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Author Topic: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters  (Read 45620 times)

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S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:02:06 PM »
The kitchen disaster stories have been a lot of fun.  I thought it would be fun to share disasters from other rooms in our homes.

Here's one of mine:

At the time I had a 4 bedroom/2 bath house.  I had the master bath ripped apart because I was remodeling it.  One of my children threw a toy ambulance into the other toilet. I couldn't reach it to pull it up.  I tried to plunge it out.  It wouldn't budge.  I tried to snake it out.  It still wouldn't budge.  It was wedged firmly in a curve in the toilet before the pipe in the floor.  I called my father for advise.  He suggested taking the toilet out, putting it on it's side and then running water through it with a high pressure hose.  Okay, no problem.  I've installed many toilets in my lifetime, this shouldn't be a big deal.  As happens from time to time with toilets, the flange bolts were rusted.  I drove to my father's house, grabbed a small angle grinder and went back to cut the bolts off.  No problem there.  I finally got the toilet out of the house.  Unfortunately, right as I was setting it down on the patio, the toilet slipped.  Do you have any idea how much of a mess an exploding toilet makes? 

Thank goodness my neighbor was nice and gave me a key to her house so I could use the bathroom while I got the new toilet installed.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 01:09:53 PM »
There was the time that my lovely DS1 decided at age 4 that the kitchen floor needed greasing.  So he up-ended a very expensive bottle of olive oil onto it.  After looking at it in despair for a while, I tried using washing up liquid to get it up.  Unfortunately I used rather too much of it and then spent nearly two hours mopping up the suds.  It was like something out of a horror movie, they just kept growing and growing.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 01:20:03 PM »
This summer my husband decided our bedroom carpet needed a wash. He was right, it did. Unfortunately our carpet cleaner, while having no problem with suction, didn't seem to be dispensing the carpet cleaning fluid evenly and our carpet seemed too dry and also a bit soapy.

I was sitting in our living room when I heard our back door open. DH walked through the hallway, carrying the hose with the spray attachment on. That was his solution to getting the carpet wet enough.

Luckily it worked (so was a success!) but holy cow. I swear my heart stopped until he was done.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 01:47:20 PM »
Our house has a tiny (likely not allowed by modern codes) half bath right off the kitchen. We didn’t use it much after moving in, because the toilet is ancient and needs to be replaced as it was leaking between the tank and the bowl, so we just keep the door shut and have it on our todo list.

After finishing the renovations on our full bath right after moving in, we decided to hold off on the half bath for a while, because there were plenty of other projects too. At some point, my SO unhooked the feed line to the toilet tank though, just to make sure it could be done (we were concerned that there was so much corrosion that the whole plumbing, including the shutoff valve would need replacement). He also managed to stop the leak in the toilet, so left the water on once he reconnected the feed line figuring that we might want to use that one if the other of us was using the full bath.

He must not have tightened it enough when he reconnected everything, because a few months later, we woke to a river running through our kitchen, and a rain shower in our basement right over our furnace—the joint between the valve and the feed line had burst at some point overnight.

It took a good 6 hours to get everything dry, but somehow all the water manage to not do any damage to the furnace. Whew.

14 months after moving in, we still haven’t touched that bathroom again, though. Right now the water is completely turned off, so at least we won’t have a repeat river.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 01:53:02 PM »
situation 1: We moved in to our home about 3 years ago. Everything was absolutely new and we had picked out the wall colors, tile, flooring, ect. But (big but) everything was neutral with the thought that we would live in the house and decorate as we got more comfortable. Well, we decided that the alcove for the dining table needed to be painted a nice bright scarlet. We bought several different samples and blocked off squares with painters tape so that we could compare shades on the wall. We painted and when we pulled the tape off it took the friggin wall with it! There is this giant patch of about 3ftx4ft that is absurdly ragged and rough. We still haven't fixed it yet and it looks horrible.

Situation 2: The garbage disposal clogged and we had the brilliant idea to dismount it, fix it, and reinstall. That went fine, but dang it, don't turn the water back on full blast unless you're sure that the pipes are completely connected. We did this twice (because we're slow).


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 02:24:46 PM »
Something I did as a toddler. Apparently I was a holy terror, who would wake up before my parents, and run amok, wreatking havoc on the house.

So the story goes, I woke up one day, and decided I was going to empty the fridge. of everything, ONTO the coffee table, eggs, etc. which rolled and smashed. My mother was not amused.

and perhaps at the same time, but I don't know for sure, at least at about the same age, I decided I was going to start peeling a banana like mommy did, with the SHARP paring knife. I'm 47 and still have a big scar on my knuckle where I sliced it.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 02:49:17 PM »
One from my parents:

This was in January of 1991, DH was active duty military, and my mother and father had come down from New England to visit us in Texas.  The day after the air war started (so they're already worried for DH) our phone rings -- it's their next-door neighbor.  My father takes the call, talks a while, and closes with, "Well, thanks for calling, Bob.  As long as the place is still standing, don't worry about it."  Their boiler had failed, pipes had frozen and burst, and walls and floors were damaged.  The neighbors let in repair crews, but my parents still came home to a hideous aftermath.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 03:00:32 PM »
A day or two after we moved into our new (19 years ago) house DH parents came over to view it.  There was a manhole cover in the back yard that apparently covered a "spill over" or some kind of I don't know what but all the houses in my area have them.  It is surrounded by cement and the cover comes off.  I guess they can be cleaned out.  DH father asked what the cover was.  DH apparently did not know but thought it would be a good idea to remove the cover and look inside.

As DH and dad leaned over to look down into the pit, which had what appeared to be muddy water at the bottom, the keys (one and only set - we had just moved in) fell out of DH pocket into the well.  Splash.  We remembered seeing a long pole in the garage with a sauce pan attached to one end - the pan being full of holes.  We surmised this had been used by previous owners to scoop out whatever had to be scooped out of this pit.  It was in the garage - locked.

Luckily we had in the house a long pole meant to clamp a paint brush onto for painting high ceilings.  Dh brought this out and also brought out a wire basket meant for cooking french fries in a pan of hot oil.  He managed to somehow atttach the basket to the end of the pole and after many many many tries got the keys into the basket.  Did I mention it was a Sunday and no locksmiths were open?  Needless to say I have never cooked french fries since - or anything in deep fat for that matter.  And I insisted DH get my a set of my own keys at once.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
I had been painting, and finished off a gallon of paint. I set it out in the driveway to let it dry out. We have a two-car garage, with a double wide driveway, so I set the paint can on my side behind my car since I wasn't planning to go anywhere. My husband came home, parked in his side, and everything was fine. He left later in his car (maybe to pick up something from the store?) and managed to pull out at such a crooked angle, he drove right over the paint can. Which was not dried up yet. And splattered all over his new car.
Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not. - Uncle Iroh


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 03:28:54 PM »
Useless ex-H was good at household disasters. 

He fell through a wall once, putting on his pants.  All the way through.

He put a new thermostat in my car - the wrong way around.  The car boiled three times in a 7km trip, I essentially missed a day's work.

One day I was baking, rental house, leaky old gas oven.  I didn't realise how bad it was.  As I was putting the pavlova in the preheated oven, I noticed a small, black spider spinning down on a web from the exhaust vent above.  'Oh, pretty spider...' then I noticed the red spot on it's bum.  Yup, don't like redbacks in the house!  So I'm whacking away with a fly swatter trying to kill said redback, which fell down between the stove and the fridge next to it.  Useless had been napping...  he came out when he heard the ruction, and asked what the 'f' I was doing.  I explained, in a state of panic by now.  His bright solution was to use flyspray to kill the spider.  So I got the spray, gave a good blast to the area between the oven and the stove.  The resulting ka-boom was pretty impressive!  Yes, the spray ignited and exploded.  Luckily there was no damage, and no, I never did find the spider...

Out on the patio we'd sit,
And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

Ganggajang - Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 04:07:41 PM »
I have told this story before, and sorry if it sounds too crazy to believe, but it happened.

It was back in my childhood, around 30 years ago. I lived in a small village where there were some farmers.
An ox had escaped from one of the farms, and gone on a crazy race through the town.

Now, my great-grandmother's house was located at the end of a cul-de-sac. Her house /formed/ the end of the cul-de-sac, facing the road directly.
The crazed ox stormed into the cul-de-sac, saw its mirrored image in my great-grandmother's window and must have thought: "Hey!! A friend!! Yayyyyyy!!" (Or maybe he thought: "an enemy! Attack!" Or hey, maybe he just thought: "Leeeeeeerooooooy Jennnnkinnns!!!" Who can tell?)
And he jumped, and BLASTED right through the window. Blood, wood splinters and shards of glass scattered everywhere, the huge beast landing somewhere in the middle of chairs and table - miraculously not breaking any bones.

Thank goodness my great-grandmother was in the back room of the (very small) house.
She heard a loud crash and a surreal MOOOOOOOOOO...
and came out of the back room to see probably the biggest ravage she had seen since WWII.
The ox raised his head, which he had likely smacked into the side of the table while coming to a skidding halt on his knees, gave her a sort of "dazed and confused" look, and stumbled outside like a drunk, wiping his bloody sides on the wallpaper and on the door in the process.

By then, a little crowd had gathered in the cul-de-sac, looking perplexed. The farmer came running on, thankfully the people there in the village like my great-grandmother and the farmer were all very calm and level-headed people and the farmer immediately promised to reimburse her for all the damage (he did). The ox was by now very "calm",  or rather, still too befuddled to give any sort of resistance while he was being lead home. Bleeding from quite a few superficial wounds but all in all nothing too bad.

My grandmother, mother and I, who all lived together "in a little crooked house"  a street further, had by now also heard the news - I don't remember who it was but someone came running to our door saying great-grandma needed help. Of course we went there immediately.

Great-grandma was also still a little dazzled, but otherwise fine. After all, she had witnessed both World Wars (and don't forget we live in Belgium!) so there wasn't much that fazed her.
But the mess, oh my goodness, the mess! Blood, glass, ox dung, all over the place. The wallpaper, the furniture, the floor, the tablecloths...

Other neighbours arrived and very soon a makeshift wooden board was made to cover the hole of the window.  The tablecloth was thrown out, some furniture was dragged outside to be cleaned, buckets of soap water were filled to scrub the place.

It was one of those "small village stories that lives on".
Unbelievable? Yes. If it had been in a movie, we would have said "what over the top nonsense!"


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 05:22:33 PM »
First, repeat after me: "A bored engineer is a dangerous thing!"  Got that?

DH was home from work one day with a kidney stone & therefore on the remains of some rather good painkillers from the hospital.  This may have affected his judgement just a bit.

We had recently finished laying the wood flooring in our basement family room and were getting ready to fit the cabinets for the wet bar.  One of the things that needed to be done to accomplish this was to cut the caps off the pipes for the sink and put valves on them.  DH turned off what he thought was the main water shutoff for the house and put a bucket under the cold water pipe, cut the cap off with no problems and only the expected dribble of water.  He happily installed the valve and went to cut the hot water pipe.  As the cut off pipe shot across the room and a full force hot water gusher came out of the pipe he realized that there was a problem of major proportions.  I was on the main floor and I heard him bellow my name and got to the stairwell in time to see a DH shaped blur go racing past me.  I went flying down the stairs and heard/saw the gusher.  I realized that DH had gone flying to the crawlspace to get to what we KNEW was the main shut off for the water.  I ran to the bathroom and grabbed every towel in the place, then upstairs and grabbed all the upstairs towels and all the dirty laundry as well.  I threw these down to absorb the water just as the gush quits.  Then I'm trying to think of what to do to suck up the rest of the water before it kills the brand new wood floor.  I knew that my shop vac was currently set up for dry and I didn't have time to clean it and swap it over for wet.  Then I remembered our rug shampooer.  Its job is to suck up water, right?  I got that and got the rest of the water cleaned up.  Luckily, the water was not on the floor long enough to do any damage.  I was also surprised that a man who had been a curled up ball of hurt that morning could move that fast and go up a ladder, through an 18" square hole in the wall, across about 15 feet of crawl space, wiggle through a stud wall, then over about 15 more feet of crawl space that quickly. Normally this takes several minutes, I think he did it in under 1 minute.

BTW, why on earth are water main shutoffs in such inaccessible places?  I've only been in one house where they were easy to get to without crawling through miles of crawlspace.  With my knees the way they are now it is easier to just pop the lid and shut it off at the meter at the street than it is to try to do it inside the house.

Our old house had the shutoff inside the coal bin, where the only way to get to it if you had a full load of coal in for the winter involved coveralls, a shovel and a lot of slithering.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 05:51:35 PM »
We have a long history of both minor and major household disasters. There was the time DH put dishwashing liquid in the dishwasher, but I think a lot of people do that. There was the time we lived without electricity on the second floor of our new (to us) house for two weeks until my dad came up and discovered that we had a fusebox that had not been disclosed to us and we had blown a fuse. In the same house, there was the time that leaving the pilot light on in a furnace in an uninsulated addition (we had to because the washer and dryer were there and we didn't want the pipes to burst) resulted in us getting a $500 gas bill. Or, in that same house, the time that I tried to uninstall the crappy old stove but ended up putting out the pilot light and not being able to relight it. Don't ever do something like that in a small town; you'll get multiple trucks from the gas company, police cars, ambulance and at least two fire trucks at your door. That house had character, but it was definitely the cause of some stress eating and ripped out hair.

Probably the one that physically hurt the most was when we lived in a mobile home. It was just meant as a place to live and save up for a big down payment on a house, but the condition we had been told it was in was very far from the condition it was actually in, once we got in there and really started looking. So we gutted the whole thing and remodeled it. But this happened while we were still in the early stages. I was ripping out all the cabinets in the kitchen (they were full of bug poop; I wouldn't even entertain the notion of keeping them) and I knew there was a spot in front of where the fridge would go that was soft, so I avoided standing on it as much as possible. However, I got really into figuring out how to get a cabinet down, took one step forward and wham, I had one leg through the floor. We ended up replacing probably 75% of the subfloors in there.

The most recent completed house disaster was in our current house. YDS flooded the upstairs toilet, right into a vent on the floor. Instead of the downstairs bathroom (right below the upstairs bathroom) flooding, it ended up on the opposite end of the basement since that was the closest vent lower than the one in the bathroom. Water went all over the built-in shelves over there, which I ripped out as soon as everything was dry. Yuck. Given the amount of mold I found on some of the less visible areas, this oviously wasn't the first time it had flooded that way.

I've been trying to remodel our main floor bathroom for over a month now, three weeks of which has been dedicated to the floor. I decided to put down porcelain tile and I heartily wish I hadn't. I've reinstalled some of the tiles twice now, with a third time on the way, and they just keep popping up. In fact, the last time I worked on it two more tiles popped up. It's neverending. I keep making the mortar wetter but the bond keeps failing. I might install tile in our small entryway, assuming I have figured out what the problem is by then, but no way will I be tackling the kitchen now.


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 06:03:41 PM »
Labor Day weekend. LDH goes off on a man-vacation. DDs (5 and 7?) and I had plans to do this-that-and-more wonderful things.

First, there were a few chores to take care of. One being adding conditioner and topping off the waterbed.

I connected the hose to the sink faucet, put the conditioner in the bed, put the hose well into the bed, turned on the water, set the DDs up with coloring books in their room (closed their door), told them DO NOT go near the bed in my room (closed my BRdoor), and went outside for a quick smoke.

With the water bed, I do this annually. Never a problem.

I walked back into my bedroom after about 5-10 minutes and the hose was lying on the floor, pouring out water.

Suffice it to say, we did not have a fun weekend.

I had to empty and disassemble the bed (it was on a closed-in wooden frame), move everything out of the bedroom (dressers/nightstands/bed), rent a wet-vac, soak up all the water from the carpet . . . plus! clean up all the leakage that went to the basement all over our storage room (cardboard boxes? Yeah, not a good thing.)

Then, of course, there was the reassembly of everything once the carpet was dried.

'nough said?


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Re: S/O Kitchen Disasters-Household Disasters
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2013, 06:44:26 PM »
Amava, you had me in tears with that description. :)

The stuff of Elephantschild family legend:

I was about 10-11. My younger brother was about 3-4. Dad was somewhere, I don't really remember. Mom was getting ready to go to work and went upstairs to get showered and dressed, leaving me downstairs with DB.

I am a bookworm. I have always been a bookworm. And I acknowledged her request to keep an eye on him, but I also had a book in my hands. See where this is going?  ::) ;D

Mom came back downstairs a bit later to discover DB standing at the foot of the stairs, beaming, clutching a box of dry cereal. Then she noticed the wet little footprints leading to the kitchen.

"Oh," she thought, "he's gotten into the dog's water again!"

It wasn't the dog's water. It was cooking oil.

DB had gotten into the kitchen cupboard and gleefully upended just about everything. Cereal. Pasta. Flour. Cooking oil and cracker crumbs and vanilla and spices. It was a mess of epic proportions.

She stormed back out to the living and said, "Elephantschild! Why aren't you watching your brother?!"

I lifted my head from my book, blinked and looked at the grinning imp, then slowly took in the footprints and beyond him, the mess.  And I said, "Oh! You naughty boy!"

Today it's an amusing story. (DB, who is in his 30s, is probably tired of hearing it.) But mom admits that at the time, she was in tears and furious.

She got her revenge, though. YDS is just like his uncle, personality-wise.  ::)
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites