Yesterday was a long, busy day. We had set the day aside to replace our water heater. When we bought the house almost a year and a half ago, the inspector recommended replacing the water heater, since it was at the end of its expected life, and since it's in Rico's closet, not a garage or something, so if it were to rust out or spring a leak, we could have major problems.
Though we intended to do it immediately, somehow it got postponed and postponed, but finally yesterday it happened. My wonderful father came down and helped us, since he knows what he's doing, and we were willing, but ignorant.
The first holdup came when we were trying to shut off the water to the house. We had no idea where to look for the valve. We don't have a water meter because of the weird neighborhood we live in (our water is included in our HOA dues) and we could not find a shut-off valve anywhere in the house. Finally I found a newsletter the association had sent out saying that most were found underground at the back of the house, with a white cap to identify them. We circled the house, but found nothing. By peeking over the fences, we could easily find those of our neighbors, but ours was missing entirely. Finally, by checking out under the house, my dad determined where it should be, and I got a shovel. Instead of digging right next to the house where it was supposed to be located, he noticed a divet in the lawn about two feet out from the house that had some give when it was stepped on. Sure enough, within six inches or so, he uncovered a plastic bucket lid that covered the main shut-off valve. I'm sure we never would have found it without him.
Once we got the tank drained, and out of the closet, (not only was it strapped to the wall, but it was glued to floor) breaking the emergency drain pipe in the process, we set off to Home Depot to pick up a new drain pipe as well as some pieces to fix the leak under the sink (which we soon discovered was not a leak, but leaks).
The new tank fit fine in the closet, but was shorter, so the electric wires weren't quite long enough to fit inside the water heater like they're supposed to, but long enough to hook up for now. Tom got to climb under the house (which is more of an army-crawl space than a crawl space) twice and wade through the 3-4 inches of water down there, (Um, is that a problem?) to reattach the drain pipe.
Once the water heater was hooked up and heating, we turned our attention to the sink where one leak had become three different ones. Two were fairly easily fixed, but the third turned out not to be a problem with the pipes, but a hole in the drain area of the second sink. How helpful. The solution? Don't use that sink. I'm sure we'll get around to replacing the drain, but until then, we're down to one sink. I'm just glad that I have at least one.
Overall, we are in debt to my father for his skill, expertise, willingness and time. Also to Ella and Rico for being mostly good sports all day while they didn't get to play with Grandpa, and were expected to amuse themselves most of the time, without getting into all the tools etc. that was lying around.
The project is not completely done, but I am glad that yesterday is over. THANK YOU DADDY!