First a few words about the water mains in my flat. There is a pipe the runs along one wall of the bathroom where it meets the ceiling. A narrow pipe (for the sink) then drops down to the level of the door lintel, and along the top of the door frame.

When we moved in, we installed a shower in the bath, and tied the shower curtain to the narrow pipe above the door.

This will henceforth be known as "Mistake no. 1".

So one morning I have my shower as normal. Something happens to the cold water supply, and the water runs very hot for a few seconds. I take a step back and fall over, through the curtain and onto the floor. The pipe has been pulled out of the wall. Water is gushing out everywhere. It transpires that the thick ceiling pipe was the main to the rest of the building (the two flats upstairs).

So I try to push the pipes together, but the pressure is too great. So I pull on my drenched dressing gown and stumble into the hall. "Errr.. Come and have a look at this...".

In the following twenty minutes lots of things happened. The water level reached several inches. My flatmate, TeaAndCake stood on the bath trying to patch the pipes up with various tapes. I ran around with hugo rune looking for the stop cock. Which wasn't where the landlord said it was. All our towels hit the decks. I went upstairs to explain to the other tennant why they had no water. Because it was all in our hall. Oh- And I called for a plumber who turned up two and a half hours later with a cheery cockney, "'ello, what's been goin' on ere".

While he was soldering a new pipe in, the land lord's agent arrived with another plumber to look at the drains. So that was a bit of explaining to do.

Still there was no lasting harm done. I took hours to clean the carpet and I took the day off college, missing an Arts Committee meeting and several lectures.

For an alternative view of these events, see "the time my flatmate flooded my home...", by m'learned friend hugo rune.

The toilet in my bathroom (hereinafter to be referred to as TMTFH: The Mystery Toilet From Hell) once refused to stop running. As a result of messing with its innards, the tank refill valve blew apart into several pieces, with the water on.

Now I was presented with an interesting situation; water shot straight out of the bared valve stem and hit the ceiling, until I covered it with my hand. If I covered the little geyser with my hand, I could not reach the shutoff valve on the wall with my other hand. Finally, I just plopped the lid back on the tank, and tried the shutoff... which revealed itself to be permanently corroded in the on position.

I went outside and tried the shutoff valve at the side of the house... well, almost tried it, before I realized it was guarded by a HUGE nest of yellow jacket wasps. I found a shutoff valve attached to the water meter, but it would not turn by hand, so I ran in to find a pair of pliers. It was only after that when I discovered that the drain was clogged somewhere downstream of the toilet, and three rooms of the house were starting to look like indoor swampland...

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