Y'all, I really need to get this blog-writing thing back on track. Seriously. All my posts so far this year have started out with "last week" or worse, and this one's no different. Sheesh.
Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago I went down to The Scary Basement for some reason and saw that the dirt floor down there was all muddy. Not just damp like it gets sometimes when the humidity is 1000%, but actual mud and a couple of puddles. Uh-oh.
Further investigation revealed that the bottom of the water heater had rusted out. Or, as my momma put it, "It finally went blooey."
This is not altogether a bad thing. When I bought the house in 2006 the guy who inspected it told me that the water heater was in really bad shape and I'd be lucky if it lasted five years. I decided then and there to wait to replace the water heater until it actually stopped working. In the meantime, I've put up with a water heater that takes forever to produce hot water (I can fill up two 5-gallon buckets before the water gets hot enough to take a shower) and then suddenly produces water that's scalding hot. The water heater has only three settings on it: Low, Medium, and High. That's deceiving. Low should really be called Scalding; Medium should be called Boil Lobsters In Your Bathtub; and I suspect that High would involve actual flames coming out of the faucet. So here we are, 8 years and 7 months after I bought the house, and it's finally time to replace the water heater.
I have a friend whose brother-in-law is a plumber and he said if I bought the water heater, he'd put it in for about 200 bucks. I'm given to understand that this is pretty cheap, as plumbers go. However, I firmly believe in not paying for labor when you can get it for free, and my friend Steve very kindly offered to install my water heater for free. Steve is apparently a glutton for punishment, because the last time he offered to help me for free, he was nearly squashed in a construction accident.
Someone wise once told me that old houses are like nesting dolls: you see the one big issue, but hidden inside is another issue, and inside that issue is another, and so on. Swip-swapping the old water heater for the new one seems pretty straightforward, but then there's finding time in everyone's schedule to do it, borrowing my son's truck so we can haul the new water heater home (because I'm not paying the big box store to deliver it), and figuring out what to do with the old one. I haven't been able to get everyone together yet, so for two weeks I've been taking showers and doing laundry at my son's house. It looks like next Sunday will be The Day. Hopefully nobody gets squashed.