Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[Leaky Water Heaters]

I don't have occasion to go to the basement every day. It's mostly tools, some boxes, my washer and dryer, my furnace, and my water heater. Sometimes, if Sassy isn't eating as much (her food is down there too in a clean garbage can), it may be a week before I head downstairs. So you can understand why I hadn't been down in the basement since coming home Sunday afternoon.

I'm sure you can also understand my bewilderment upon coming downstairs last night and seeing the wastebaskets and the other garbage can on their sides (along with a few other items that had moved). I gradually realized that the floor was wet. This last observation, of course, didn't surprise me as much; we spent nearly eight or nine months last year sealing up basement leaks, and I knew there was still a small one beneath the cellar door but that leads straight to the drain. With the deluge we've had here in the past week, the notion that another leak had been sprung didn't astonish me--disappoint me yes, astonish me no. But the more I thought about it and looked around, thinking about the moved and fallen items around the basement and signs that the water had been a couple inches deep around the entire floor, I realized there had to be something else--something like a sudden flood, not a gradual drip that happens beneath the door frame.  Not to mention the fact that it had to be sudden to not drain before a couple inches of water had managed to pool. So I thought some more.

I remembered this morning--a lukewarm shower, even with no cold water running. This I attributed to having not run the water much in the last day or so, which sometimes means the water in the water heater has some time to cool down somewhat.  Then I remembered the reason I'd come down--I'd been trying to run a bath but couldn't get any hot water at all, and I'd wondered if the circuit switch had been moved somehow. Eventually, a horrible thought occurred to me: I bet the water heater has sprung a massive leak.  I walked over, felt the container, and it was ice cold. I figured I'd know for sure by morning if I still had no hot water.

So, this morning, I ran some water in the bathtub. Ice cold. I let it run for awhile. Still ice cold.

Great. It looks like I need a new water heater. Just what I need with my finances. It could be worse (I looked at prices last night, and while they're uncomfortable, they aren't as bad as I'd anticipated, but then again... we're going to almost certainly have to hire someone to install the new one, and that tends to run the bill up a bit).

Well, that's the kind of week I seem to be having. How's your week going?

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