in hot water – or out of it

The downside of owning a home is that when something breaks, it's totally your rear on the line.

Last Sunday it rained 3 inches (7.6cm) in one hour. An area around my house that has never flooded before did. It drowned the bottom of my natural-gas outdoor hot water heater. I knew the hot water heater was old and this would probably be an expensive replacement job instead of a repair. It's gotten very expensive very fast.

My house is old. The pipes are galvanized steel instead of copper or PVC. The plumber advised me that I had slow-drip leaks here and there under the house. I knew that but had hoped to ignore them until something really let go. The plumbing company is willing to patch and replace here and there, but I decided to replace all the plumbing in my house, every bit of it, plus the new hot water heater. So expensive.

The plumbing company has 12-months-same-as-cash financing, or long-term at 6.9 percent. I decided to call my credit union and ask for advice. They are amazingly honest there. I was advised to take the 12-month interest free plan from the plumbing company, then come back to the credit union in a year if I needed to. They will have a variety of financing options at that point. Gotta love the little local credit union.

So, I'm in hock up to my nuts for a year anyway. 😦

Below is the old hot water heater awaiting replacement. It is a 1994 model. It has lasted a long time, longer than they usually do. It will be replaced by an energy efficient tankless water heater that just bolts to the side of the house like a suitcase.

What's next? New roof? Electrical problems?

You can see in the pic that the unit was leaking anyway. Nasty lookin'.

I'll be back with pics of the fancy new model once it's installed.

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13 responses to “in hot water – or out of it

  1. Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    it rained 3 inches (7.6cm) in one hour.

    Wow. Just wow. (Or more like me, "Holy shit!") I can't imagine that. I've been in an inch (2.52cm) an hour rain, and that's a lot.Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    So expensive.

    Now's the perfect time to rent out Lola to me for US$350 a month. Except, I'd be spending a lot of time getting in to trouble (read: arrested) in Raleigh, so that's not a good idea.

  2. Here in the UK we have the boiler within the house. Any idea on why it's different over there? Or is an outdoor one not too common – in which case what is YOUR reason for having it?

  3. Originally posted by SharkfinUK:

    Here in the UK we have the boiler within the house.

    They are often inside the house here, too. Dave's is probably outside because that's the way the house was originally plumbed. After looking at the picture again, it appears that heater was added there as an addition well after the house was originally built. It was probably added there after an incident with a heater that was located inside. The speculation is kinda fun. :up: It seems to be up to the whims of the designer where the heater is located. Houses here can have them in a closet on the outside, in a closet inside the house, or in a basement. In fact, many apartments and [du|*]plexes have them in a bedroom closet.

  4. Holy shit! 😦

  5. operainchicago

    Some of this expense, such as energy efficient water heater has to be a tax deduction for you. Maybe even the entire plumbing re-do. Home improvement expense. May want to give your accountant a call πŸ’‘

  6. The plumber putting in the new one. It hangs on the house like a suitcase.The plumber showed no "crack"! πŸ˜† He hooked the new water heater temporarily to the old pipes. He will return next week to rip out all the old ones and replace with new. This should also solve an ongoing low-pressure problem.

  7. Originally posted by 0x29a:

    How many applications is the new heater rated to provision concurrently? For instance, will it supply both a shower and doing the dishes? How many seconds does it take for the hot water to get to the farthest point from it? I'm curious. I remember there was a heady buzz quite a few years ago, now, for microwave tankless heaters. I thought, "man, that's the way to go!" But their weakness of provisioning multiple concurrent applications.

    Are you geeking on this? πŸ˜† I love geeked out appliances and systems. I don't even need energy efficiency because the house is tiny and I have nearly state-of-the-art insulation, but I like things that have some technology to them. My gas and electric bills are crazy low.Our hot water needs are also low. I won't know until next week how long it will really take hot water to reach the farthest point because the new heater is still hooked to the old pipes.Previously it took nearly 2 minutes to get hot water to the most distant faucet due to the Frankenstein piping. It was like a maze.After next week it should be PDQ since the plumber will be redoing everything custom.Anyway, here are the specs on the water heater:http://www.rinnai.us/water-heater/product/rl75e-reu-vc2528wd-us

  8. Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    The plumber showed no "crack"!

    Where's he keep his pencil, then?!?How many applications is the new heater rated to provision concurrently? For instance, will it supply both a shower and doing the dishes? How many seconds does it take for the hot water to get to the farthest point from it? I'm curious. I remember there was a heady buzz quite a few years ago, now, for microwave tankless heaters. I thought, "man, that's the way to go!" But their weakness was provisioning multiple concurrent applications.EDIT: And I forgot to +1 Carol's idea. Maybe there's a tax break in there.

  9. Originally posted by 0x29a:

    Except, I'd be spending a lot of time getting in to trouble (read: arrested) in Raleigh, so that's not a good idea.

    I'm lovin' the thing in Raleigh. :up: Originally posted by SharkfinUK:

    Here in the UK we have the boiler within the house. Any idea on why it's different over there? Or is an outdoor one not too common – in which case what is YOUR reason for having it?

    There are various reasons for me. My house is small and old. A hot water heater takes up needed space. Same for the furnace/AC unit, all outside. The climate is also on the mild side, so outdoor water heaters don't suffer that much temperature drop. I also like that things powered by natural gas are not inside.My house is informally known as a "mill house" in this area as thousands of them were built over just a few years (decades ago) during the textile mill boom. They are all quite small and have a similar look. The plumbing and electrical get retrofitted over and over until the systems are totally bastardized. It gets to be a maintenance nightmare. Some companies won't sell me homeowners insurance because part of the electrical system still runs on fuses. Some of the electrical in this house is frightening, lol. I'm getting a little of that done next week.Originally posted by operainchicago:

    Some of this expense, such as energy efficient water heater has to be a tax deduction for you.

    You got it! The natural gas company will send me $150, and I get a $300 rebate on my federal taxes next year. That's like a whoppin' 5% of what I spent. Oh well, I won't turn it down.

  10. Originally posted by 0x29a:

    How many applications is the new heater rated to provision concurrently? For instance, will it supply both a shower and doing the dishes?

    I love gas hot water. I've had electric before and always had to plan showers, laundry, dishes, etc.I haven't stress tested the new one yet. The old one in the top pic, I could run everything in the house and take a shower, too.The plumber says the new one should "handle it all."

  11. Originally posted by 0x29a:

    So…? I love me some hot water.

    Me, too, but if I do it too hot, my skin goes bad.

  12. Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    Are you geeking on this? πŸ˜†

    So…? I love me some hot water.

  13. ohh! es terrible! 😦

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