Monday, July 1, 2019

Not in Hot Water

No hot water!

Electric water heater is only 3 years old, so I called the company that sold and installed the unit to report the problem.

Service guy shows up and believes that the bottom heating element in the hot water heater is not working and he will be back later to replace it. He also mentions that water is flowing out of the hot water heater. So?

A different service guy shows up with the replacement heating elements. Since they have to replace the lower element, they might as well replace the upper element while they are at it.

Service guy is unable to proceed because he does not have a socket wrench large enough to remove the heating element and he will be back later with a larger socket wrench. He also mentions that water is flowing out of the hot water heater. So?

A third service guy shows up with the largest socket wrench and replaces the heating elements. One element has some calcium deposits on it, but otherwise the old elements tested out OK with his ohmmeter!  He also mentions that water is flowing out of the hot water heater. So?

Still no hot water, so I call again and the head service guy said he would send a service guy out to replace the thermostats in the water heater.

A fourth service guy shows up and immediately notices that water is flowing out of the hot water heater, which indicates there is a leak. The hot water heater is fine, but just can't keep up with the water flowing out and thus, the lack of hot water throughout the house.

As a result, the hot water heater is constantly running, which causes the water pump to constantly run in order to provide cold water to the hot water heater. Which results in an electric bill that is three times the normal monthly electric bill! (I had been going round and round for two months trying to figure out why my electric bill had tripled and now I finally had a solution.)

The service guy determines that the leak is in the hot water line to the kitchen sink. The line runs under the house, which is built on a slab. After 30 years, the house's settling probably broke the pipe. After considering all the options, he plans to run a new hot water line through the ceiling to the kitchen sink.

I await his arrival Monday morning as I type this.

Needless to say, all my femulating the past few days has been in my head.

Janek Traczyk femulates Anna Wyszkoni on Polish television's Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo (Your Face Sounds Familiar).


  1. Stana, if I were you I would have been very upset that it took that many service people "without" the right tools to do the job! If their service records were up to date they would have known what model water heater you had and what tools and parts to have on hand the 1st time! and the fact that the service people noted there was water flowing when there were no faucets on? Really? That red flag right there says there's a leak! makes me wonder about the quality of some of the service people!

    1. I am not happy and will look elsewhere for my future plumbing needs.

  2. Are you sure you want the same company to run a new hot water line? They don't sound so competent to me. I hope that all of that hot water that has been flowing under your slab hasn't eroded the soil underneath into a big sink hole.

    1. The fourth service guy who found the real problem knows his stuff and I am sticking with him. Whether or not I stick with the company (they also handle our heating needs) depends on whether they refund the money I paid to "fix" the water heater.

  3. AnonymousJuly 01, 2019

    AND you still trust these people? Were they contractors through one of "Those HUGE home dis-improvement stores?" They generally hire whatever 'subcontractor' that they can scrounge up from -er' wherever.
    Moreover, one of he founders of "HUGE Home Despot" store just pledged 200 mil of his fortune to 'OUR FEARLESS LEADER' for his campaign.

    I HATE, HATE, HATE, these idiot repair persons. I made the idiots 'buy back' the circuit board for my mother in-laws' dead fridge, as all they were doing was guessing and plugging in circuit boards-- @ $150.00 a board. It turns out, after I found a 'how to' on YouTube, I determined the compressor was dead on a three year, out of warranty 'Generous Electric' side by side fridge, made in USA (?). BTW, The fridge compressor read: "Made in China, by MATSHU-SHIT-A Electric (You know them as PANASONIC).
    Now NEW (read: Korean Brand) fridges have 7 different circuit boards, so you get to play 'circuit board roulette'.

    This ALSO begs the matter of ALL STATES HAVING 'RIGHT TO REPAIR' laws enacted.

    A recent Popular mag suggested you avoid all 'smart appliances' and go with 'old fashioned' dial timer units.
    Yes, I am a paranoid, and un-trusting, so I DO fix as much around the house as I can, but at age 65, I am slooooly realizing my limits.
    I have fixed my own gas furnace, HVAC electrical, plumbing as well as water heater replacement WITH a now mandated 'catch pan' and external drain; most home appliances,(some time buying parts from junkyards), also our vehicles.
    As for your 'pipe through the ceiling' approach, it seems to be 'the only game in town' BUT if you loose power, and that (now plastic, poorly insulated) pipe cant be drained before the line freezes...
    BTW, I also fix my own hems and alterations (instructionals via YouTube) too!

    1. I am Miss Fix-It and do it all except when it comes to plumbing.

  4. If the pipe that is leaking is only to one tap, the obvious thing to do would be to disconnect and plug the pipe at the water heater end, where they will be disconnecting it anyway to re-route the pipe. The rest of the system would then be back to normal. Being without the hot tap at the kitchen sink for a day or two would be far better than being entirely without hot water!

    I'm surprised that the final service guy didn't suggest or do that.

    1. Actually, the service man bypassed the leak and we have hot water throughout the house except at the kitchen sink.

  5. Wow...that was a great formulation in that clip. Thanks for finding all these for us to enjoy Stana.

    1. Janek Traczyk is an excellent femulator.

  6. I've had much better luck than you with my variety of plumbers here in Baltimore. But in my previous location I had a so-called "Chinese Fire Drill" over the solution to a
    plumbing problem. After a third speculation on the solution I called the manager of the shop to ask if he actually employed competent plumbers. That got him to my place and, finally, a solution. It was an outside line problem. Since then I've exclusively used either BGE Home, a former part of our power company and have contracts on all my large appliances.

    But when I saw today's subject I was hoping that Stana was dealing with the plumber and we'd get a story about "mansplaining". Some men just have to do it. At a recent pre=Pride event I attended as Mikki, I got a dose of it. I make no bones about presenting as "a man in a dress", and the guy knew that, but just my being in a dress was enough to trigger the "mansplaining". Ha!

  7. AnonymousJuly 07, 2019

    First Petra - and now you Stana.. Many thanks for all your experiences, stories, tips, views and determination to show the T World to 'civilians'.. You'll be missed - a lot.