Well, I must confess that we really have something to rejoice about and no photos to go with it! We always get photos of everything! But, not this time! Still, the story is worth telling. You'll just have to supply mental illustrations!
On Tuesday morning at 1 am (that's wee 1:00 a.m.) I woke up and lay there trying to figure out why. I had some vague memory of our golden retriever, Sunny, whining. That's not rare for him, but he doesn't usually do it indoors in the middle of the night. Anyway, he wasn't whining when I woke up. I lay listening. I heard water running in our master bathroom. I assumed the chain was off the float. That has happened before. I went to silence it. But, when I peered into the bowl, there was no agitation. I pulled the lid off the tank. No movement in there, either. But, I could hear water running right behind the commode. Then I saw that there was water on the floor at the base of the toilet. I roused Kevin from deep sleep. I left him standing in the bathroom staring at the puddle; trying to absorb what he was seeing. Pun intended.
Meanwhile I went through the bathroom door that leads into the mudroom (that's my designation for it/utility room (Kevin's designation) to the kitchen. As I entered the kitchen I became aware that I was wading into running water! Wearing the thick soled rubber flip flops that I use for house shoes, cold water was over my toes. That meant it was close to a half inch deep! The kitchen was dark and I was scared to turn on the lights (water and electricity should not mix, I know). I instinctively feared to find out if they had mixed. I opened the french doors onto the porch and began shoveling water out of the kitchen onto the porch with the broom. Kevin, went by me out into the darkness, wearing his robe, to the water cut off. In my imagination I could envision water flooding through the wide opening from our kitchen into our living room, onto our labouriously laid precious laminate floor (which would ruin it). I was sure that with as much water as there was in the kitchen, the living room was also immersed. I noted Kevin had turned on the light in the hall before going outside and nothing had shorted, so, I decided I might turn on the one in the kitchen. I did. And Lo and Behold the water had not quite reached our beautiful floor. It was within a half inch of it. Kevin got towels and put them down to stem any water than might venture closer to the floor. The reason the water hadn't gotten there was because the house has AC/heat vents in the floor. The overflow had run into the two floor vents in the kitchen instead of into the living room. Amazing! If I had slept another 30 minutes the tiding flow would have gotten to the floor.
The LORD was so merciful; Kevin and I saw this more and more in the hours that followed.
1. we were home when it happened, not at work or off on an errand.
2. I woke up just in time. Please note that I am giving the LORD full credit for this; He has used an ass before to get someone's attention; He may have used our Sunny on this occasion, but we are not giving the dog a medal for this! Sunny cries "wolf" far too often.
3. The old linoleum floor kept the water for the most part off the subfloor in kitchen, bath and mud room. I guess it is a subfloor? The part that is under the linoleum or carpet or laminate? The surface that supports everything? Whatever water went through tears in the linoleum or and at the baseboards, reached plywood. This is not the first time we've been grateful that our subfloor is plywood. Kevin says that most mobile homes use particle board and water just soaks into that and it rots. Plywood doesn't absorb water as easily. Or spread it.
4. Our temperature was in the 40s. Because of this we were able to leave the door wide open long enough to push a lot of the water out that way. Then we commenced to mop. I filled buckets. Kevin found his old wet/dry vacuum, but it drowned at the task.
5. I had vacuumed our kitchen just two days before and gotten up doghair and dirt. So, the water didn't make near the mess it would have otherwise.
6. Kevin went straight to the cause of the flooding by some divine intuition. I was clueless. I was thinking that the old pipes to the toilet must be the culprit. Or that a pipe under that area had broken after freezing weather recently. But, for some reason, Kevin suspected the water heater. He pulled off the door of its cubby and sure enough, the water line to the hot water heater had broken. A fitting had just let go. The line was totally separated!
7. The water that had gotten into the flex ducts under the house had saved the whole house from being flooded. It was still a major hassle for Kevin to squirm under the house to disconnect the flex duct so that he could reposition it down hill to allow the water in it to run out. He left it for several hours to drain and dry out.
8. Kevin was able to purchase the fitting he needed in Lexington when stores opened. He had to make two trips; the first fitting leaked. But, he got it done in time for us to test it well before we went to bed Tuesday night. We washed dishes, took showers, and used all faucets without any more problem.
9. This was a much easier fix than if the waterline in question had been in the floor, walls, or buried!
I am so grateful that this didn't happen while we were out of town on our two week trip. I am glad that our housesitter didn't have to deal with it! I am glad my mother wasn't with us at the time (she had spent the night with us just two nights before).
The timing of the incident continues to impress us both! The LORD protected us, our house, our dogs...
10. We now pray that there will be no mold or mildew in the ducts. The unseasonable warm dry weather should help! The humidity is 13 per cent!