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4:40pm on Tuesday, 22nd May, 2007:

Exploding Taps


This morning, my wife commented that the hot water wasn't getting hot. When I later had a shower, it was tepid even turned maximum into the red zone. I went to work, hoping it would fix itself by magic. When I got back, I opened the dishwater and found it had made a dreadful job of things. Then, when I turned on the hot tap, it trickled for a bit and stopped.

Hmm. Maybe a problem with the water supply, then.

I had a look outside, but there were no water works, so I thought I'd better check if the problem was with the boiler or with the input supply. I opened up a tap we have directly over the incoming pipe, and after a few splutters it surged into action. Yay! So I went and tried a proper tap. There was a gurgling, an emission of some horrible, brown liquid, and then it came online. SPLAT! Ho boy, did it ever come online! Water didn't so much pour out as shoot out, there must be an enormous air bubble in there somewhere. It's amazing it didn't crack the sink. I was mopping up splashes three metres away. The same thing happened with the other taps I tried: out comes water, la la la, then SPLAT! More water, la la la, more SPLAT!

That's how things are right now, an hour or so later. From my direct-to-the-mains tap, I can tell that we're getting air pumped in along with the water, so it's not just our pipes that are full of air, it's the mains supply too. According to my daughter, there's some kind of water leak further up the village, so I'm guessing the water people turned off the supply while I was at the university. I'm going to let my neighbours empty the mains pipes of air before I have a go with mine. There's so much air dissolved in it, it's coming out as if it has milk in it.

As for what happens when the toilet flushes, all I can say is I'm glad the cistern has a lid on it.

Referenced by Water Woes.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).