15 January 2012

My water heater

Just before Christmas my landlord bought a new fridge and now we have a new water heater too.

I came home from work on Friday and went downstairs to put in a load of delicates. After I put the stuff in the washer I noticed water on the drain hole and wondered why it would be wet. Did the drain overflow? Nope. No water from the washer to the drain, just on the side of the drain next to the carpet. Yes, I have a scrap piece of carpet another tenant had left covering the cement basement floor :) I stepped back onto the carpet and it was unpleasantly squishy. Since the carpet isn't held down by anything I could easily flip it back to see why it would be wet and found a huge path of wet carpet leading to the water heater. Further investigation revealed a puddle under the heater. Then I called the landlord.

The new heater was installed yesterday which was nice. I was kind of expecting to have to wait and just sop up the mess every now and again. The old heater had to be drained so it could be removed so the plumber attached a hose to it and fed it into the floor drain. The water that came out at the beginning was brown. Ugh. I guess the heater had rusted through the bottom or something and was drawing dirty water into the pipes. How did I not notice, you ask? I did, actually, but I didn't know it was the heater. 

My upstairs bathtub and tiling was getting a yellow buildup which I thought was from J smoking. Not smoking in the bathroom, but washing the old nicotine off his body. And my Ex had a kind of yellow sweat (I know, gross) so I thought one or both of the boys inherited that. I started to think something was wrong with the hot water only recently when I took a bath. After the bubbles melted away I noticed how brownish the water was. I thought it was because I was dirtier than I thought after working. Maybe too much cocoa on my skin or something, but it didn't quite ring true. Then S took a bath and I saw again how dirty the bath water was. I started to wonder if it was possible that something was wrong with the heater or the pipes but didn't want to bother the landlord quite yet. He'd just bought the fridge and with my surgery coming up it felt like too much hassle to try to diagnose a problem. The old heater leaking solved that problem for me :)

After the new water heater was installed I had to keep the hot water tap in the kitchen open to drain all the air out of the line. The glass on the left holds the ick that came out. The glass on the right is from the new heater after the lines cleared. I'd been cooking with that :( And doing laundry. And bathing. Gross. S has been complaining about itchy skin...I wonder if the dirty water was the problem.


Chantelle said...

That's a huge difference in colour! I had no idea that the water heater could die that way... that sucks. I'm happy that you got the new heater in place and working before your surgery so that you don't have to deal with this while you're healing.

Having a bath now will feel much more luxurious :) If S's skin isn't itchy anymore you'll know it was the water and not just the regular dry winter.

Love you,

Darryl Iorio said...

Chantelle’s right! You would know if it’s the water that made S’s skin itchy after bathing with the new water heater. I hope y’all doing fine now. I didn’t expect that the water from your previous water heater was in that color! Now I know why you said this: “Maybe too much cocoa on my skin or something…”

Frances said...

I'd definitely agree with Chantelle on this. Then again, aside from enjoying your baths more nowadays, you should also keep yourself informed regarding how to take care of heaters by visiting websites such as Heater.com.

Javier Hallum said...

I think, because of the hole the old water heater had, rust, dirt and debris got mixed in the water line. So, it’s a good idea to let the water to run for a minute to clear the line. It’s also one way of checking if the new water heater got damaged while in delivery. Anyway, at least you solved the problem with the dirty water.

Harold Rhoads said...

It happened to us too before. Our water heater had been with us almost a decade, and we had no plan of changing it until we started to notice a little discoloration. We called the maintenance man in our building to have it checked, and he confirmed that our 8 and half year old unit finally needed to be replaced.

Harold Rhoads