Water Heater Busted

February 26th, 2008 by Potato

So, shortly after Netbug’s hot water heater woes, my own has decided to give up for the winter. I went to wash my hands for bed and found no hot water forthcoming. In the midst of coming down with a cold, I took some ny quil in the hopes of waking up healthy tomorrow (note to self: shingles + karaoke to 3 am is not a sound health plan). I thought for a few minutes that the ny quil had broken my brain and that there had to be hot water coming out of the tap, and that I was quite possibly burning myself with my hand under the freezing cold water. Then I went out to the kitchen and heard this eerie wailing sound, like a cross between a tea kettle and two raccoons “fighting”.

It was coming from the basement. I went down there with a creeping, knowing feeling washing over me. Yep, the hot water heater was busted, wailing and dribbling water all down itself from the cold water intake at the top, all over the floor… and flooding the basement up to a depth of just over a centimeter. I then went to wake up Wayfare (who was not happy to be woken up suddenly in the middle of the night) before cutting the water and power (I didn’t want to step into the flood without someone else awake in case I electrocuted myself). Unlike Netbug, I have a cutoff for just the hot water heater, so I’ll still have at least cold water in the morning, but this is still going to suck. It also showcased how the foundation/basement tiles of old homes like this can be laid wrong or shift over time: the water pooled like crazy in the laundry room, but the only floor drain is in the furnace room, and there was at least one hump in the floor keeping the water from flowing out into the drain. It instead decided to move under the walls dividing the rooms and flood our storage area and the bathroom (and having the walls/gypsum drywall soaked through is going to suck come mould season). Even what water did meander its way over to the furnace room drain didn’t go in smoothly, instead choosing to overshoot around one side flooding our old window air conditioners before circling back around to the drain.

Oddly enough, the worst of the flooding went away all on its own as we started to shovel. Without the water continuing to flow to top it up it just seemed to seep away somewhere. Which, while saving me some of the effort of cleanup, just can’t be a good thing.

Of course, my landlord is in New Zealand for 3 weeks (I think this is the last of the 3 weeks), so this is going to be a nightmare to fix. The water heater has a big (recent-looking) sticker on it that says its the property of Union Gas… but calling them lead us no where. They couldn’t find a record of who owned the water heater, and unless they knew it was theirs, they weren’t sending anyone out to help us. I know I don’t pay a rental fee on my bill, and after putting me on hold a few times (though the lady on the phone was quite nice, as was their other 24-hour service person I had to call a few weeks ago), finally determined that my landlord had bought out the water heater, so it was up to us to get our landlord to fix it. Ugh.

2 Responses to “Water Heater Busted”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Kinda wierd that both our water heaters blew up when the landlords were both in New Zealand.

  2. Potato Says:

    Mine is back now! …of course, that may be worse since her “regular plumber” is off and so she hired some drain specialist guys to come do it because their acronym was DDS — just like her dental degree! Will drain specialists be able to fix a hot water heater? Quite possibly. If we need a brand new one, will they have it in stock and be able to install it right away? That sounds more doubtful.

    If she was gone, I’d probably have just started calling people in the yellow pages and picked the one who could get here today/tomorrow…