[Sca-cooks] Stefan pulls a Drakey

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Wed Nov 26 01:56:59 PST 2008

Well, a small one, anyway.

Our water heater pilot light has been going out and not staying lit  
for more than a day or so for the past week. Perhaps because the  
thermocouple is going. However, the bottom also appears to be rusting  
out because there was a pool of water under it in the pan and a mist  
of water inside the burner area. So on Monday we went to Lowe's and  
we bought a new one. Expensive enough but being currently unemployed,  
I decided I would install it myself instead of paying $230 to $250 to  
have Lowe's or Home Depot do it.

After I bought it I saw a lot of labeling about using two people to  
move it around.  But it didn't seem that heavy in the store or even  
when unloading it from the van.

I started installing it this afternoon. I removed the inlet and  
outlet pipes and opened the drain plug. It drained. I thought. But it  
seemed awfully heavy. After removing the pressure relief valve near  
the top, I found I could tip it and get some water sloshing out of  
that hole. So figured I would just tip it and catch the water that  
sloshed out in a bucket and remove some (all?) of the water that  
way.  What I didn't stop to consider was that if water was sloshing  
out six inches from the top, the water heater was probably still  
pretty full.  Later I found out that it was probably installed in  
1991, so it had been there awhile.  The pressure relief value that I  
removed was just caked in calcium.  I probably should have tried  
drilling through the side near the bottom, but I didn't know how  
difficult that would be, so didn't try that.  After all, we'll just  
tip it and get at least some water out and then consider again  
drilling it if I needed to.

So I got my bucket and tilted the water heater to get some of the  
water out.  Unfortunately with say, 40 gallons of water still inside,  
that's a *lot* of weight. So I rocked it and the water started  
pouring out. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold the water heater up once  
it started tipping. Suddenly I am on the floor *under* the water  
heater. Luckily, it caught on a metal case and some shelves so all  
the weight didn't end up on me. But I couldn't move it either. And  
now to add indignity to pain, the water is now pouring out of the  
pressure valve opening and the holes on top of the water heater, all  
over me!

On yes, I had told my wife she didn't need to stick around and could  
go shopping and I would call her if I needed help. But my cell phone  
was in the bedroom on the other side of the house. Had it been  
anywhere but on me, I couldn't have gotten to it and if it had been  
on me, it probably would have gotten drowned in the water.

There wasn't anything I could do until enough water had leaked out,  
all over me, to lighten the water heater enough that I could squeeze  
out from under it.

Compared to this, installing the new water heater was a cinch. Except  
lifting it up the 18 inches or so to the raised floor of the closet  
in the garage. And the fact that getting it over the edge of the drip  
pan and into the pan was a bit difficult. And that all the pipe  
fittings, both water and gas didn't fit so I had to go buy adapters,  
45 minutes before Lowe's closed.

I'm now tired and sore. However, I've fired up the hot tub and I  
think I will go sit in it for awhile listening to my favorite music.

I guess sometimes it is better to pay ridiculously high installation  
fees rather than doing it yourself. :-)  But hey, I saved over $200.

I'll try to catch up on the 12!! SCA-Cooks digests tomorrow (Wednesday).

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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