Friday, January 21, 2011

My Thursday Nights Used To Be Much More Exciting

Before I delve into the meat of this post, let us rewind 14 days or so for a brief moment so I can provide you with a mostly accurate synopsis of what brought us to our latest home improvement project.

*clunk* *clunk* *clunk*

"Shhh! Do you hear that?"
"Yeah. What is it?"
"I don't know."

*opens the closet door which contains the furnace & water heater*

"I think I need to go down to the crawlspace to check this out."
"Have fun!"

*returning, resuming position in the green chair*

"What was it?"
"I don't know, something's dripping onto the duct work. Maybe it's from all the snow melting."
"Hmmm. That's weird."

*fast forward a couple of days*

*clunk* *clunk* *clunk*

"That noise is still there. Do you think we should try to figure out where it's coming from?"
"Yeah, probably. I bet it's the new furnace. They probably installed something wrong."
"Yeah, maybe."

*returning to Call of Duty and Facebook, respectively*

*fast forward another six days give or take a couple of days, to a conversation dripping with sarcasm from beginning to end*

"I have some other really good news."
"Oh, awesome. What is it?"
"Well, I went to iron my uniform today and when I got out the ironing board I noticed that the floor in the closet with the furnace and water heater is soaking wet."
"That's fantastic."

A call to the guys who put in our furnace a couple of months ago revealed that our new furnace is functioning perfectly. The water heater, on the other hand, had apparently decided to die a slow and painful death, leaving a sad trail of water all over the carpet surrounding it. Thus, the mystery was solved:

Hole in the bottom of a water heater + saturated carpet and subflooring = loud pinging sound on the duct work below

I won't bore you with the details of removal and installation of the new water heater. I'm sure The General isn't all that excited about reliving the experience anytime soon either in conversation or through the written word, and frankly I'd like to just enjoy the fact that we once again have hot water nearly 24 hours after it was turned off. But just to give you a tiny bit of insight in how our home improvement projects go, I'll leave you with this picture and a short explanation.

This is the area of the house which The General has always referred to as either the central nervous system or command center. That's the water heater on the left for those of you not as savvy at home repairs as the rest of us. At the bottom of the unit you might notice a water valve. Under that water valve is a small Glad ware container. At one desperate point in the removal process of the defunct water heater, I was actually attempting to empty the 40 gallon tank by filling and subsequently dumping water from that container, 4 ounces at a time. This was about two and a half hours into what our trusty Home Depot Plumbing 1-2-3 manual described as a 30 minute job.

Let me just say this: Thank the Lord in Heaven for kind neighbors with dollies and the brute strength and determination of my darling husband.

In closing a few lessons learned last night (and one from early this morning):
  1. Water heaters which still contain water are really bleepin' heavy.
  2. The General does not know his own strength as evidenced by his ability to break steel pipes from their place of origin.
  3. Subzero weather is not ideal for home repairs.
  4. I am equally frightened by the following: the threat of water spraying in any direction except that which you intend it to run, an air compressor recharging, the sound of water when it's first turned on thereby dropping from a substantial height to fill an empty 40 gallon barrel.
  5. Our children are happy to play almost three uninterrupted hours of Wii in the name of allowing their parents to curse freely (albeit more quietly than normal) during moments of home maintenance frustration.
  6. New carpet in the hallway just moved one step closer to a reality thanks to the large cutout we were forced to make in the old carpeting.
  7. I've never been more pleased to NOT have updated carpeting. I knew there was a reason we've held out so long.
  8. Home Depot Plumbing 1-2-3 was right. Removal of an old water heater really IS the hardest part!
  9. Never, and I mean NEVER, restore power until the new tank is full. If you help install a new water heater and don't walk away with that message permanently burned into your brain you are doing something wrong.
  10. Washing your hair in ice cold water, knowing the temperature outside is hovering right around zero degrees, is not the most gentle wake-up call.

1 comment:

The Page Turner said...

Gladware container made me laugh and laugh.


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