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Religion > Water Heater

Water Heater

Today I went down to the basement intending to get some of the wooden shelving to bring up and use as bookcases to replace ones I’ve sold. I was greeted by big puddles of water leaking from the water heater, and it had been leaking for some time, evidently. A whole slew of cardboard boxes were soaked and it smelled dank.

Plumbing problems that cause damage and similar events sort of send me into a freakout. It makes me feel like the world is ending. This is not the only big plumbing problem here, and they still haven’t repaired a previous one; it involves replacing most of a bathroom floor and putting a new seal around a toilet. That one bathroom hasn't been usable for about a year. I got on the phone to my sister and soon she was on her way here to see if she could help. I know water heaters only last so long, and this one was probably way beyond its time, but this happening on top of other stresses did not make me react well.

I stopped crying, called and left a message with the landlord, then got garbage bags and threw out boxes of old books and papers. Mostly, that’s what got soaked, books. Tomorrow after they replace the water heater I can clean off the cardboard still stuck to the floor. My sister helped me clear things so the plumber can get in here easily with equipment -- although it won't be until tomorrow. No one could come today, my landlord said. His guys were all watching the Steeler game. In my head I slightly murdered him.

But after talking with my sister and moving stuff, I thought maybe it was kind of a good thing to happen, because I’ve been delaying cleaning out this house. And now I have a ton of bags out the door, and am planning to take a bunch of boxes of items to Goodwill. When a flood happens, or something like this, the prospect of not having so much stuff seems wonderful and gives me the energy to get things out of here.

I have cold water but no hot for now.

posted on Jan 15, 2017 11:03 PM ()


I hear that the newer European type water heaters that only heat the water when you need it are more efficient, use less power and will last longer.
comment by jondude on Jan 17, 2017 7:12 AM ()
A very good brand might be much better than the old tanks, but I wonder about these in general. A friend in Colombia seems to have had this type in the last couple of houses he's rented, and he always seems to be having trouble with them.
reply by drmaus on Jan 17, 2017 11:49 AM ()
You are one of the people who didn't call it "hot" water heater. But yeah, everything will fail over time but the main cause of premature failure of a water heater is the crud and corrosion that builds up and causes it to leak. I installed my last one a few years ago and last summer the control module failed. It's the only valuable part and costs more than 300 bucks on a 500 dollar heater. But it was still under warranted and they replaced the par for free and my company didn't charge to install the new part. But I expect to keep the tank itself in good shape for quite some time.
comment by jjoohhnn on Jan 17, 2017 6:14 AM ()
Reason #98,054 that I am glad I don't own a home and just rent where there is a great maintenance staff to take care of everything within 24 hours
comment by greatmartin on Jan 16, 2017 9:03 PM ()
I'm the only one who sneaks stuff out in the car to put in someone else's dumpster. Don't tell Ed.
comment by tealstar on Jan 16, 2017 5:28 PM ()
I have so much garbage right now I'm hoping the garbage workers are willing to take it all tomorrow... so what you mention has occurred to me too. But one must be certain no cameras are in the dumpster area; when I lived back-to-back with the post office, I was told they caught a man who put something stupidly in the post office's dumpster and was fined. They had him on camera, and his license plate.
reply by drmaus on Jan 17, 2017 11:55 AM ()
It is called self preservation!
reply by elderjane on Jan 17, 2017 8:36 AM ()
Water heaters (And I'm so proud of all you greasers who don't say "hot water heater) can be made to last much longer if they are drained twice a year. There a hose coupling near the bottom that a garden hose is attached to and the water run down a drain. Not too important to a renter perhaps but means a few bucks to a homeowner.
comment by jjoohhnn on Jan 16, 2017 11:03 AM ()
That made me laugh, but I still have to call it hot water heater. I guess that's like calling a washcloth a clean face washer. Good tip on the biannual draining -- I did wonder why they always fail so badly before being replaced. Nobody maintains them?
reply by drmaus on Jan 16, 2017 4:49 PM ()
Each time I'm forced to get rid of stuff for whatever reason, I feel that little bit less burdened by life. This reminds me that my goal for this summer is to get all the boxes off the garage floor in case of flooding. Good luck with the plumbing - good news is that the landlord has to pay for it.
comment by troutbend on Jan 16, 2017 9:45 AM ()
I feel rich because I have so much hot water now. Right after a shower, I still was able to do dishes. And just put a couple of boxes in the car for goodwill. The feeling is great.
reply by drmaus on Jan 16, 2017 4:46 PM ()
I hope you have a tea kettle to heat water for essentials but plumbing is
a real bummer when it goes wrong. It is freeing to reduce your stuff.
I certainly need to do this.
comment by elderjane on Jan 16, 2017 8:08 AM ()
My sister and I vowed to help each other do exactly this. I told her how easy it seemed to me to do organizing or cleaning at her place, but my own seems difficult. So we're doing a team effort. Today I made a fire using a box of old phone bills from 1990 I found downstairs.
reply by drmaus on Jan 16, 2017 4:44 PM ()

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