May 11, 2007 - Without Water

Last Monday, Andrew asked Melanie if he could have some friends over to watch a movie. We like having our kids' friends over, so Melanie readily agreed.

On Friday, Mel couldn't be home right away, so she called Jessica to get an update. She asked who was coming, and Jessi started listing names that added up to around 15. When she asked when they were coming, it turned out they would be there about 5:30. Oh no!, that meant that we would need to feed everybody. Thus Andrew's employer, Uncle Peteza's got an order for several large pizzas.

Earlier that day, Alan called to tell me there was a half-inch of water over the floor of the room containing the water heater and washing machine. He said he was battling it back with the wet-dry vac, and how could he get the water to stop? It turned out to be coming from the water heater. However, the valve that was supposed to stop the supply to the heater didn't seem to work, so he had to turn off the complete water supply to the house. Thus we were having a party in a house with no running water!

old water heater

With that many kids you really need the services of the water! But Andrew creatively thought of an alternative. We live right near a school that has sports activities on the weekend. There is a Porta-Potty there for team use that could help us out. To provide a little convenience, Andrew offered the use of our little three-wheeled scooter to get there. Since the pavement is smooth now it rides pretty nice. The Porta-Potty saved the day.

Before bed, I did figure out how to bypass the heater. So we had water - but only cold.

The next day, our morning was committed. After lunch, Melanie & I picked out a new heater so I could start the replacement process. There were the usual complications (e.g. I had to go to a different store to pick it up).

The new heater was taller, so we decided to take out a shelf that was above the location of the old one. The shelf was holding dozens of decade-old home-canned goods. Being that old, we decided that none of the contents was edible, so Melanie and the kids dumped them all into either the toilet or the yard-waste bin. Some of the stuff looked impressively disgusting! :-)

I improved the installation of the heater with an emergency collection pan underneath it, better valves, etc. It took longer. Finally I was able to turn on the heater at mid-night. There were no leaks - yes! I was happy!

new water heater

However, I felt disgustingly grubby, so I waited for an hour to get hot water, showered and then went to bed!