Air pipes

The problem with winter hoses…

It was a Friday in the early afternoon; I had just entered REM sleep in my “comfortable chair” and felt my right shoulder move back and forth. My wife said, “Joel, you promised to change the whole house water filter. It’s been 3 months. I replied, “Okay, just let me wake up!” Owning a home is a never-ending pot of work! This work is essential. We have to change the whole house filter every 3 months because we have a reverse osmosis filter system and it needs clean water. It needs clean water to be able to produce clean water. Hmmm.

I woke up and went down to the basement to change the filter. My wife will help. I opened the cabinet that houses the filter. I looked down and was reminded why I hate changing the filter. It was plumbed about 20 years ago and it sits 12 inches off the ground. 20 years ago it was fine; I was younger and bending over was more manageable. Over the past 5 years it has become more and more difficult to use the wrench to remove the filter housing. Of course, it’s only four times a year.

The frustration only returns when I return to rip the filter housing off. I turn the valve and press the button to release the water pressure inside the filter. I strained with the key, and it didn’t move. I never noticed, but the filter is connected and held together with just copper tubing. It turns out that every time I removed the filter, I weakened the solder on the copper.

I decided I needed more force to open the filter housing. I held the vertical copper pipe in my left hand and squeezed the key with my right hand. And then it happened! In a micro-second, I had to break the solder of the copper pipe I was standing on, and it released a geyser all the way up my ass! 40 pounds of pressure shot out of the water with a temperature of 42 degrees straight into the air.

When it happened, I was in shock! I thought I heard Captain Ahab shout, “Let her blow! I have an oversized holding tank so this episode lasted a few minutes. It was like a reverse “Waterboarding”, I would have said anything to make it stop.

I yelled at my wife, “Turn off the water pump at the main line.” She replied, “I don’t know how!” the pressure tank was just about empty, so I ran over and turned off the water pump circuit breaker. There was water everywhere! I was soaked!

We gathered up all the towels in the house and started mopping up the water. My floor is water and mildew resistant which helped. In about 20 minutes the water was contained and mostly on the floor. I was so cold that I was shivering. I grabbed my phone to call a plumber, and my fingers were so cold I couldn’t get the touchscreen to work.

I got changed and ran my hand under hot water, called the plumber and they had no staff available to come out. Jerry, my daughter’s mate, came over and saved the day. He is a very talented mechanic, with skills in everything. He was able to redo the plumbing and restore the water service in our house. A lifeline!

It took me most of the night to warm up, drink lots of hot drinks and two hot showers.

Life is full of surprises!

“Remember that every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – Joël, author of the book: “The guinea pig in the freezer! [email protected] © Joel M. Vernier January 16, 2022