Blessing in disguise

After arriving home from work yesterday, I went through my usual routine of gathering the mail and coming inside to unwind after a long day. Thursdays are Honey’s day off and he was next door visiting the neighbor. As I stood at the kitchen table reading the mail, I heard a loud “glug-glug” noise coming from the direction of our water heater. I immediately turned my head to see a pool of water spreading across the floor in my direction and panicked, seemingly incapable of making a decision on the course of action that I needed to take.

I’ve heard of water heaters exploding and causing tremendous structural damage (see photo), so my first instinct was to flee the scene. As I ran towards the door, I distinctly remember thinking about the potential demise of my cats from the pending appliance bomb, but I quickly decided that self-preservation was in my best interest and ran outside and across the yard to the neighbor’s house. Honey was still laughing hours later about the look on my face when I yanked open the door and announced, “The house is flooding!”

After turning off the water, cleaning up the mess, and assessing the situation, we realized that purchasing a new water heater would be necessary and headed off for the nearest home improvement store. Twenty-four hours later, Honey is under the house rerouting water lines so that we can install our latest purchase.

Even though this experience is far from pleasant, I am utterly thankful for four things.

1. It happened while I was home from work, thereby preventing extensive flooding and damage to our house.

2. We just got the incentive check from the IRS and were able to cover the unexpected expense. It does make me a little suspicious that Bush was somehow responsible though, since I intended to pay off debt with the money but had to spend it on improving the economy, just like he intended. Darn Republicans.

3. This was the perfect opportunity to move the water heater from its incredibly inconvenient location (cramped under a kitchen cabinet and wedged between our refrigerator and the wall) to a more appropriate and safer place (the utility room). It will now be sitting on a concrete slab so that leaks won’t be so potentially catastrophic.

4. Our neighbor allows us to use her shower, so going without hot water for a couple of days isn’t as terrible as it sounds.

So, even when experiencing these little “joys” of home-ownership, it’s easy to see that there is plenty to be thankful for.

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Comments

mario
Reply

You don’t say whether the water heater was gas or not … however electric ones rarely go “boom”. One important “de-boom-ifier” is to make sure the unit is like 18 inches above the ground, on a pedestal. Natural gas is heavier than air, and will sink. Elevating the heater helps keep any spill gas below the level of the pilot light. Also, this helps with any accidental gasoline spills (which vapors also hug the ground)…

Another practical heads-up: in my location (Arizona), water heater installations have to be checked by a City inspector, since, I guess, shoddy installation leads to booms or watery messes.

I had a rental house, once, where there was one lousy polybutylene pipe in the attic. When it let go, the tenants had no clue how to turn off the water… What a mess! The insurance adjuster told me that water and smoke damage are actually the most frequent/costly claims, here (where there are no hurricanes or earthquakes).

– Mario

mario
Reply

Wow. The damage in the picture WAS from an electrical heater. Damn!

Darla
Reply

OMG that picture is scary. We have an electric water heater too.

LOL on the Bush comment.

Alyson
Reply

You are the only person I know that has gotten their incentive check!

Glad everyone was safe, and how fortunate for you that plumbing is one of Alan’s interests. We would’ve had to hire a professional and spent even more money!

CuriousC
Reply

Did you forget to be thankful for Honey that he knew just what to do?! THAT was my first thought! LOL – glad no explosions…

Brian
Reply

@ CuriousC: I forgot to mention that (hangs head in shame). It was a true blessing, because if there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s going under the house.

fightingwindmills
Reply

Glad you guys are okay. Good use of your stimulus check!

Bruce
Reply

Just thought you’d like to know it isn’t an incentive check. It is an advance on a tax credit. Still, nice timing for the situation.

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