Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Confluence of Events

This happened earlier in the year, but was worth blogging now that the cringe factor has lessened.

We had recently swapped the super-water-economical twin tub for a second hand environmentally insensitive toploading automatic machine. I decided I'd reduce the additional water use by using the 'suds save' option where it pumps the soapy water into the laundry tub where it can syphon back into the machine for the next load. Great! Not too much extra water necessary.

After a few loads I began to be perturbed by the amount of cleanish rinse water going to sewer. Surely, if nothing else, I could take that water (via the hose that Nan gave me with the machine) and get it onto the grass in the backyard. I don't expect the poor machine to pump up-hill to the garden beds, but the backyard is down-hill. This should work.

There was one little catch. The long outdoor hose had to be connected to the washing machine's short hose. The connection was reasonably secure, but I wasn't taking any chances. I made certain that the actual connecting point was outside the laundry door where any leaks would run across the driveway and onto the grass. I'm clever like that. Always looking for the thing that will go wrong.

I went back upstairs to get other things done before the next load of washing was ready to be hung out. All was good.

I kept an ear out on the machine to see when it stopped going...

After a while I noticed that it should really be finished by now. And yet, it was still running water. Why? It should be done. I went to investigate.

During the pumping out the first load of rinse water phase the connection had come unstuck. I am clever. I had forseen this possibility.

I had not forseen that the jerky pumping action would not only break the connection, but flick the end of the washing machine hose just inside the threshold of the laundry. This meant that the water being pumped out was ending up on the laundry floor.

We are clever. We had forseen a water spillage event and had a floor waste put into the laundry when we had the house built.

What we had not forseen was that the next load of washing (which had been quietly sitting in a pile on the laundry floor) would get sucked over the floor waste by the exiting water. Blocking it. Entirely.

But, how bad could this be? It's only one washing machine full of rinse water! So not being as clever as I had initially thought was not the end of the world.

What I had not forseen was that the washing machine actually relies on the fact that the end of the waste hose is above the top of the machine in order to stop the next lot of rinse water simply running out of the bottom of the machine once the pump stops. It had been 'filling up' for some minutes.

Fortunately, in modern homes they actually create sort of a fibreglass bowl to a certain distance up the walls before they put the floor tiles down. They had forseen this type of disaster.

What they had not forseen was that they can't take the fibreglass up the wall where the door is. The garage was also awash. We have heaps of stuff stored in the garage that haven't yet found homes. Tools; bits of board or timber that might be useful some day; a timber chest full of photos.

It was a disaster. My Beloved came home to a frazzled wife, who could not move everything to get at all the water. Being a sweetie, he helped with the clean-up. Without a word, bless him.

He has quietly hidden the outdoor hose. I can't find it anywhere. The chances that this can ever happen again?

...Approximately None.

8 comments:

Aleta said...

LOL. I'll keep that in the memory books of "what not to do" for laundry. Good idea, not a viable plan. And I love it that he hid the hose. Too funny.

Givinya De Elba said...

Oh no!

It was a New Spin on the old "Fortunately - Unfortunately" game.

The new "What we HAD forseen - What we HADN'T forseen" Game.

Swift Jan said...

What a disaster! I can understand why it took a while for the sting of it to wear off a little...

You no this drought has caused much anxiety! From washing machines to showers...
This morning I had a rather long shower.It was so warm, the kids were actually behaving, and I was enjoying it. But I kept hearing our premier Anna Bligh in my ear saying " 4 minute showers!"... gah!

Dee said...

Ah yes, I too have been tricked by the keep the hose in the air thing....

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

lol. That is so funny. Thanks for sharing the tale with us all - regardless of the embarrassment factor.

I think what I like most about it is that it sounds like exactly the sort of thing I would do.

Crazy Sister said...

Poor Jen! I'm amazed by the number of washing machine disaster stories I've heard. Either I'm incredibly lucky, or I'm due for something like this to happen to me...

Mistress B said...

Those washing machine hoses can be tricky things.............. (says she who might have flooded her hallway once.......)

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