Friday, June 8, 2012

a bang for your bucks

Yesterday The Other was sitting at her desk when Maude started a low growl. Usually this is just a warning that someone is in the court delivering junk mail – it’s louder when one a them thar pesky power salespeople come to the door.
But The Other looked out the window, saw nothing, and was just telling Maude to be quiet because there was nothing happening when there was a very, very loud BANG.

The Other went out the front to see if something had happened in the carport. No.
Came back inside and thought she heard the washing machine emptying, which would be strange because I had washed [self and clothes] the previous day.

We don’t live in Gippsland but a flood was happening, so The Other called out to me then ran out the front to turn off the mains, while I came downstairs wondering if she had hurt herself.

The BANG came from one of these snake-like, flexible hoses which delivers hot water to the bathroom. The internal rubber hose had finally karked it, the pressure causing the metal casing to blow apart.

Now, following a post on Andrew’s blog some time ago, showing off his nice new towels and his disgustingly tidy linen press – and because Aunty was moving in and needed to know what’s what about what – I had actually done some tidying. All of the old, dog bath, floor mopping and other miscellaneous towels were at exactly the right height in the press for The Other to grab. [This may seem incidental to you but not to me because The Other would not have hesitated to use new towels had they been at the wrong height.]

With a wad of these she did what Kanute could not, and stemmed the tide. [Well, his name is spelt Cnut in Waikikipedia, but it does not look pretty at first glance so I spelled it with a KA, ok?]

After several attempts to find a plumber by phone… “What do you mean what’s my email address, I’m not sending an email to ask for a plumber [Phone slams]”… she found one who wasn’t “on his way back from Ballarat”, but could arrive within the hour. It took longer for her to organise a plumber than it took me to mop up/wash the bathroom/laundry floors, which is saying something because there was an awful lot of water oozing through a wad of towels into the loungeroom.

Now, the hose itself was only 23 years old [talk about built-in obsolescence], but we gotta wonder how much one little bit of pipe is worth. “Do you have discounts for old-age pensioners?” asked the other, proudly whipping out her new card. “I’ll tell them at the office not to add GST”, said the plumber. As it is illegal to quote a price without GST included, it seemed the guy was not only an efficient plumber able to replace a pipe in 2.5 minutes, he was also an expert in the art of bovine faeces.

When I asked if I could “work it off” he laughed hysterically and whipped out an EFTPOS machine. The sod. 


  1. Plumbing dramas are always the worst. Loved your story. We had a pipe burst outside without any noise and without any obvious water for about 3 days. A neighbour came to tell me she could see water bubbling out of the garden as she walked past. We turned off the water and called a plumber. A month later we got a bill for $500. They sent a letter giving us the complicated way to claim for an undetected leak. The plumber has to fill in a Form 4???? we are still waiting..........

    1. Well Diane, you have my total sympathy. I don't know what the excess is on our insurance, but the plumber would have had to charge thousands for me to overcome my formophobia and make a claim.
      And of course it's what we don't see that kills us. Good job your neighbour saw the water bubbling up. Until I discovered the burst pipe under the sink I was imagining all sorts of expensive, underground horrors, or a shed full of water.
      Good luck with the claim!

  2. You certainly got your monies worth from the 23 yr old rubber hose especially since its the hot water one as they tend to split and perish rather quickly :-).

    1. Windsmoke, I don't know whether to be relieved, or rush right round to a hardware store this minute and put one away for the next "rainy" day.

  3. That is how my bedroom and bathroom was flooded. The same pipe in the apartment above burst. It was 13 years old and we have learnt that they are not reliable.

    1. The saga of the new bed. I remember it well.
      Not so exciting is the discovery of a tiny slow leak from the hot water pipe under the upstairs basin. The good news is it's not a flexible pipe, so maybe the nice man next door can fix it with some of that white tape stuff and some male confidence. It must be a coincidence, surely, as it is much further from the HWS.
      But WS and yourself have both convinced me keeping a spare flexible pipe would be a good and cheaper repair if/when needed in the future.

  4. Floods are nightmares.

    I'm glad you got things fixed. I hope there wasn't any long term awful damage.

    Oh and I'm glad that The Other grabbed the old towels!

    It seems to me that the best career to go into these days would be repair-oriented ones. There's always people who desperately need your services.

    It's awful for the ones needing the service though. It's SO expensive sometimes.

    1. I'd be as rich as Bill Gates if I had shares in the plumbing company that came on Thursday.
      Tradespeople are very much in demand in Oz, but hopefully we won't have any more dramas til 2013.

  5. Oh, sorry again. I'm continuing my proud tradition of enjoying a cruel laugh at another's expense ...

    You've got to take some of the blame though - you MUST have been playing it for laughs! If not, then I shudder to think at the guffawing that'd happen if you DID!!!

    1. :) You just come on back any time you like, my dear. You'll be the first to receive free tickets if I ever have a "Clapper's Night".