With everything else 2016 has gifted me with, I’m hit with yet another high repair bill.
Readers of this blog might recall I had my hot water heater replaced a few months back when the old one exploded. Sometime on Christmas Eve, I took note that I barely had any hot water. Didn’t think anything of it at the time. Christmas morning, the water was ice cold for my shower. But the show must go on. I did some hunting online, and potential problems didn’t rear their ugly head, so I just assumed it was something with the heater internally. But it’s a holiday, and I’m out visiting family, so I head to the parents’ house for what I can only describe as successful as there was no bloodshed this time. Still not ideal, but that’s typical. Let’s just say I was really happy to arrive home last night, even without hot water. And I still had none of that. So I put in an online service request for the next morning with the people who installed the heater tank.
I got no reply back, so I called them. They confirmed an appointment “sometime today,” but couldn’t offer details. Just depended on when the tech was freed up. I finished up season 2 of The Man in the High Castle.
The tech came out around 11 am, about 10 seconds after the final episode ended. He determined that it was potentially a gas leak causing problems with the water tank’s operation. He did admit his detector wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as the one the gas company had, and constantly gave false positives for fertilizer and a host of other things. So I called the gas company because that’s a free thing. They had me turn everything off and evacuate my house, but I was supposed to be there to let them in. Made no sense to me either. So I sat on my front porch and waited. Around noon, the gas tech showed, and he confirmed that there was no gas leak at all.
Time to track down the real culprit then. After snooping around quite a bit, and poking heads inside cabinets to listen for echoes, it was determined I have a slab leak. Now in a house with a crawl space, the pipes are easy to fix. In Texas, there is no crawl space. They run through the foundation. So the hunt is on to find the leak. He breaks out the digital laser thermometer and runs around the various rooms trying to see where the floor might be warmer. Bad news: my living room has wood flooring, and apparently that’s great for masking any kind of signal. If the leak is there, he won’t be able to detect it without a costly detector operation.
Long story short, he eventually tracked it down. The leak is directly under the hot water heater. The good news is he doesn’t have to bust apart my house tracking it down. The bad news, if the pipes are corroded, he may have to replace more than just one section to ensure it won’t spring another leak a couple of months down the line.
The worse news is I get to take off another day of work tomorrow so he can jackhammer through the concrete slab in my garage. Destruction begins between 8 and 9 am.
Assuming this goes smoothly, he can finish the job all in the same day, and he seems far more competent than the guy who installed the tank in the first place. Thank the Force for that. But I’m out another $5,100 if all goes well, which is anything but chump change on my pittance of a salary. If it turns out there’s more to it, the cost goes up, and I miss more work. I’ll have to miss more work anyway because at some point the city has to send an inspector out to verify the job has been done to code.
Merry Effing Christmas and a sucky New Year to me. 2016 has insured that 2017 starts me out beyond crippled. At least I got new shoes for Christmas so I don’t have to worry too much about where I step next as I wade through more bullshit.
I’ll check back in when it’s all over. All I can say is, don’t expect much interaction between now and then. I truly hope your holidays went better than mine.