30 Days

You may recall that a few weeks ago we had some hot water heater issues. Well, those issues persisted for quite some time, leaving us sans hot water for 30 — that’s right 30 — days. Oh the joys of home ownership! The need to shower elsewhere lasted so long that at one point my husband asked if I was moving out since all my toiletries had slowly migrated down the block to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s place.

The back story: Our tankless water heater (which was just over 5 years old, the warranty had expired 2 months earlier…) died on me mid-shower one Sunday afternoon. We had our plumber out the next day and he determined that a filter was no longer working which didn’t surprise us too much. In our research the evening before this had come up as a common problem for units like ours. Lucky us. He ordered the part and it was installed at the end of the week. It produced hot water while the plumber was here so I thought everything was fixed and, despite the fact that we had to go down the street to shower for 5 days, I figured there were worse things we could have had to deal with.

And I was right.

The new problem: A few hours passed and I was doing the dishes. Lo and behold there was no hot water to be found. Of course, at that point it was Friday evening so the plumber couldn’t get back out until Monday and I continued the routine of showering down the block. Thank goodness that was an option!

Over the weekend my husband and our electrician neighbor inspected the unit and determined that something was shorting inside the water heater panel because the switch was popping anytime it tried to turn on and produce hot water. On Monday the plumber called the company again and ordered us a new switch. But wait for it — the switch was on back order. Back order! And there was no estimated delivery date available. Needless to say my husband and I spent the next week and a half terrified we were going to be without hot water for months.

The solution (finally!!): Fortunately the back order didn’t last for months, but when the piece was sent two-day shipping an entire week went by and it still hadn’t arrived. The plumber called the company (again) and requested that they resend the part. This time they sent it overnight. It took 5 days, which can partially be blamed on the holiday weekend, but it did finally come. The new switch was installed on Monday and the water heater seems to be fixed. Needless to say I’ve never been so happy to take a shower in my own home. And run the dishwasher! During our hot-water free month we joked that it was like we were back in college — needing to go down the hall to take a shower — I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t be doing that again anytime soon…


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