The Part HGTV Leaves Out (or How I Flooded the Kitchen)

I watch a lot of HGTV. Not even gonna lie about how much I watch, despite the fact that I don’t have cable. Netflix keeps me in a steady stream of Fixer Upper, House Hunters, and everything else in between. Realistically (I hope anyway), we all know that HGTV isn’t true to life and they often leave out all the *ahem* fun parts of home owning. Luckily, through the years, my dad and brother-in-law have shown me the true way. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can get by without mishaps.

So, this weekend, I flooded the kitchen.

Not on purpose! You’re all probably thinking how could I be so lax in letting it happen. I honestly don’t know. Logically, I knew messing with plumbing is a stupid idea-if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it-but it had to be done.

Okay, see this picture? See that ugly dishwasher that is just plopped on the side, blocking the door to the back, covering up dirt that seems to seep in everywhere in this house. I wanted it out. It’ll be just me in the house and I don’t use that many dishes, so logically it didn’t make much sense to leave it. The problem was getting it out.


I didn’t have any help with this, which is probably where it went so horribly wrong. BUT! I took a picture of the hook-up under the sink and dutifully went down to Home Depot and asked an employee what to do and which part to buy. The guy gave me a cap and sent me on my way. It seemed so simple! So easy! So do-it-yourself.


I went home and got under the sink. I turned the little knob under the sink (the one that is supposed to turn off the water to the sink! Lies!). As I unscrewed it, some water dribbled out, which I assumed was extra water in the lines, but as soon as the tube popped off, water GUSHED out and into the cabinet, spilling onto the floor, as I panicked.

I ran out to the back alley where I knew the water main was located and pulled off the top. I’ve never in my life turned off water to a house so even though I knew where the main was, turning it off was another story. The only thing I saw that seemed like it might be the right valve, would not turn.

I ran back into the house! Still panicking. Water gushing everywhere, all over the floor, under the fridge, into the cabinet. I grabbed my phone because the internet always has the answers, right?

It was absolutely useless in a situation like this. I ran back out to the alley and got down on my knees, grabbed the valve and turned. It turned the water off. I didn’t think about the black widow spider that lived down that hole, the spider eggs stuck to the side of the main. I will when I go turn it again, but for now, the water was off.

And the kitchen was covered in water.

I spent the next half an hour mopping up all the water, turning up the heater to dry it faster, and hoping my wet clothes would dry quickly.

I got the dishwasher disconnected (the reason for this mess in the first place), and I put the cap on the line. Success? Well, until I turned the water back on and the valve was leaking. At this point, I just gave up. I turned the water off to the house, finished my clean-up, and went to see Star Wars.

Not the happy ending you were expecting? Well, this isn’t HGTV and I don’t have a host of construction workers at my beck and call.

The cherry on top of this home improvement project? The previous homeowners left this under the dishwasher.


Yep. They didn’t finish the floor. Luckily, there is some extra flooring in the shed and I’ve brought in a few to acclimate before patching that lovely hole.

I’m so glad I decided to buy a house.

Now I know why those annoying people on TV always insist on move-in ready. Maybe I will too. Next time.



9 thoughts on “The Part HGTV Leaves Out (or How I Flooded the Kitchen)

  1. The big box stores sell a tool specifically for turning off the outside water valve. You should consider getting one. The black widow in the hole will thank you for it.

    1. I will definitely look for one. I know the inspector had one when he came out (one of the few reasons I actually knew where the water main even was. Thank you, Inspector guy).

  2. Oh boy! Misadventure #1 and #2 on the same day!! How special to leave that small patch uncovered on the floor! Think how smart you are going to be after this is all done – and it will be funnier then too! xxoo

    1. Wasn’t that thoughtful of them? Luckily, they also left a bunch of extra flooring in the shed, so there’s something to patch it with. Another problem for another day!

  3. a flooded kitchen is no joke. What a total nightmare.

    Its all so easy to say now, after the event, but it stands as a good warning to everyone else – make sure you know how to (and are able to) turn off your mains water supply before you begin any kind of plumbing work.

    I was in one house where (thankfully) i checked their mains water valve. It was broken and would not turn off… so I had to fix that first. For a home owner, there is no worse situation to be looking at a pipe in your home gushing water and NOT being able to turn it off…. remember folks – check your mains valves first.

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