Power outages and water heaters

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With less than 48 hours left to departing for the US (followed next week by China), we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. Only a few things remained on our “To Do” lists. I even had only one or two remaining load of laundry to do! So when the power went out last night at 8:30pm, I was not feeling too shabby. (If you have not read our post “Electricity Blues at journeytoalbania.com you need to catch up before reading on). This was a little later than our usual evening power outage so we had been hopeful we would not have one. Word on the news (a little unreliable in Albania!) is that the government has bought power from Greece that should last us through February and reduce the power outages across the city. At about 9:30 we heard a loud POP (never good) and noticed that all the surrounding buildings had power again. We assumed that we had tripped a breaker. When I went outside to check, this was true and it was smoking (definitely not good). We could not reset the breaker with out seeing fireworks (okay that is a little exaggerated) so we finally called it a night and went to bed.

This morning our landlord Zeman came over and took a look. He tore into the plaster outside the house to get to the wiring and found most of it burnt up. He set himself to rewiring and repairing the damage. There was another man here also but since I still can not understand much Shqip (Albanian) I could not determine if he was a nosy neighbor or a helpful handy man offering his two cents! They talk very animated and LOUDLY… one never knows the nature of the conversation! 🙂

After about an hour, the lights came back on. I went to the hallway to congratulate Zeman and company but could hear running water from upstairs. I thought perhaps we had left a faucet on (the water does not run when the power is off). I went in to the bathroom and found that the pipe from the water heater had exploded off and the water heater (which hangs from the ceiling) was gushing water into the bathroom. AGH! I think the entire tank emptied on the bathroom floor. I have decided that this is why they have drains in the floors in Albania. Handy.

Well, we did get it fixed. Again, great landlord. We are blessed. And no matter what the case may be, I will be on the plane. Even if I have to shower in London.

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