Wonder why technology has not made this a remote possibility? We can send capsules into space, impervious to space junk, and can't build a rustless water heater? My childhood train set, stored on basement floor, was destroyed by failed water heater...my brother's similar set, up on a shelf, was unscathed
I just caught this topic, and I was particularly taken by the note from “Colorado Highrailer.”
Not long after my Dad decided I was old enough to take care of them, he transferred possession of three sets of American Flyer trains, some extra rolling stock and a few accessories that he had acquired into my care.
My brother and I would set them all up an a 9’ x 12’ area rug in our basement recreation room. He and I slept in a bedroom next door, and early one morning our dog came into the bedroom barking and jumped up on the bed. We then saw water seeping through the bedroom door. When we ran out of the room we could see water coming out of the bathroom and adjacent laundry room.
Fortunately, the water was just beginning to surround the rug with the trains on it, and the edge of the rug was still absorbing the initial flow. We quickly gathered up the trains, track, switches, accessories and other toys making up the layout and stacked them on the couch and a nearby table and chairs. None of those items had yet been touched by the water, although one of the empty set master cartons that we had left on the bare linoleum floor was ruined.
It turned out that an improperly installed backflow device allowed storm water to back up and come into the house through the basement shower and floor drains. Ultimately about 2” to 3” of water filled the basement, but none of the trains or related items even got wet and remain in my collection today.
From recent personal experience, I agree that along with water heaters and toilet and washer supply lines, be very aware of refrigerator ice maker supply lines, too.