Saturday, June 19, 2010

16 is better than 28 but it still ain't good.

Because I'm cooler than you I don't have to work on Breed's Hill Day. Although, it's not actually called Breed's Hill Day.

So, I had planned to take things slowly on my day off, maybe mow the lawn, maybe bake some bread, maybe read a book, or at least some of a book. I started by making coffee and it was a pretty good pot of coffee, I still don't know how I can get such a range of flavor by making coffee precisely the same way every time.

Anyway, when I was in the bathroom, I heard a drip and the drip was coming for the same location as a drip that I fixed a couple of days before so at first I thought maybe I hadn't tightened something properly, but I found out that it was a brand new drip.

The tank on the toilet was dripping from the handle. Personally, I've never seen this problem before mostly because it isn't supposed to happen. The innards of a toilet have an overflow valve that keeps your tank from overflowing and normally this overflow valve is at a point lower than the hole for the lever but mine was such a way that they were just about at the same height so when the fill valve malfunctions the handle hole would drip.

I thought, "No big deal. I'll just replace the fill valve that is malfunctioning," and I even thought that I had one in the basement. In the basement, I notice a lot of water, too much water to be of any good, water coming from the hot water heater. I think I might have said, "Son of a bitch."

Replacing a hot water heater isn't too difficult but it certainly wasn't something I wanted to do on my day off.

I drove to Home Depot and looked at the 40 gallon tanks; it was a 40 gallon tank that was leaking. The price difference between a 40 and a 50 gallon wasn't too much and my house is a two family home and two family homes are supposed to have something larger than a 40 gallon hot water heater, so I got the 50.

It's a 12 year tank, top of the line and with the parts and fittings that I needed, it cost me $765. I had hoped that the value of the house increased somewhat with the larger water heater.

I got the heater into the basement, with some help and some effort and then cut the box away from it and noticed a rather large dent at the top. I let out a breath. The box had shown no signs of damage so I wasn't certain where or how the damaged happened but I knew it wasn't my doing. I had two choices: one was to haul it back out of the basement and return it to Home Depot and the other was to install it and hope that the damage was only superficial but I wasn't certain if Home Depot would take back a previously installed hot water heater.

It was a perplexing decision but then I figured that my powers of persuasion could convince someone at Home Depot to believe my story and not fault me for trying to install a damaged hot water heater that later had to be returned.

Things went well, I had to rerun both water lines and redo the pipe for the exhaust but the gas line pretty much matched up and when it was all said and done, the new tank didn't leak. I think I might have said, "Sweet."

But WTF? One fitting that I needed was $16 and I needed two of them. For sixteen bucks I could almost justify someone stealing one. Sixteen buck for a 1/2 inch union is outrageous. I'll have to price them at Lowes.

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