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.