Water Heater Fubar of 2013 (part 1)

Sunday morning we got up and discovered the shower water just wouldn't warm up. Suspecting the pilot in the water heater may have gone out, Steve went out to check it and this is what he found.

The ~15 year old beast had burst inside and was spewing water out the top, up into the vent. Of course the water would then trickle back down and all over the damn place. No telling how long this had been going on.

The "man cave" shares a wall with the garage. Steve checked in there and, sure enough, the carpet was sopping wet. I grabbed a pair of pliers for him, he started pulling the carpet back. As he pulled, the baseboard just kind of melted off like it was made of mush. That's when we discovered the mold behind the baseboards.

Steve tried to clean up a bit and set up some fans* while I called the insurance company. As soon as the claim was opened, I tackled Angie's List and began calling plumbers. Remember, this was Sunday.

*It turns out that's a no-no. Air movement blows the nasty microbes around.

Monday I got three quotes, then called my neighbor's husband's brother's neighbor who quoted me half what everyone else had. Same unit, just not gouging me on the labor. He gave me his company's name and I learned the BBB gives them an A rating. No complaints!

Also on Monday, the insurance adjuster contacted us. He was very nice and said he'd have a restoration company call us within an hour. They did, and that afternoon they were out to inspect and measure.

Tuesday, right on schedule, the Rainbow Restoration crew arrived and started demolishing the affected areas. The drywall and insulation had to be removed across the entire wall and up about four feet.

They sanded and hepa-vacuumed all the areas that showed mold. Then they sprayed everything with an anti-microbial solution and set up a machine that allegedly sucks up any stray microbes floating around in the air. They also set up a big dehumidifier. All this is on the bedroom side. The garage side got a big sheet of plastic stapled to it which will stay in place until we can reconstruct the garage wall tomorrow.

The box/stand under the water tank also had to be removed. It was pretty badly rotted.

Tomorrow Steve and I will fetch some drywall and rebuild the area where the new tank will go. (Yes, I investigated replacing it with a tankless system but it would have been three grand - t'would pay for itself in a mere 20 years or so.) We will also, of course, need to put in a new stand.

Since Sunday, we've been "bucket bathing" -- warming water in pans on the stove, then carting them to the shower to wash. It's actually not feeling like too much of a hassle (thank you, Lexapro) and the new tank's scheduled to be installed either Wednesday or Thursday evening. Just in time for house guests!


Brooke B said...

Woot! I'm glad it all is getting worked out. What a crazy week you've had. And its just Tuesday...

Paul Turner said...

When you have the new HWH installed, have them put in a pan that drains to the great outdoors. You're ins might even pay for it.