Flood anxiety: Compulsively checking taps and faucets

Share This Post

Constantly checking taps (faucets) is a common compulsion for people with OCD and anxiety. The thought of a flood is enough to cause regular checks that can spiral into a never-ending cycle of intrusive thoughts and compulsions.

The following article is anonymous. Our aim is to help people understand how normal certain thoughts are, and to know that professional help can improve daily life.

What makes it (tap checking compulsions) so stressful is the number of taps- and rooms- I need to check.

The kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the bath and shower. The ritual is probably more of a cycle around the house and by the time I get to that final tap, it is hard to remember where I even started.

I feel like I am sinking everyday because of my compulsions and worries.

Sundays are a nightmare

I work in a luxury residential building full time. My company looks after the public areas, we organize move ins/outs and provide security.

40 floors, over 300 apartments but I cannot recall how many exactly.

On Sundays we are required to check all the vacant apartments waiting to be sold, making sure everything is in perfect working order.

Windows and doors. Lights, locks and taps. We have to let the water flow for a few minutes to prevent legionnaires disease.

For someone like me, this is an OCD nightmare.

What makes the checks more anxiety-inducing is knowing I’m probably the only one to enter the apartment until the following Sunday. I have to be certain everything is off, and my doubts increase tenfold.

Turning every tap on, only to turn them off, room by room… brings on absolute mental exhaustion.

Tap checking isn't so bad in public areas

If I know someone will be using those taps within 30 minutes or so, I am at ease.

Bathrooms at work, or in a restaurant for example.

In fact my checks aren’t really bad at home if I have visitors… not just to hide my OCD but also because I know the rooms will be used frequently.

The worst case scenario is I leave a tap on, and someone will notice in a few short minutes.

I will still check, but it is more of a ‘normal’ check if that is a thing.

I try to use logic to help me

I know the tap is off. I know it would be damn hard for it to cause a problem even if it was running.

That little hole in the sink? That has my back. It always has done.

When I went to the shop that one time half way through cleaning. When I passed out drunk as a college student right before taking a shower.

The days before tap checking took over, there was never a flood. And there probably won’t be.

But me saying this and my OCD listening, that is a different story.

Share This Post

Free Email Subscription

* indicates required

More reads:

Eternity and Infinity OCD

This is the kind of phobia that feels inescapable. Fear of crocodiles? Don’t go near a crocodile. Fear of loud noises? Wear

Read More »

Sensorimotor OCD

Have you ever been hyper-aware of your heartbeat? Or thought about breathing and now have to do it manually? Maybe you think

Read More »

Famous people with OCD and their compulsions

There is little that I find more inspiring than hearing successful people talk about OCD. The condition that I felt would hold

Read More »