Helaine woke me up around 7:15 AM, two hours after I went to sleep. It only took one look to know, this was not a pleasure trip to the bedroom.
“No hot water,” she said. “Didn’t you hear the heater cycling all night?”
Using methods similar to those Tonto deployed in “The Lone Ranger,” Helaine has hearing and (now revealed) tactile sensory powers far beyond those of mortal men. The water heater is in the basement. Our bedroom is on the second floor, but it’s above the garage which in turn is built over a concrete slab – not the basement! How did she know?
I got out of bed and walked downstairs. My expertise in this sort of thing is limited, but I understand it’s my duty (as laid out in the ketubah¹) to make like I know what’s going on.
Our heating system is a complex ‘hydroair’ system, powered by oil. The hot water is heated by the furnace which also heats the house. It is virtually impossible to run out of hot water!
The thermometer on the side of the hot water reservoir was pinned on 90° – the lowest it registers. The water was certainly cooler. The furnace was quiet.
I checked the oil tank. We had plenty.
Thirty seconds of looking and I already knew this was way beyond me. I picked up the phone to call my oil man. If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you seen comments from Woody. He’s my friend and my oil man.
Ring, ring, nothing. I hung up and dialed again. Ring, nothing. Uh oh. Ring, ring, ring, nothing. Even during the height of the summer, I knew they’d be there early. This was a bad sign.
I opened my mail program and started to compose a note to Woody.
I’m emailing because your office phone rings once or twice and stops! We have no hot water. Help!
We have oil. The temp in the water tank is as low as it gets. I have no idea beyond that.
Can someone come and help. xxx-xxxx.
I quickly realized, Woody might not be there. He’s bought a home in Santa Fe, NM, which he visits from time-to-time. We needed hot water now… or at least soon.
The oil company office is only a few minutes from here. I had no choice but to drive over and get the process started.
I sleep in pajamas, but they’re not really traditional pajamas. They’re the 21st century equivalent of sweatpants and a t-shirt. I threw on a hat and sneakers, kept my pajamas on, and drove away.
Helaine said, “I smell a blog entry.” Really?
It was only 7:30AM, but the oil company’s office was buzzing. Winston the dog was attacking the office workers, jumping at least five feet off the floor as if he was on a trampoline. Service technicians were getting their trucks ready. Everyone there – living in homes with heated water – seemed happy.
“Your phones aren’t working,” I said as I walked in.
“We know. Was that you who tried calling?”
By the time I drove home, Woody had replied to my email… and obviously had made contact with the mother ship.
anyhow, sorry about the phones. they’re semi-operational right now. i have our VOIP provider meeting me there first thing. there will be no bluffing –
an ass kicking is on the agenda. hope your facial problem is better.
The technician arrived a few minutes later and quickly found a clogged nozzle. He replaced it and our filter. We have hot water again.
In retrospect, I can’t believe I drove away to see people while wearing my PJs. I’m starting to get very Britneyesque! Thank heavens I don’t attract paparazzi.
¹ – A ketubah is a Jewish prenuptial agreement or marriage contract and is an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage. Ours (as most others) is an ornately printed certificate, mainly in Hebrew – a language neither of us reads nor understands. Over time, both of us have ‘quoted’ the ketubah to try and justify ridiculous things we’ve done or want.
5 thoughts on “A Day Without Hot Water”
Heh, Looks like Woody will have an opportunity to make a few adjustments when the VOIP provider shows up.
Always put your trust in fancy new technology (NOT!) when your business depends on people being able to reach you.
I think I’ll continue being a semi-Luddite with a cheap real wired phone and Cellular and Ham radio as a backup in that order. Besides the minor fact that ” I CAN’T hear you now” when I’m inside the house on the cell phone, i like the fact that radio does not need a real infrastructure.
we women have visions unknown to man. Always listen to your wife. I keep trying to tell my husband that. He can’t believe when I see a spot on the floor and know it came from him!
I like the idea of the ketubah.. A serious contract neither of you can read or understand but will keep you respectful of each other just “in case” it’s”in there”. Brilliant!!! I think every married couple needs one!!! Our elders were so smart…
My ketubah contained a “water heater” exemption. If you don’t have it in writing then, you have absolutely no leverage later.
Oye! At least the hot water is back to working now!
As for the phones… At least it wasn’t the TV station that lost phones.. Good god, you’ve never seen a bunch of newsroom people panic as I did when our phone system took a nasty shock in a thunderstorm.