Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ready and waiting


I’ve got our generator and our kerosene heater ready for action and we’re waiting to see if the freezing rain, that has yet to start in earnest, will knock out our electricity.

The Lexus is in the garage with a full tank of gas.

My only real concern is trees or limbs falling onto – or through – the roof. Other than that, the much heralded coming ice storm doesn’t concern me that much.

When we left off yesterday, I was waiting for the water heater to drain so I could scoot it away from the wall to accommodate the fiberglass jacket.

That accomplished, I turned on the water and closed the hot water relief valve, but was alarmed to see the valve wouldn’t close completely and a steady dribble continued from the overflow pipe.

Consulting the water heater owner’s manual, I discovered this valve should be tested once a year and, if it won’t close completely, it should be replaced. I have never tested it in the six years we’ve lived here and doubt if the previous owner did either.

Happily, we have a reliable and responsive plumber nearby and he and his wife were here within an hour of my call for help.

He replaced the valve and showed me how to thoroughly flush the water heater tank, which resulted in a huge amount of calcium being blown out. He also checked the hot water relief valve on the other water heater and pronounced it sound. Total cost: $71.

As a consequence, the flushed-out water heater is now much more efficient and gives us water much hotter than we’ve ever had. Once the weather settles down, I plan to flush out the other water heater tank. I figured the knowledge I got about how to maintain water heaters was worth the price of the work.

Then we drove in to Sam’s Club for provisions, stopping at Lowe’s on the way home to pick up a vacuum belt set which I installed after dinner.

So here I sit, watching the Weather Channel website radar and waiting, as prepared as we can be for whatever comes.

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