We all know that we have to be careful with certain valves and fixtures when disconnecting or connecting fill hoses or water lines. The older the fixture the more care has to used to avoid damage. But sometimes, stuff happens.
Years ago I ran a call on a coin slide washer not filling in a small apartment complex. The laundry room had maybe three washers and three dryers in all. After quickly diagnosing a bad water inlet valve on the washer, I reached to the hot water fixture on the wall to turn off the water. On the first turn of the valve handle the whole valve assembly came off in my hand, allowing a full pressure stream of hot water to hit me square in the chest. I quickly tried to hold my hand over the broken pipe as I looked for something, anything I could use from my tool bag to plug it until I could find the main water shutoff. Meanwhile, I'm completely drenched and water is rising on the floor. It was then that I noticed the electric dryer right next to me, getting sprayed with it's own fair amount of water. That's when the voice inside my head screamed, "That's 240 volts, forget plugging the leak and find the shutoff, idiot"!
So I run out of the laundry room like a bat out of hell searching for the shutoff. Around the corner I see what must be a mechanical room. As I burst through the door the first thing I see is a kid, maybe 14 or 15 years old, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. Oblivious as to why this kid is sitting inside a dark utility room in the middle of the day I roar, "WHERE'S THE MAIN SHUTOFF"? The kid, frozen in fear, said nothing. I turn away from him and find the water heater with the shutoff valve. I turn off the water and secure the circuit breakers to the dryers. As I turn to leave the mechanical room I see the kid has disappeared. I went back to the laundry room and cleaned up as much water as I could, repaired the washer, and radioed the shop (cell phones not invented yet) to advise the owner of what happened. Owner shows up and I hand him the bill and tell him that he needs a plumber. I also ask him if he had kid living in the utility room and he says no. So I figure the kid must've been playing hooky or was a runaway. Chuckling, I think to myself, if he wasn't a runaway he sure as hell is now.
Fortunately, I'm not too far from home, so I decide to stop and put on a dry uniform (and underwear, socks, shoes etc.). As I walk in the door I see the wife sitting down watching television. As I'm standing there, with water pooling at my feel, she points at me and begins laughing hysterically. Before I could yell at her I noticed what she was watching on TV. It was a Three Stooges episode named "A Plumbing We Will Go". The scene was Curly in the bathroom trying to stop a full on leak after breaking a water fixture. I don't know what flabbergasted me most, a female watching The Three Stooges or seeing an instant replay of my previous service call.
I know art imitates life but give me a friggin' break.
Edited by PDuff, 25 August 2013 - 01:07 PM.