Throwing in the towel on bidet PSA

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PSA (Public Service Announcement): If you jumped on the bidet bandwagon during the great toilet paper shortages of the 2020 COVID Pandemic, it might be time to check the water lines and connections. If you don’t, you might have a crack in the line that decides to spray water in a geyser around your bathroom for HOURS while you are out of town … hypothetically of course.

Ask me how I know. The day began innocently enough. We had planned a late Easter visit and “work day” at Boy Wonder’s place. We love his large, very old and rambling white house, but it is not lost on anyone that, in buying a big white farmhouse in the country that “needs some TLC,” he did, in fact, follow in his familial footsteps.

Like his ancestors before him, Boy Wonder fell for “good bones” and “potential.” Nature or nurture? Who knows, but he now owns a place that sometimes needs work. Despite his prowess with a tool belt since his toddler days, sometimes he needs assistance on the big projects.

Since Mr. Wonderful, and his father, are not really wired to relax and do nothing, combining holiday gatherings with get ‘er done projects works out well. We get to visit and enjoy a good meal and the “can’t sit still” crew stays busy working on things with tools.The Seabolt Family Crest is a circular saw and stepladder.

We had an amazing day. Doors and windows were replaced. Meals were enjoyed. Hugs were given. All in all, we were away from our home for 16 hours. We had taken separate vehicles — our truck is a real dog and usually needs a pace car. I arrived home first.

It was minutes before 11 p.m. when I unlocked the door. I was weary but happy with a job well done and my pillow in sight as I entered our home. Then I heard the distinct pattering drip of … water? Water on wool carpet, over hardwood flooring, actually. One flick of the light switch and an upward glance revealed water almost POURING out of the living room ceiling. I’m no plumber but that’s not right.

Run

The water was running and so was I. I am not now nor have I ever been an athlete but when I tell you I SPRINTED upstairs. I bet I cleared two flights of stairs in mere seconds. My motivation was purely fear based. I was terrified of what I might find. The entire second floor flooded? A claw foot tub trying to escape the room via the living room ceiling? Was yet another bathroom renovation and repair in our future? One just never knows.

I flipped on the light and witnessed an absolute geyser spewing from behind the toilet. Please enjoy the visual of me diving face first into it as I grasped for the shut off to that water line. Kudos as well to Mr. Wonderful who added in-room shut offs over the years. Prior to that, we had to run to the basement and shut off water to the entire house with one big valve. Even with a face full of cold water, I knew the shut-off being right where the flood is was preferable.

The water finally slowed and then stopped. I surveyed the damage. The entire south end of the bathroom was DRENCHED. Beadboard, curtains, tile and walls all dripped. The radiator stood in a puddle. This is where one learns how level their home is or is not. In our case, one side of the north end of the room was bone dry because all the water had run in a river along the west wall underneath the bathtub.

Towel

I threw every towel we own at the problem: bath towels, beach towels and hand towels all hit the floor. Downstairs I put a bucket under the still dripping ceiling. In no time I had collected close to a gallon of water. The rug pad had protected the hardwood floor beneath. The ceiling has some cosmetic damage but can be saved.

Silver lining time: the bathroom has never been cleaner. My spring cleaning is done in THAT room!

We were incredibly fortunate. As always, I have to state for the record that this issue does not stem from “old house issues.” This was a 4-year-old item that failed spectacularly. I can enjoy a fountain of dancing water just as much as the next person. I do, however, prefer them outside.

As I cleaned up the soggy mess that included stacks of bathroom tissue rolls that we lost to the flood, I had to laugh. Trying to be fancy folk definitely came back to bite us in the bidet. A roll of Charmin would never do us dirty like that.

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