Finding the Positive in a Water Leak

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Life is all about choosing how we view things, isn’t it? There are challenges, of course, and how we navigate around and through those challenges is everything. Take last night, for example.

Hubby was busy grilling some fresh Cornish game hens. I was busy inside making side dishes and we even had a nice bottle of wine ready to uncork. For some reason unknown to me, hubby decided to go into the utility room and open the door to the closet where our hot water heater resides.

“Oh, no, we have a leak!” (This would be perfect for one-liner Wednesday.)

Sure enough, there was water pooling around the hot water heater. So, we found a 24-hour plumber, finished our dinner and waited for the 2 hours he said it would take for him to get here. When we heard the truck pull into the driveway we started to smell the roses. Ahhh.

This is where the universe gets tricky. There were thorns to follow. The hot water heater was definitely leaking. Great. We will just get a new hot water heater, right? Ouch, the thorns! We live in an older house that had some ‘remodeling’ done at one point in time. It seems the water heater was installed incorrectly and, according to current building code requirements, would have to be moved.

Now, the only place to move said water heater is outside the existing neatly tucked away closet which is valuable real estate in a 2 bedroom house. The other option is to put it in the garage. Did you know our code says you cannot have a pan under the hot water heater on the first floor unless it is piped outside? I guess the logic is that you would notice a leak on the floor sooner than you would a slow leak that filled the pan and flooded your house. Who knew? Not us.

So, the plan is to remove the old unit and put it into the garage. This requires running new pipes and hiring an electrician for the electrical work. It also means another ugly drainage line outside the house. All thorns I tell you!

But there are roses to be found. We noticed it while we were home and it did not flood and ruin our hardwood floors. We will now be in code. We will have a 10-year warranty for ANY and ALL problems. The plumbing company offers a 24 month no interest payoff plan. We could pay cash, but why would we when it is not necessary to deplete on cash on hand?

There are inconveniences. The work cannot be done until Thursday. That is two days we will live without hot water — and even that is not totally true. We turn the intake to the heater off which relieves the pressure and seems to stop the leak. We know where the leak is now, so we are diligent in watching for any water. Thankfully, I kept lots of the old towels I intended to donate so I can mop up water when needed. When we need to shower, we can turn the water back on and quickly get showers out of the way.

This is not new ground for us. We have had two separate houses totally re-plumbed. One for defective piping and one because of a leak in the slab. We have also had a leak in a hot water heater in a house we rented. Luckily, it was in the garage and not the house.

So, by Thursday evening, barring any additional thorns, we will have a new non-leaking hot water heater and this will then be an old story. Fingers crossed!