Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Water heater woes

More home improvement. We've known the water heater was going to go out any day now. The question is when. It was installed in 1985 and warranted for 12 years. It's 22 years old! The hot water has been inconsistent and fluctuating, so we finally decided to replace it now before we were left without hot water. Unlike the garbage disposal, I don't have the expertise to switch out a gas line, so we paid for an installation. Herewith is the (incomplete) chronology.

Friday, waiting for the installer. Finally get in touch with him midday, but he has us down for Monday, not Friday. Frustrating, but mistake could have been ours.

We can't do it Monday morning, so he squeezes us in the afternoon.

Call at noon on Monday, he says jobs going slowly, will call when free. Really starting to feel like he's not our best option.

Shows up Monday afternoon, immediately begins whining about our setup. Lots of room in furnace room, but he thinks pipes are all wrong. He kneads his forehead, saying sotto voce, "how am I going to do this?" I keep feeling like I'm supposed to offer something - help, money, I don't know. He says, "I can't do this today."

OK. He'll need to cut the pipe and so on; needs different tools or to borrow tools. Who knows.

Then he brings the new water heater into our basement. Says, "this won't fit." The new one is too tall. I say, I'm certain I checked the specs - hoping that I'm right. Much scrambling around. I find the spec sheet. He's wrong! We open the box and it turns out the new water heater box contains spacers top and bottom, so the actual heater will fit.

He can come back Friday.

We know Sears isn't trustworthy, but they have one of the most energy efficient of the old style heaters. Do we proceed? Maybe I can cancel the install and do it myself.

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