One of the drawbacks to living in a condo is that you never know when you will have that one big misadventure when water, by the gallon, escapes its confines to spaces below. To prevent that disaster from happening, most condo owners make sure they replace their hot water tank every eight years and take out additional insurance to cover the damage, which could amount to thousands of dollars. Since we were intending to replace ours later this year, and the fact that the last couple weeks were taken up with family visiting and special initiatives like prison ministry, the water tank largely got ignored. But it doesn’t take much to suddenly get one’s attention when leaks start to form and water pools on the utility room floor. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had renewed our homeowner’s insurance by adding a rider to cover water damage to adjoining condos, something we had mysteriously neglected to do for six years running. That move probably gave us a false sense of security, because now we really thought we were high and dry. Sunday afternoon, we arrived home from a little holiday on Salt Spring Island with family to get back to our normal routine. The first thing I did in coming through the door, after turning on the lights, was turn on the cold water. Normally, the tank gives a slight purr to indicate that it is working, but this time it gave a strange rumbling of discontent that I had not heard before. I let it go for a couple of minutes, and all of a sudden the noise sounded like a column of water emerging from a geyser. I immediately knew something was seriously wrong, so proceeded to shut down the tank, and begin to mop up the water that had gathered in its pan. Since our water tank is located in our utility room, right next to our pantry, in the narrowest of spaces, it took most of ten minutes to clear the area to do the mopping up. Keep in mind we still had our travel bags out in the hallway. When we finally got done with that, I decided to check with the condo owners below to see if there was any collateral damage. Happily, there wasn’t but, being Easter Sunday, it was very unlikely we would get a plumber in on such short notice. Next morning, after a fitful sleep we finally got a hold of our favorite plumber who came in shortly after lunch and had the problem fixed in less than three hours. Two things during that call that really put the fear into me were when I watched the tank of forty gallons of hot water cascading into our tub and couldn’t help wonder about the damage it would have wreaked if it had escaped below to other condos through the rent that I saw along the seam of the old tank after it had been removed. Truly a situation too close for comfort. The spectre of a whole bunch of what ifs raise their ugly heads, and all I can say is that I am truly thankful to God they never happened.