While brushing my teeth after lunch, I heard a loud “kathunk,” then the water pressure dropped. I thought perhaps our water softener was resetting. It does that sometimes.
Mr. Desert had heard the sound, too, and went to check on the water softener. Next thing I heard was “oh shit.” Not the I dropped something oh shit, but the major incident oh shit. I headed out to the garage as fast as I could in the boot and found Mr. Desert wet and water gushing out of the water heater. “Call the plumber,” he yelled, “and tell them it’s an emergency.”
Thankfully we have (or thought we had) a maintenance agreement with Benjamin Franklin plumbing, and no, I have no idea why they chose that name. I called the number on the fridge magnet, and the dispatcher said someone would be there within the hour. He actually arrived some 30 minutes later, just as we’d carried the last wet box of Christmas decorations out into the sun to dry.
“Wow,” he said looking at the water heater. “I’ve been working with water heaters for nine years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said as he poked around in the fixings that had been exposed when the little cover was blown off by the force of the water. “The guys back at the shop will love this.”
Great, I thought. I wonder if I can talk him into some sort of a discount for having such interesting damage.
After poking around a bit more, he said the words I was dreading: “Well, you’ll definitely need to replace this.”
“Is it under warranty,” I asked, fingers crossed behind my back.
He laughed and said, “No mam. This thing is a 2001 model.”
Crap. I hate being called “Mam.” Oh, and I hate replacing appliances. Sure, it’d given us a good ten years, but why not last another ten?
Well, I thought, since we have to get a new one, why not go solar? Answer: total cost is about 9,000 – 10, 000 dollars. Sure, there’s a $4,000 rebate, but I’d need to come up with the 10 grand first.
Long story short, well sorta short, we went with the basic water heater. It has a 10 yr warranty, and I can live with that.
Then the guy tells us he won’t be able to install the new water heater until somebody inspects the water damage. Luckily, ole Ben partners with a guy who can come check it out today. In fact, he’s pounding around in the garage as I type this. Let me pause here and find out what’s up.
Whew! Just the platform the water heater sits on has to be replaced. He’s tearing it out now. Then he’ll run some huge fans overnight and put the new platform in tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have a water heater by tomorrow afternoon.
In the meantime, I guess we’ll be taking a few swims. At least that water is solar heated.