Company”. He told The Company we needed a replacement water heater installed. The customer service rep told him we could not request a new water heater…they would have to send someone to inspect our current water heater to see if it needed replacing, or could just be fixed. Carlos promptly told The Company that our current water heater was currently “inspecting” all over our rec room floor! And come on….did ya think we’re calling you at midnight asking for a new water heater just for shits and giggles?????

We are already acquainted with The Company’s inspection process. When we bought the house a few years ago, our inspection revealed that we should have the water heater looked at, as it was advanced in years and had some rust along the bottom. At our request, The Company sent someone to come and “inspect” the water heater. He took a 90 second cursory glance, said it looked fine, and left. Thank you so much for your time….jackass!

So this morning a very nice man from The Company came to our house, looked at the water heater and told us it would need to be replaced. REALLY? Are you sure? He said that we wouldn’t have to pay an installation charge (you’re fucking right, we’re not paying an installation charge!), and that we could upgrade from a 40 gallon to a 50 gallon tank for only an additional $1.25 a month. Great! Then he said something that almost sent me over the edge….he said ” we’ve had a lot of leaking water heaters lately, so we won’t be able to have someone come out until tomorrow and install that for you.” Are you fucking kidding me? We’ve got two small children and two adults living in this house, and since you won’t replace your water heaters until they explode, I would think you could at least install the replacement the same day!

I’m not sure whether the nice man put in a good word for us, or if the powers that be decided to give us a break, but The Company called shortly after the nice man left. “We happen to have a team available to install your replacement tank today. Would you like them to head over?” Do you even have to ask? Seriously!

Anyway, as of around 1:30pm today, we had a brand spankin’ new water heater, and hot water aplenty.

I’m not sure if you can tell by the tone and/or language of this post, but I’m a little bitter. And the bitterness remains. I realize that it could have been worse. I am grateful that the Company was very prompt in the delivery and installation of our new water heater. But I’m still pissed off.

I’m pissed off at the fact that The Company won’t replace a water heater unless 1)The Company is willing to replace it, or 2)the water heater in question explodes. I’m pissed off that The Company doesn’t take responsibility for damages incurred after one of these aforementioned water heater explosions. I’m pissed off that The Company doesn’t have some type of inspection program for water heaters over a certain age in order to prevent this type of explosion for occurring in the first place. And I’m pissed off that The Company has received more than $2500 over the 20 year life of a water heater that probably cost them no more than $400 when it was new, and they still can’t see fit to treat their customers with a modicum of respect.

At least…and I’ve had to search REALLY hard for the silver lining here…when we sell this house, which we are planning to do sometime in the next 6 months, we use the brand spankin’ new water heater as a selling point.

Behold, our glorious new heater of water!

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1 Response to "The Great Flood of 2007…In My Basement"

I think I know this Company, and I respect them not.

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