Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oh, ugh.

Yesterday evening, I went to wash my hair. And I thought, "Man...has the hot water NOT RECOVERED YET from that load of dishes I washed earlier?" At the time I hoped fervently that it was because I was chilled (yes, I have a cold, had a temp of nearly 100 least night) and the water FELT colder to me.

And then this morning, I went to get some hot water to make a saltwater gargle (so I could talk without sounding like a frog). No hot water. Still none after running the tap 10 minutes.

So I contemplated: the hot water heater was installed in 1983, according to the sticker on its side. The chances of the pilot light merely having gone out are pretty slim. It hadn't been heating well for a while (I remember when I first moved in here, about 6 years ago, I could get hot hot baths just by running the tap...and this past winter, the hot water'd run out before the bath was full).

So, crap: hot water heater is dead.

Consulting with some of the men at church this morning during "donut fellowship" (I LOVE that my church calls the coffee hour before Sunday School "donut fellowship."), they were all in agreement that the heater was probably full of 20 years worth of silt or hard-water deposits and that was why its capacity had gone downhill. And probably the thermostat is now covered by silt and so doesn't detect the water as cooling down.

(And you know? I hadn't heard the gurgly sound that I associated with the heater heating water for a month or so).

So. I made a quick trip to Lowe's. I hate making desperation purchases, where I don't have time to compare and consult - but I have no hot water. So I bought a Whirlpool hot water heater (still made in the U.S., at least. So I suppose I can trust there's no lead in its paint). And they've PROMISED me the installer will call tomorrow and that it WILL be installed by Tuesday afternoon. (Barring, of course, the fittings not being up to code...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they ARE.)

I hope so. The good news is I did my laundry before the total failure of the unit. And my hair is clean enough, I think, to last until Tuesday.

It's kind of a bummer having to boil water on the stove to wash dishes, but whatever.

But - why does stuff have to break when I already feel like crud because I'm sick or because I'm stretched to the limit? It doesn't seem right.


Anonymous said...

I'm dealing with a gas leak which has yet to be repaired; I'm betting that the moment we crank it back up, the old water heater (I know not its age, but it's obviously not too recent) will blow its top.

Bess said...

Okay - I've got my good juju vibes shakin' fer ya - that the Men With Tools show up On Time and you have hot water in time to take a soaky bath before bed.

Hugs and cheers.

Anonymous said...

As a new home-owner who is horrified and over-whelmed by the responsibility, I wish you all the best luck with your water heater. And I hope you feel better, too.

Anonymous said...

Did any of the nice men at church either tell you how to drain the water heater or offer to do it for you?

We just drained the one from Ken's shop (it's only 7 years old) and it was amazing how much ick there was. Now we need to do the main one too. Apparently they're supposed to be drained once a year - who knew? (Not me, and I've been a homeowner for almost 20 years! Yikes!!)

dragon knitter said...

i didn't know the hot water thing, and my hubby is a maintenance man! i'll have to ask him about that. we've got 2 to deal with, in that case.

and if your hot water heater lasted that many years, you're probably lucky it didn't break before.

i swear, if this one goes down, i may talk hubbie into getting a tankless version. i hear they're much more economical.