The One Where All The Plumbing Goes Wrong

So, about 10 days before Christmas, this happened to us.

Water damaged ceiling
This is our kitchen ceiling. Right above it is our hot water cupboard with two pumps attached to the tank. One goes to the shower room, one goes to the bathroom. and when one started leaking the contents of our tank suddenly appeared in our kitchen.

My husband managed to turn off the relevant taps and stop the flow, but by that time there were litres of water swilling about above our heads and it would be several days before we could do away with the bucket needed to contain the leak. A kind friend lent us a dehumidifier which has really helped.

It took a day for a plumber to get to us so for a while we had no water, including no flushing toilets. Anyone who has been in this situation will know it’s truly grim, and will understand why I spent a lot of my time encouraging the kids to ‘go’ at school instead of saving it all up for home!

Then for a few days we had no water in the bath, and only boiling hot water from the shower. We were diluting that down to a reasonable temperature in a trug then having bucket baths in the shower cubicle. The kids absolutely hated this and the little ones wanted to sit in the bucket and bathe that way.

Anyhow the plumber eventually replaced one pump  so our shower had both hot and cold water, but then  he discovered the second pump was also leaking. So we’ve been without a bath for almost six weeks. It’s not a biggy, we’ve coped, but life is easier with a shower and a bath when you have four kids!

Finally, last Saturday, the plumber showed up with our second pump. Everyone was very excited about the prospect of a bath but no sooner had he fitted the pump, than he noticed another leak. This time at the top of the tank.

The part involved had to be ordered so he turned off ALL the hot water, told us it ‘should’ be in by Monday and waved good bye a little too cheerily for my liking.

It’s really hard to keep 6 people clean when you have no hot water. We started off  by boiling the kettle for hot water for a bath, but after we’d done that 17 times and only had an inch or two in the bottom of the tub, we decided it wasn’t a viable option. We considered all visiting the local pool and showering there, but wouldn’t you believe it, their showers are out of action this week too!

In the end we have imposed on some very kind neighbours who have put up with our brood parading through their house and messing up their bathroom every evening. DH is okay, he has a shower at work, and I’ve resorted to cold bucket baths!

Monday arrived, and so did the plumber with the part in hand. I hoped he wouldn’t take too long because I was hanging out for a hot shower.

Five minutes later he was downstairs and confessing he had ordered the wrong part. He thought he could get the right part by Wednesday…

So here we are, 5 days into having no running hot water. I know it’s not essential to but it does make modern life much easier and more pleasant. I’ve had a text from the plumber sayinging part is expected ‘late pm’ today. I have replied saying that I don’t care when it arrives, I want it fitted ASAP!

I have everything crossed that today will be the first day in 2016 that someone can bathe, while someone else showers but I’m probably kidding myself, aren’t I

And of course once the plumbing is sorted, I can start ringing around plasterers to get quotes for the ceiling. I suspect that will be a whole different blog post.