At the first home on our list that morning, Mrs. Smith greeted us at the door and directed us to a small closet that contained a water softener and a hot water heater. She explained that her husband had told her to tell us that the shut off valve was on the wall near the floor and that we could access the water line by unscrewing a connector upstream from the softener.
I entered the closet with a trusty crescent wrench and the water sample tubes. Being thinner in those days, I had little trouble sliding behind the water heater and softener, where I turned the value to “off” and began to loosen the nut to access the water. On the second turn, cold water came spraying out full force. As the wrench dropped from my hand, I realized there was no escape since I was wedged between the tanks and the wall. By the time I picked up the wrench and tightened the nut (my first instinct), I was soaked to the skin.