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By ana (Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:35:09 AM EST) plumbing, clean forks, hot water (all tags)
The simple joys.

So, as toxicfur said, our water heater gave up on Saturday. In an amazing stroke of luck, a friend who'd recently upgraded to a much quieter model, let us have his old wet/dry shopvac. So for the first time in my life, and precisely when I needed it most, there was a wet vacuum in the house. 2.5 tanks later (and boy are those heavy when they're full of water), things were sufficiently under control that we cold go to the store.

And buy a mop.

One of the first things I did upon moving into this house, 10.5 years ago now, was to make myself two wiring diagrams of the plumbing in the basement ceiling, and hanging a tag on every valve in the system: hot/cold, and what supply it was the shutoff valve for. So it was easy enough to locate the cold water inlet to the water heater and close that; took some torquing, but it did close. Now, modern one-handle faucets have the "feature" that if one supply is depressurized, the water can come up the cold side (say), through the faucet, and then part of it back down the hot side. So the water heater continued to leak whenever we'd use the cold water in the sink.

Out with the wiring diagram, find the tag that identified the shutoff for the hot supply for the sink, shut that, and voila! no more water on the floor (well, the mop was involved, too).

That was Saturday. Today, at last, the plumber came, pulled the old tank, installed a new one, filled it, lit it, and went about draining the old one as completely as possible before hauling it away. The last bit of the drainage looked like blood, it was so full of rust.

Still, we found a tag that said it had been installed in Feb 1990, so we got 16.5 years out of it, well beyond the expected lifetime.

So I worked from home today. Something came up (doesn't it always) that required VPN access, which I'd never gotten to work from the outside world before. It works fine on the company wifi (same client, different info). E-mail to the help folks supplied the password (which I had only in encrypted form)... no joy. Careful inspection of the log indicated that I had 2 letters transposed on the account name. So that's fixed, at last. The day wasn't totally wasted.

And toxicfur can have that hot bath she wanted to take on Saturday afternoon, finally. And the dishwasher's through with the first load, and nearly ready for the next half-load or so. Which is good. We had no more clean forks.

And that's my day, pretty much. Leaving here in an hour and a half for a choir rehearsal, home by 9:30 or 10, pizza, or perhaps the soup that's been in the slow cooker all day, and tomorrow, we home, an ordinary day. Minus the fire from today that I have to put out tomorrow.

< A whine | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Yay. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
clean cutlery by cam (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:45:30 AM EST
is the hallmark of any civilised home. Huzzah.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

woo! by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:53:30 AM EST
plumbing problems suck.

3 days without use of our kitchen drove us nuts.  I can't imagine having no hot water for the weekend.  yikes!

No hot water seriously sucked. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:35:59 PM EST
Having no water at all would've sucked more. I've been in that situation once, at my mom's house (which had a well that ran on electricity) when a hurricane knocked out the electricity for the better part of a week. Yes, that was way worse. (But yay, bath tonight!)
inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
[ Parent ]
Hooray for baths indeed! by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 05:54:35 AM EST
No double-entendres there. I just like being bathed.

[ Parent ]
you might not believe this by R343L (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:39:26 PM EST
but neither a dishwasher nor hot water are needed to clean forks. ;)

But yay for clean dishes and hot baths!

re: vpn. My company ALSO uses vpn but customers (when I'm onsite) often want you to use THEIR vpn software which never plays nice with the other(s) installed. And so, it was VPN software that hosed my last work machine. Thankfully, the vast majority of things can be tunnelled via ssh.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

You may not know... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:03:15 PM EST
that I have, according to my former therapist, "obsessive compulsive tendencies." I also worked in restaurants, and state laws required a certain temperature to consider dishes "clean." In other words, my brain wiring plus restaurant training means that for me to use a fork, it must be cleaned in hot water. When I didn't have a dish washer, I preferred hot water plus bleach. So yes, hot water is required for clean forks. ;)
inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
[ Parent ]
actually I have the same compulsion by R343L (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:48:42 PM EST
Unfortunately, my Mom (who had to take a food safety course for her "hospitality" degree) informed me that very few homes produce water hot enough for these purposes.

I still scald my hands cleaning dishes though. :)


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Slightly off topic: by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 03:35:18 AM EST
But the main floor of our house appears to stabilize at about 44 degrees Fahrenheit when it's in the teens outside and we have no power. The gas fired water heater does that for us.

Warm enough by ana (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 04:34:34 AM EST
to keep the pipes from freezing. This is good.

Regular, or decaf abomination? --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Sadly, not warm enough for the pipes in the by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 05:52:09 AM EST
unheated and barely insulated attic. But I managed to drain them in time, fortunately. The way our pathetically incompetent electric company operates here, I'm actually wondering how many days in the teens it would take before the house actually got to freezing. Here's hoping I don't have to find out.

[ Parent ]
awesome turn by moonvine (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 07:22:46 AM EST
of luck!! Good you ; )

and if the by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 03:05:47 PM EST
quality of the heater is anywhere near where most items produced these days, you'll be lucky to get 8 years of service from the new one.

My parents's original 1972 heater is still putting out scolding hot water to this day, I can only imagine how much lower there electric bill would be with a more efficent model.

Blizzard of Death '06

Yay. | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)