FishDreamer scribbles, one page at a time

Saturday, 10 January 2004

Because Hot Water Is A Good Thing

Our water heater broke yesterday.

But because we are finally getting ahead of the game and I paid extra on the credit card last month (all my bonus went there), there is a man here right now installing a new one, complete with overflow tank and earthquake strap and all those other things that bring the installation up to code, including $45 to the county to register it as up to code. (Is that ridiculous or what?). I haven't showered since Thursday, so I am all excited about having hot water again and planning to take a shower sometime around dinner. It doesn't take more than four or five hours to fill and heat the tank, does it?

Mr D got home early yesterday, we had our pizza cooked by 5:30 or so and sat down for an evening of leisure. He chose to watch Underworld, which is really pretty but not something I was in the mood for. So I came to sit and read up on Howard Dean and catch up at Chicklit. I'd noticed earlier in the afternoon that the carpet was wet outside the laundry room (which is right next to the computer room), but at some point of running in and out yesterday I realized the whole of the hallway (maybe 5 feet by 3 feet) under the stairs was wet.

I called out to Mr D, who asked if it was cat pee. "No," says I, "more like something wrong with the water heater." Because the water heater is in a little closet under the stairs, you see.

We pulled all the cleaning supplies out of the closet and he did some checking and found out that there was a little rust problem. We knew when we bought the house that the water heater was going to need replacing within five years, so it wasn't a complete shock. And I didn't panic or get anxious, because I knew we could take care of it, one way or another.

We got the hose and drained it into the toilet--that was a big one for me! Don't drain into the sink when you're doling out fifty gallons. Drop it in the toilet, because the pipe has a bigger capacity and it will drain as it enters without you having to flush. Very important to know, if you ever need to drain a water heater that you can't just dump it out the window (ours is below ground level, so that wouldn't have worked). So, shut down the water input, drain all the nice hot water out (wah!), and turn off the heat. Mr D got on the phone while I was manning the hose, and talked to a guy in plumbing at our friendly local home improvement store.

It wasn't cheap, but it's being installed, they're taking away the old one, it's got a nice big warranty, and it will be completely up to code. The old one wasn't, because the code had changed since it was installed (no overflow tank, no earthquake strap).

I feel all grown up and competent. I'm pretty impressed that they could come out within 24 hours and take care of it. And they're even early! Adventures in home ownership. The only other thing we've had like this is when the pilot light went out on the furnace, a couple of months after we bought the house. It got down to about 40 degrees in the house that night, and the cats wouldn't leave the hearth in front of the gas fireplace. I don't know if we've been lucky or if we're doing things right.

This will probably set back the intended replacement of washer and dryer, and the refrigerator, but at least those still work. Oh, and the oven as well. And the stove. Those work okay, but we want to replace them with gas appliances. Really: Oh, the joys of home ownership. Responsibility is interesting sometimes, eh?

So that's my Saturday morning. I may go for a run in a bit. I'm trying to time it so that the water heater is fully charged when I get back - Mr D says in an hour and a half or so it should be ready. And then we're going to go to the framing store and frame up some of my prints. He got me a gift certificate for this, and I'm all excited to get some of my art up. I have a bunch of prints that never got framed, and a whole mess of opera posters. This continues our decorating kick, which makes me happy.

And that's that. Woo. Happy Saturday to everyone. And a big Go Dean!

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