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Old 03-14-2009, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default What a frakkin' day...

As some of you know, I've been in Manhattan for the past month and a half, building some studios. When I scheduled my flight home for Friday the 13'th, I thought it was an amusing commentary on how the CBS project has been going to date.

Has anybody not seen "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"? Show of hands.

So Friday morning I wake up at about 6am as usual. Killed some time making fun of Hyper, then at 11am I caught the W train to Queens. It's practically empty, so I'm all spread out and comfy. Got off at Astoria, and took the M60 bus to La Guardia. Get to the airport, check in for my 1:55pm departure to ATL, connecting to RSW. Go to Chili's and have a few margaritas.

After lunch, I'm moseying back to the gate, and see that my flight is canceled. Go online, and they've already confirmed me on a 3:55pm departure, which will miss my original connection, but they've also got me on a later flight to Fort Myers. Props to Delta for good customer service.

3:30pm, board the airplane. 3:55pm, we push back, and departure parks us in the queue. Busy day at LGA, apparently. An hour later they spin up the other engine, we're finally wheels up at just after 5pm. There goes my connection.

Get to Atlanta around 7:30pm, and find that there's not a single flight available to anywhere in southern Florida. Oh well. Grab my bag, head to Hertz, and rent a car. I've done this before. Stock up on Mountain Dew, and hit the road.

At about 5:00am, I get to my house in North Port. I could have sworn that one of the keys on my keychain was for this house, but no luck at the front door. I go around to the side of the garage to try that door, and I hear a sound coming from behind it. Sounds like water spraying. Oh, and no key to this door either.

I go down to the street and shut the water off to the house, then open an outside spigot to bleed down the system. Back to the garage, and the noise is gone. I go to the front of the garage, and sure enough, there's water running out the door and down the driveway.

****.

At this point, the only way I can get inside the house is with the garage door opener, which is in my car, which is parked at the airport in Fort Myers, another hour south.

So, back on the road. Stopped by a gas station for some more Mountain Dew, and on to Fort Myers. Return the rental car. Hike out to the far end of long term, and find that at least my car hasn't been stolen. Started right up on the first turn, too. Not bad after sitting in the cold for so long. Have I mentioned how much I love Optima red-top batteries?

8:30am, I finally arrive back at the house and open the garage door. I'd halfway expected a torrential flood, but apparently it'd all leaked out while I was gone.

On top of the water heater there is a water-hammer arrestor. It's a cylinder about 8" diameter by 10" tall, on the cold side plumbing. The purpose of this device is to act as a shock absorber for the water pipes, absorbing the pressure wave when a faucet is suddenly closed. Under normal operation, they're mostly filled with air, so there's a sort of cushioning effect. Well, this one had sprung a leak on the top, and a jet of water was spraying out of it upwards with considerable force.

The ceiling has collapsed, the carpet is totally soaked (yes, the garage is carpeted. Nice stuff, too. Berber.) and the spray has fallen into a couple of open toolboxes, ruining several crimpers in the > $200 each range (Molex, Amp, Edac, and others) and a whole bunch of other stuff. I had lots of cardboard boxes sitting on the floor, and they're totally soaked. My whole record collection, a bunch of books, etc. There's mold everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and even the stuff not exposed to direct spray is thoroughly damp as it's been quite warm recently, and the humidity was probably 100% in there for weeks.

Ok, time to get started.

Thus far, I've cleared out the half of the garage that was worst-soaked (including a deep freezer, a fridge, a generator, and a huge workbench) plus all the boxes that were on the floor, the storm shutters (and lemme tell you- in Florida, we take our storm shutters seriously. These ******* are heavy), and a bunch of shelves. The big stuff is sitting in the driveway, and the rest of it is inside. There are LPs scattered all over the living room floor drying- it looks really freaky. Got about 2/3 of the carpet pulled up, that **** was glued down pretty thoroughly, though the water seems to have softened the glue. Still, water-logged carpet is astoundingly heavy. It's all spread out over the lawn right now to dry, so it'll be easier to haul to the dump. My next door neighbor (who I'd never met until now) moseyed over about 7pm to see what was up- the whole neighborhood must think I've gone hillbilly. All of the drywall and insulation that fell is piled up in the driveway- there's still a lot more I'm going to have to cut down, but we're making progress.

I'm done for the night. I was able to isolate the heater from the mains, so I turned the water back on and took a freezing shower. I've gotta get a new heater tomorrow and plumb it in- can't take much more of this.


You know what's interesting- I'd expected that after not driving a car for a month and a half, it'd feel strange. But it doesn't. Neither the Toyota RAV4 I rented nor my Miata felt at all out of place. I'll tell you what does feel weird- using my desktop computer! I've been working on my little Vaio (11" screen and tiny keyboard, plus a compact bluetooth mouse) for so long that I come back to my home PC with its normal keyboard and mouse and dual 19" monitors, and it's shocking. Using the mouse feels like I'm pushing a VW Beetle around the desk, the keyboard seems a mile wide, and the monitors are like billboards on my desk.

At any rate, I've been up for > 40 hours at this point, so I'm going to bed. LY,LYS.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that Joe.

I usually turn off the main water whenever I go out of town. I learned my lesson about 1/2 a year ago. I came home and went on the computer. A couple minutes later, I hear a loud spraying, went to the garage, and saw a huge fountain of water spraying where the rubber hose on my washer bursted. If I weren't home, I can't imagine how much damage would have happened. Water damage scares the shiznit out of me.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:03 AM   #3
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Damn, sounds like a mess. If you need any help let me know, I've got nothing to do tomorrow and I certainly owe you a favor, or 10. My number (in a super secret code that only Joe and I know) is 239-989-9339, I'm happy to help if there's anything I can do.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:33 AM   #4
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those aren't pillows!!
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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And I thought my day was going bad. Sorry to hear about your problems. Next time you'll turn the water off, no?
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #6
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******' sucks. I don't know what I'd do if I found that mess, good luck Joe.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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karma
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:28 AM   #8
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offtopic, ive always thought that if you rented a car at one location, you had to return it to that same location? please enlighten my prehistoric *** because this would come in handy one day. thanks
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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^not at all true, maybe certain rental places


Sorry to hear Joe, jeeez what a friggin mess to deal with...feel for ya man
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #10
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that blows. sometimes living in an apt has its perks.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:25 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear it Joe. In case you weren't aware, any damage to personal property or the structure itself will be covered by homeowners insurnace as water damage from a ruptured water heating appliance.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenzo42 View Post
I usually turn off the main water whenever I go out of town.
Yeah, lesson learned. The house is relatively new (<10 yrs) so I didn't figure there was a high likelihood of problems.

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Originally Posted by mmagic View Post
offtopic, ive always thought that if you rented a car at one location, you had to return it to that same location?
No, in fact I do this with some regularity, particularly when I'm doing two back-to-back projects that are within a couple hundred miles of one another. I'll fly into one city and rent a car, do the first job, then drive to the second and return the car to the airport in that town when I'm done. They charge you a bit more for it, but all of the major chains (Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, etc) have no problem with it.

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Sorry to hear it Joe. In case you weren't aware, any damage to personal property or the structure itself will be covered by homeowners insurnace as water damage from a ruptured water heating appliance.
We'll see how it all rolls out. On the plus side, most of the stuff that was in the garage was my deceased step-grandfather's old crap (old consumer electronics, several adding machines, broken tools and car parts, etc) so it gives me a great excuse to clear out the garage. As far as repair to the house, we (myself & my step-father) are doing it all, so no major expense there. I just got back from Lowe's picking up pipe, fittings, a new expansion tank, etc., and Wayne is bringing his truck over later so we can get a new heater. Once it's all settled, I'll see how much money I'm out in damaged property. I can't imagine that a bunch of old Queen and Pink Floyd albums are worth much. :rolleyes"
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #13
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Don't forget about all those valuable fur coats and antique furniture you had that got ruined...
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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Wow, that totally sucks. I've lived mostly in apartments so I never really worried about it, but we'll definitely be shutting off the house's supply line as part of our pre-vacation routine. If I came home to that I'd probably ****.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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Well THAT'S not a very nice homecoming! Water damage sucks the big one. The pressure relief valve on my hot water heater failed a few years back, filling my garage and the lower level of my house with hot steamy water. Wound up ripping out 66sq yards of carpet, and the bottom 2' of sheetrock from all the walls. No fun indeed. Thank God for insurance.

C
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:20 PM   #16
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My grandparents used to have a winter house down in West Palm Beach. Their neighbors lived in the UK 9-10 months out of the year. The water heater broke just after they left and the entire house sat in 3ft of water for something like 6 months. They had to gut the entire place and do everything over. :(

Shitty stuff, Joe. At least it wasn't the interior of the house.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:26 PM   #17
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pics or it didn't happen
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear this.

You may wanna look into renting an ozone generator mold killer.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:42 PM   #19
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Our plant manager moved from MI and hadn't sold his house as the market was so bad. Over the winter a pipe froze in the 3rd story bathroom. Flooded all three floors. $80K in damage to the house alone as it was empty.

Same thing happened to my sister last year. Line going to the toilet had a plastic fitting crack. Flooded the 2nd story, first floor and their just finished basement. They had to live elswhere for 6 weeks while the damage was fixed. $60K for repairs. What a mess.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Our plant manager moved from MI and hadn't sold his house as the market was so bad. Over the winter a pipe froze in the 3rd story bathroom. Flooded all three floors. $80K in damage to the house alone as it was empty.

Same thing happened to my sister last year. Line going to the toilet had a plastic fitting crack. Flooded the 2nd story, first floor and their just finished basement. They had to live elswhere for 6 weeks while the damage was fixed. $60K for repairs. What a mess.

2004 my first year in Iraq, my house was sitting vacant. I asked my father to turn off the water, and drain the pipes before winter. He forgot. all the plumbing froze and busted. What a freaking mess.
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