Sunday, August 27, 2006

hooray for salvage

Our 25-year old hot water heater began to die this summer—like so many appliances in our house of late. Anyway, the old thing had begun to leak, bleeding out via a pvc pipe into the backyard. A trickle at first and then a slow, steady rivulet running down the driveway. I was pretty sure I knew where this was going.

We weren't ready to buy a new one. The one we want to install when we remodel is one of those cool, waterless, wall-mounted, heat-as-you-need water heaters. But that would require plumbing work that couldn't be done without being halfway through a renovation that we had barely started.

Our friends, Lori and Mary, were going to pull down some crown molding from their friend's house that was slated for demolition. They asked us to help them transport it home in our truck, so we went over there yesterday only to find a relatively new water heater left behind. Lori called the owner and cleared us for pillage. What a huge stroke of luck.

We spent the morning unhooking, draining and transporting the "new" water heater. Why is it that one nut is always, always set in granite? All the other pipes and nuts loosen up as designed except one. Calcified, fossilized and sealed. Anyway, we got the fucker unhooked and on the truck with some effort.

Then, we spent part of the afternoon draining and removing the dying relic. This old one was bigger and heavier and rusted. After we finally picked it up, staggered to the door and slid it down the side stairs into the backyard, we prepared to install the windfall water heater.

Due to the accumulation of water, rust, dust, hair and godknows what else, the substance in the catch pan beneath the old heater was world class sludge. If we'd had time to run an electrical current through it I'm fairly sure we could have created life. As it was, I scooped and paper toweled the slime until the drip pan stopped looking like a dying pond. That, my friend, will make you feel tough. I know grown men who would have paled at the thought of getting that goop on their hands...

Anyway, the new water heater has been hauled and installed. It has been filled up, fired up and if our luck runs well, our morning showers will not be taken in cold, brown water. When warm, clear water is all you need to start your Monday off right, you know you've dropped you expectations low enough. Any lower and you'd celebrate waking up with a pulse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful writer you are to keep my attention for the whole, slimy, water heater story. I love you, babe.