“John. Come here, quick!”
There was no mistaking the urgency. I found her in the kitchen, standing near the sink furiously wiping up water off the floor.
“What happened,” I asked. Seemed like a logical question at the time, but her expression told me it was not. At least, not to her.
“The sink” was her answer. I looked—saw nothing unusual. Well, except for the spray of water droplets on the counter beside the sink.
“What happened?” I’m a slow learner. I’d already asked that question.
She scowled again and said, “Just LOOK at the end of the faucet.” Unspoken, but clear in her tone was an added, “DUH!”
I looked. Seemed like something was sticking out of the end where the water comes out. I reached toward the single lever to turn it on, but she shouted, “DON’T!”
“The AERATOR!” she said, still wiping the floor.
I looked closer. Sure enough, the screen and a little piece of white plastic were protruding from the end of the spout.
I tried again. “What hap... I mean, uh, hmmm. I guess the aerator’s broken, huh? Sprayed water all over? Let me take it off.”
Apparently that was the response she’d been looking for. She finished wiping up the floor and stood to begin wiping the countertop. I removed the aerator. It consisted of a shiny metal housing. Inside was a plastic cage, a white circular plastic piece that looked like a dime with perforations, and two metal screens. The plastic pieces literally disintegrated in my hand.
They had begun disintegrating when Carol turned on the water to rinse some dishes. The pieces quickly plugged the screens, causing a nozzle effect that had quite impressive results: water spray over much of the kitchen within 6 feet of the sink.
Fortunately a big Lowes home improvement store is located less than a mile from my home, and they had a replacement aerator that fit. A quick, inexpensive fix.
So, what’s the point? A warning!
Plumbing problems usually occur in multiples of three, and I fear that this may be the start of a new wave of, well... You know what. The signals are flowing; through the pipes, the wires and the airwaves.
Guard your homes and appliances. I fear the “C” is readying for a flooding onslaught!
(For more indications, please read the readers’ comments to yesterday’s post. It’s not just plumbing! It’s vehicles, and TVs, and freezers, and...)