Saturday, August 22, 2015


Proof that “Murphy’s Law” is an absolute came Saturday morning before the NMRA National Convention.  I was out in our garage, trying to fix a low temperature issue with our domestic water.  This “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” missed the instruction to turn off BOTH valves (input and output) of the water feed through our hot water flash boiler.  The result was predictable when I finally unscrewed the filter cap in the input line.  “Mr. Murphy’s Plumber’s Assistant” emerged in full force!

The spray of water at full city water system pressure got my immediate attention.  I madly tried to get the filter cap back in place, but that proved impossible against the water jet now blasting forth.  As I did a good imitation of my Dutch fore-bearers, trying to plug the dike leak, I called for help from my wife.  My plaintive pleas were not recognized until our dog did his best “Lassie” imitation, barking to alert her to my cries for help.  Yes, “Timmy had fallen down the well and needed help!” 

After unsuccessfully attempting to find the main water shut-off valve for the house, a quick call to our already-alerted plumber helped me locate the other valve I needed to turn off.  With the water flow stopped, I was able to get the cap back on the line and restore the hot water system to normal.  By the way, I was successful in getting the temperature issue resolved.

What remained was cleaning up the garage in the aftermath.  Of course (Mr. Murphy!), this was the part of the garage where all sorts of convention materials were stored, awaiting transport to the convention on Sunday.  Fortunately, it looks like minimal damage was done, though some packing boxes are now in recycling.  The most critical items were shrink-wrapped (whew!) or easily dried off.  A few back issues of Layout Design Journals suffered water damage.  Sigh.  Given the water flow, I am surprised to have come through this as well as I did. 

With a strong reminder of “Murphy’s Law,” I now head into the convention humbled, but a bit more relaxed.  I have had that brush with this constant of life.

Hot water system with flash boiler in the upper center.  The critical components are just beneath the rectangular boiler on the right underside.

Convention materials out of the danger zone, ensuring they are dry and well.

Drying a few shirts and packaging.  A soggy box is in the center, destroyed by the water flow.  Fortunately, most of the contents survived.  My layout design poster was not so fortunate, but it will be displayed along with this blog post explanation.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you got out the label maker for that plumbing, after it dried.