Thursday, December 01, 2005

Welcome Home (here's your bill)

So there was no hot water upstairs when we got home.

Let me explain something about this house. It originally was a tri-level, one of those houses were the entrance is on the second level, with a half staircase going down and a half staircase going up. About ten years back, the owners put in a fourth level (over the second level) and expanded the kitchen and dining room. In the expansion level they put in another 30 gallon water heater for the upstairs master bath. And, it turns out, they routed that water heater to the expanded kitchen as well.

We discovered this when we got home and found out there was no hot water upstairs or (to our suprise) to the kitchen either. Calls were made to Pat's Plumbing, who helped us with a shower problem the previous year (we had lost the lower hot water heater about four years back, and the guys who did it did not hook up the gas correctly - they were not invited back). Anyway, Pat's got out here the same day, and investigation indicated that the inner tank on the upstairs heater was going. There were already leaks, which killed the heating unit and had dripped down the adjacent flue into the fireplace. But no flood, yet. We ordered a new heater and watched as they manhandled the old heater out of its narrow space and installed the new one. Brought things up to code. Put in earthquake straps that will hold up to the point the wall falls in. I'm not sure, but somewhere along the way I think I approved underbody coating.

The guys doing the job were nice and professional, but I'm left with the frustration that I don't know my house very well, leaving me prey to this sort of thing (Kate loves banging down walls and rewiring, but will not touch plumbing, after having twisted a rusted shut-off valve, only to have it come off in her hand). The feeling is deepened, when we discovered this morning that sometime in the repair process, the water to the bathtub was shut off and not turned back on. We have no idea where the turnoff valve is and what they did. So another plumber has been dispatched.


More later,

Update: So the second plumber has come and gone. His initial ideas were that either something was blocking the pipe from when they emptied to the old water heater or that the valve failed (I marveled that a valve in an unrelated part of the plumbing would choose to fail immediately after plumbers visited the house). It turned out to be the former, but the tub handle was reattached too loose, frustrating him since the screw threads holding it had been stripped out. So we have hot water AND a functioning tub BUT we await a third plumber to get a new handle. I remind myself that for the bulk of life her, my bathroom has been a quiet, uncomplaining room that rarely called attention to itself.