Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Steam Apocalypse 2.0

It's been way too long since I was able to sit down and write. That makes me feel all twitchy. Know what else makes me feel all twitchy? My mother is "visiting." I say visiting. She says moving.. in reality it's more like becoming a squatter in her camper in my back yard. I am very NOT happy about this. But it deserves it's own blog. As does the events with the husband of the past few weeks... long story short.. so far, so good. I let him move with me... he screws up once, I'm DONE. I will not live my life with the monkey on his back holding us down.

Nothing in my life can be simple... and damn near everything seems to turn into a comedy of errors though... so of course our water heater "fix" would be no exception to that rule... when I finally said "screw it, time to move everything" - I did it knowing the water heater, and the heater here may, or may not work. I KNEW the water heater would at least take new heating elements to make hot water.

Day 1 - we figure out the heater works, just needs a new thermostat.. but it will function plenty well until we can get one. Score!

Day 5 - Buy heating elements for water heater. Replace said elements. Wait 2 hours. The husband, my mother, and my brother (both who are visiting) get nice, hot showers. I opt to wait, and wash some dishes. I begin my project, and immediately hear a loud burst from my bedroom.. in which the back corner closet is located: the water heater. As I meet up with my husband at the bedroom door, we see steam venting from under the bathroom sink... like the most intense sauna ever. Shit.

We got the power off to the water heater, & begin to figure out what went wrong... (pipe got too hot & popped, we knew THAT much..) But - why? The husband knew nothing about water heaters & wiring, but was going off of how it was wired before. There was the mistake. They'd rigged it to bypass one element & thermostat cut off & so it was just getting hotter. And hotter. And hotter. And you could hear the water boiling in the tank.

We *thought* we had the power off to the tank. An hour later it's still boiling. Just as we begin to to the "okay, something is wrong, it should NOT still be making that noise" dance... the main supply valve got so hot it melted, shooting PURE STEAM out of the water heater. And it kept coming... and coming... and coming... and I'm standing in the living room next to sleeping & mercifully unaware toddler terrorist as the top 3 feet of the house was so thick in steam I could not see the ceiling.. or my hand in front of my face.

Finally, it stopped.

And we realized the wiring error. And that it needed to be shut off from the breaker outside, not a breaker that was in the house.

By the next day we had it all fixed... (except for having to wait a week for 1 more new element because leaving it one with no water broke one of the new ones...)

And now, I will never, ever.. EVER take for granted that a hot water heater will just work, when and how it is supposed to! Spending 2 weeks boiling water for dishes and baths will do that to you, apparently.

So, the heater works (yay) the water heater is fixed and working. I finally am THROUGH with the old place and cleaning it out... now all that's left is to focus on Christmas. And just how awesomely broke I am for Christmas. Oh yeah.. then there is the issue of my mother....

Who is walking to the door... again. I need a prescription for xanax. I swear I do......

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