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I'm learning a lesson about going green. This one is personally expensive.
My water heater broke on Sunday. I came home after Chalice Theater to find a puddle in the utility closet, so I drained the tank. For three hours. The cut off valve no longer works. I didn't suspect that until, at the end of the third hour, I asked the Internets how long it should take to drain a 50-gallon tank. The Oracle said, "45 minutes". Sheesh! So I shut off all water in the house. Then the tank stopped draining. I had supper and went to bed.
This is the first time I've had to replace a water heater. I thought I'd get a tankless heater because they are supposed to use less energy than the tank kind. That led me, on Monday, through some poorly documented math about the energy required to raise water from air temperature to shower temperature and how many gallons per minute I could expect from any tankless heater for that rise in temperature. If I were still in college, I'd ask an engineer friend who'd taken thermodynamics. Alas, I'm not. The calculations aren't well documented for the layman. In the end, I have to trust the charts provided by Rehm and Jacuzzi, two brands of tankless heater. By mid-afternoon, I chose my heater and drove to the home improvement store to buy it.
This is where things get messy. I want to use less energy. I also want to have running water. I learned that before I can buy my heater, someone from the manufacturer has to come to my house for a site survey. They'll call me on Wednesday to schedule an appointment. Thursday is the earliest someone can come. After that, the manufacturer sends its evaluation to the store. The store makes an estimate and calls me. That might be on Monday. I'll have been a week without regular water in the house.
Remember, the heater leaks, so every time I turn on the house water I get water on the floor or water running out the drain hose. I have the hose running into the kitchen sink. I turn on the water for sanitation, cooking, and to make coffee. That's just a few minutes a day.
Assuming the retailer has the heater in stock, it could be Thursday next week before I have water again. I'm going to ride it out. I've started shower surfing: showering at homes of friends and neighbors. It's going to be interesting. It might be character building. (I'd like to think that I have enough of that already, but I could be wrong.) One friend suggested that I take a little vacation until the heater arrives. Hmm.
What would you do? At home, it's just me and Leroy, my 14-year-old cat. I can't imagine doing this if there were children in my house. What would you do?