In and out of hot water, part 1

Where was that dripping sound coming from, anyway?  And why was the boiler cycling on and off so frequently?

As soon as I stepped into the boiler room in my socks, I knew I was in hot water – about a half-inch of it on the floor.  More was gurgling from a couple of the pipes criss-crossing the space.  Not knowing which valve did what, I just shut off the water to the whole house and did what any thinking man would do:  I called my wife.

Of course Susan was sympathetic and empathetic and ready to be helpful.  I mostly needed to let somebody know what was going on and hear some reassurance to smooth my ruffled feathers.  Mission accomplished.

By the time I got out some old towels, the carpeting in the rooms on either side of the boiler room had already soaked up a surprising amount of water.  Wet, squishy carpet is one of my least favorite things; can’t think of a single instance in which it means something good.

Okay – now I’ll call someone who can figure out what caused this mess.  No need to call Rossoe Energy Systems, original installers of the boiler and indirect hot water tank.  Every other company that’s subsequently serviced or repaired our system has shown us evidence that Rossoe really didn’t know what they were doing.  Color me ‘dissatisfied customer.’

A guy from Evan Conklin Plumbing & Heating was here less than 90 minutes after I called, and boy, was he great.  Friendly and knowledgeable, he diagnosed the problem quickly, explained what had happened, and left me with several helpful suggestions.

The boiler heats our baseboard radiators as well as our domestic hot water.  I was worried that we’d lost both heat and hot water just as a cold front may keep us below freezing for the next few days.  Thankfully heat for the house was not affected.

So I’m off to do some Christmas shopping – for a new hot water heater.  It wasn’t on my list, and I was laid off November 30, so the timing’s not great.  But as a neighbor who serves at a local food bank just reminded me, we have everything we need and more.  Time for us to get our butts over to that food bank and help out.

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