Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Miserable Birthday

Yikes! Today is October 27th, within two days I will be 59 years old. Oh, how old that sounds. Last week Joshua my oldest turned 28 on his birthday on Wednesday, October 19th. What a miserable day he experienced. He is presently living with Nana (my mom) at her home while he is working a new job in that city. Mom happened to be out of town visiting my sister and was not there to observe the catastrophe. Joshua returned home at 3:00 a.m. after working the evening shift to notice through the window there was fog inside the den. When he opened the door, it was like walking into a sauna and the carpet on the floor sloshed with each step. The hot water heater was spewing steaming water into the room. He quickly called us (it was a 3:00 a.m. phone call every parent dreads) to ask what to do. I handed the phone over to his Dad and he took over:

First, switch off the electric power fuse for the room before you step into the water (too late).
Second, make sure the electric power to the hot water is also turned off.
Third, look for the knob that stops the water flow to the heater - there was four…. At this point, I lost track of the instructions because I knew it was going to be solved. I could relax.

He turned the water off, found Nana's steam cleaner and began removing the water. It was a mess. He worked tirelessly into the early hours of the morning trying to pull out as much as possible.

On Saturday my husband and I spent the day helping with the cleanup. The water had only covered half of the floor so we moved everything to the other side of the room. Joshua and my husband worked on getting the water up while I worked on cleaning everything else.

You can see the water line here as it begins to dry.

This is the dry half of the room where we stacked everything.

Late in the afternoon a plumber (from a well-known reputable company) arrived and installed a new water heater. It was not a simple install since there were old galvanized pipes which involved welding, not just a simple unplug and hookup. It was not something Bill, my husband or Joshua could have done. Bill had just installed a new water heater for us about two weeks ago and was familiar with the process. He recognized the heater the plumber brought as one he had seen for sale on the internet at a price of $400. They ended up charging her a total of $1490!!!!!!!! Good grief! They charged $1000 to install it. Oh, my. Oh, my. The price took our breath away. Was she gouged? Yes and No. No, because she was paying for a well-known reliable company, known for their good service. The plumber was professional, respectful and trustworthy, somethings that are important when you are allowing a stranger into your home. Also, she received the convenience being able to call and say, “Do it all for me.” She is an elderly lady and her options are limited. Yes, she was gouged because she lives in Nashville and they are experiencing an economic housing boom; any type of contractor is in short supply so their prices are high.

It really makes me appreciate all the work Bill did to replace ours. At first, he was irritated because it was such a pain to install and he thought he was only saving about $250.  That is the labor charge we expected. Since we haven't needed construction work done for a while, we were unaware how labor prices have increased. After getting Nana's bill, we realized we saved about $1,000. That was a good pay for one day's work.

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