Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hot Water Heater Leak

Confession: I now have to color my hair to cover my grays. For the past several years, I've just been pulling them out, but now I have too many to pull. I blame my job. Or my kids. Or my husband. Or my house. I have to blame something, because it's certainly not due to the fact that I'm getting older. NO! Never.

Just last night I tried this new hair color where you just paint over the gray hairs, instead of coloring your whole head, which could be damaging, I suppose. After 10 minutes, you're supposed to rinse out the color, or your head will explode, or something. I'm standing in the bathroom, roots full of dye, and I can't get the water in the shower to get hot. It normally takes 60-90 seconds, but it had been minutes.

My hair continues to cook, and may turn purple if I don't get the dye out.

I tell Zak, but he doesn't seem to care because it's the Fantasy Football playoffs, and NOTHING is more important than setting his line-up right now.

I still stand there, naked, with hair dye to get his attention. We've been together for over 18 years, and that trick doesn't work anymore. (I've officially been with him longer than I've been without him? Someone check my math, we met in September 1993. That probably deserves another blog post or more sweetness...later).

I am too chicken to get into a cold shower, so I rinse my hair in cold water in the bathtub.

At this point, I'm a little panicked, and tell Zak again, WE HAVE NO HOT WATER. He finally gets off the couch and turns on the kitchen faucet. He looks at me like I'm a crazy person. "This water is hot. Really hot."

"Okay, but it's not hot in the master bath, and I HAVE A HAIR ISSUE!!" He walks up stairs to the bathroom and confirmed that the water, in fact, is cold.

We go to the Girls bathroom, and the water is hot.

At this point, I am very confused, and I start freaking out that we may have a pipe leaking that runs from the hot water heater to our master bathroom. Because something like that has happened before too. I start looking for running water, you know, down the walls, on my brand new carpet and wood floors, in closets, under sinks, outside (front yard, back yard, side yard). I thankfully see nothing.

Zak climbs into the attic, where our hot water heater is located, to see if he can see anything abnormal. (Which by the way, WHAT? Why would anyone put the hot water heater in the attic? Where it could leak down because of this little scientific fact called GRAVITY).

"Ummm, Amanda, come up here."

"Uh, no, it's way too scary up there. And cold."

"There is water pouring out of the top of the water heater."

"OH MY GOD! IS IT ALL OVER THE FLOOR? WHERE IS THE WATER GOING?!" (I freak out and start grabbing towels having a flashback of the panty in the washer incident.)

Zak tells me that there is a drip pan, that is quickly filling up, but there is no water on the floor. I clamour up the rickety attic stairs to look.

The water is coming out of the top of the hot water heater, and running down the sides of it into the drip pan. I reach up and turn off the water pipe that is feeding to it. Righty tighty, righty tighty, righty tighty.

We STILL can't figure out why half of the house still has hot water, but the other half doesn't. We go to bed. Zak wakes up and takes a HOT shower in the girls' bathroom. We are still confused, but assume the water that remained in the tank was still getting hot, but just not re-filling.

I call the plumber in the morning, and he comes over to take a look. He says to me from the attic, "M'am, looks like both of your water heaters are leaking. One isn't bad, but it will begin to leak more and more as time goes on."
Me: turns head to the side like a confused dog. "Did you say BOTH water heaters? We have two?"

Plumber: points to the second water heater approximately ten feet from the known leaker, "Yes, m'am, you have two."

Well, that explains the fact that some faucets still make hot water. Also, I do have a college degree, but I'm still breathtakingly stupid.

The plumber then told me that we have a too high water pressure that leads to the house which is probably the reason for the problems, for which he can install a regulator to reduce the pressure ($), also these puppies are over ten years old ($$), and we should replace both of them now ($$$), and you should probably cancel Christmas, and your family vacation, because you're about to write me a check for a whole lotta cash ($$$$). Then I started to see stars and my bank account draining, and almost fall down the rickety attic stairs. Because I'm old with grey hairs.

Kids, the morals of the story are:

1. Know how to turn the water off at any location--under the sinks, in the attic, and the main water supply to your home. My dad taught me how to do this twenty years ago, and am eternally grateful that he thought "a girl" would ever need to know basic plumbing.

2. Check your major appliances BEFORE you spend any money for Christmas presents and Birthday parties for your child.

3. If your husband plays fantasy football, make sure he wins, because Mama Needs Two New Hot Water Heaters. (GO ZAK!)

4. Don't go to college because it's good for nothin'. Instead, go to a trade school. You could also marry a tradesman because they're handy and make tons of dough (and are usually hunky--I'm thinking of you Jack and Alan!).

5. RENT.

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