Some readers may consider this far Too Much Information, but this morning I got up and used the toilet. Then I flushed it. After that, I had a shower and washed my hair.
This was a big deal for me, because for the last two days, we have had no running water upstairs and no hot water anywhere in the house. By the time this problem got sorted, after 9 o’clock last night, the novelty of boiling the kettle for hot water and having to queue for our one flushing toilet had well and truly worn off.
I almost cried with relief when the plumber, who we’d had locked in the loft all day, announced we could turn the water back on.
The fun and games started on Monday night, when DD2 came down stairs and told us that there was water running through our bedroom ceiling, through our ceiling fan. Luckily DH was home, and he went up to the loft to take a look. He’s not much one for DIY but he knows a leak when he sees one, so turned off the water while he was up there.
He got a couple of little shocks from the pipes while he was up there, so once he came downstairs he also turned off the upstairs electricity and the switch that controls all the lighting in the house. Then he rang our Emergency Home Cover Insurers; Lloyds TSB.
They were quite helpful and told him to keep the water and lights/ electricity off overnight. We were also instructed to turn on all the taps in order to drain the loft water tank as quickly as possible.Then they booked us a plumber to come and check on the damage the following morning ( Tuesday), as well as an electrician to come out the following evening ( Wednesday), once things had dried out a bit.
Luckily all the kids were asleep by this point, despite all the stomping about in the loft space, but DH and I got very little sleep with a bucket on the bed between us. I kept waking and wondering if the ceiling was going to cave in on us, and then had a coughing fit at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep.
The plumber turned up on time on Tuesday morning and diagnosed a split water tank. He told us he thought it would be covered by the insurance and submitted his findings, so all we could do is sit tight and wait. At least we had heating and the internet!
In the meantime we dug out torches and lanterns and bought some batteries in preparation for dusk. By 7 pm the verdict was in; Lloyds TSB wouldn’t pay to replace the tank or fix the ceiling, all they had to do was make the situation safe and they had done this. While I marched the kids across the road to a kind neighbour’s place for a bath, DH got on the phone and started ringing plumbers.
The first quote seemed very high, considering the cost of the tank, but when the second plumber came up with a similar figure, and had availability for the Wednesday, we decided we had to just suck it up. The plumber was very good and worked all day, until just after 9pm when he gave us the good news. We had water again.
I have NEVER been so glad to hear a toilet flush!
The bad news is that we still don’t have lighting. We have electricity downstairs, thank goodness, but the promised electrician didn’t show up last night. DH rang to enquire as to their whereabouts, and was told that ‘unfortunately’ we had been missed off the list and all they could offer us was an appointment ‘after midnight’. We politely declined this, having just got 4 over tired, slightly unsettled kids to bed, so are waiting for them to turn up sometime today. 1-5pm is the time slot we have been given, so we’ll see.
Even if he turns up, I’m assuming the electrician will only be able to assess the situation, not fix it, and then we’ll be back to tracking down someone who can make the repairs, hopefully before the end of the week.
I am a little stressed, as it’s really hard to do things in the dark and I keep falling over our black and grey dogs.
But I’m very thankful that at least it didn’t happen next week, and that we have the water back on. We can cope with torches, lanterns and Christmas lights for a few more days if we have to; having no water was much worse.