Thursday, April 21, 2011

The $&%*@(#*%&# Water Heater!!!!!!!

I wanted to use the real word(s), and have, on many occasions in the last week two weeks, but I'm trying to be more refined and shit. As you may have guessed, we've had some water heater issues in the last couple weeks. Let's just start from the beginning shall we....

You should know we live in a townhouse that is part of a large apartment complex. Maintenance issues are not my problem and with the amount of rent we pay, I expect this crap to fixed quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Wednesday, April 6: I'm standing in my kitchen when I hear a mysterious whooshing noise coming from my utility closet/pantry (don't judge, it's the only damn storage space we have). I open the door to find water geysering out of the water pipe that brings water into the hot water heater! The water is shooting into the wall and creating a hell of a mess. We call the emergency maintenance line, and they come out and tell us that while they can stop the geyser, the can't fix it for real because they don't have the right parts today. No big, we'll see them first thing tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 7: The guys don't show up until after 10:30am. Not my idea of "first thing" but whatever. They fix the pipe and tell us that they can't re-light the pilot light because some part of the water heater (I have no idea what part) got wet during the geyser and it needs to dry out. They promise to come back that afternoon after they're sure it's had time to properly dry out......
They come back around 4:30, and amazingly, they still can't get the pilot light to stay lit for more than about 30 seconds. They tell us that they could take it outside and dump it upside down to fix the problem, but they don't feel like doing that so they're just going to come back in the morning. At this point I wanted to ask if he was going home to take a hot shower, or was he just going to wait until tomorrow? But, I kept my sassy mouth shut.

Friday, April 8: Manny and I leave to go out of town to a friend's wedding. The maintenance guys are supposed to be coming back to light the pilot light once and for all! Our roommate was home all weekend so we assumed he handled it.

Monday, April 11: We don't return to Ohio until after midnight, and don't make it back to the house until almost 2am. (You can read about that little adventure here.) We stumble upon our roommate (who is, post-separating from the Air Force, living out his missed-out-on college guy days of staying up until 4am and sleeping until well past noon) who tells us that yes, the guys came out Friday. Yes, they lit the pilot light. Yes, it went out again. No, he did not call them back...but don't worry, I can light it myself every time it goes out. Um, what about the gas leaking into the house every time the %&#*@&$ thing goes out again!!! So, we sleep in our plane funk, and vow to take cold showers in the morning.

Tuesday, April 12: One of the boys lights the pilot light long enough for me (and them possibly) to take a super fast, warmish shower.

Wednesday, April 13: Continue with the self-lighting of the pilot light. Not safe, but it was a busy week at work so as long as I got a lukewarm shower I didn't really care.

Thursday, April 14: I think I finally asked why we hadn't called the maintenance guys back. I guess Manny and my roommate figured that eventually, the thing would fully dry out and we wouldn't need to keep lighting it all the time. Sure, whatever.

Friday, April 15: Didn't shower. I was tired of lukewarm showers and hadn't washed my hair in a few days. (For all of you who think I'm gross, I have really dry hair and can legitimately go 3-4 days in cool weather without fear of grease ball status.) I start getting demanding about someone calling the maintenance guys. They call, but, surprise, they don't show.

Saturday, April 16:
10:00am:We're running around like crazy people trying to get the house ready for a BBQ we're throwing. Sometime during the morning I ask Manny to light the pilot light so I can take a shower later...I really need one. Guess what, the damn thing has finally busted, we can't light the pilot light!!! We call the emergency maintenance line and they promise to make it out "this afternoon." Look here, asshole, I have 20 people coming to my house, I will not look like a hobo!!! 
4:00pm:It finally gets so late that I resign myself to taking a cold shower. Mind you, my hair really needed to be washed as well. And guess what, ladies, it was so cold that I was actually in pain but I did it! The things a girl will do to look good for a party....
6:30pm:Oh yeah, the guy finally comes out, around 6:30 (there's already about 10 people in my house). He lights the pilot light, grumbles about why it was out (truthfully, I wasn't listening) and leaves.
8:30pm: I'm standing somewhere in the general vicinity of the kitchen when I hear the terrifying sound of rushing water...again. I run to the utility closet where water is gushing out of the release valve. (Apparently when the water heats up and, duh, expands, there is a built in safety mechanism to release the overflow so the tank doesn't explode.) I guess since we had a whole tank full of cold water, and it was now heating quickly...yeah, you do the math. So I'm sending party guests all over the house to turn on hot water in bathrooms and showers to try and drain the tank. We also shut off the gas because the pilot light had gone out again due to the flood and we didn't want gas leaking into the house. We call emergency maintenance....again.
9:45pm: Maintenance guy arrives to a house full of almost-drunk party guests. He makes his way through the fray and then tells me that the pilot light isn't lit because the gas is off. I explain to him, as calmly as I could, that we shut it off after the light went out so that gas wouldn't leak into the house, then ignite and incinerate my party guests. He tells me indignantly that I should never touch that valve. I tell him, in no uncertain terms, that I was not comfortable with gas leaking into my house and if the light goes out again, I'm going to shut the gas off again. He lights the light and leaves. 15 minutes later, the $%#@&(*#$( light goes out again.

Sunday, April 17: Manny gets it lit long enough for me to grab a quick shower.

Monday, April 18: I am now pissed off and downright indignant about this entire affair. I want hot water. I am thankful for my clean, running water and everything, but the point is that I live in the middle of freakin' Ohio, hot water isn't exactly an unreal expectation. I demand that Manny get on the phone with the apartment complex or I'm going to call and whoever I speak to is going to give me new hot water heater. He placates me by telling me he'll call. We're told that a plumber is coming out "first thing" Tuesday morning. yay. You must pardon my lack of enthusiasm, it's been drowned out by a cold shower.

Tuesday, April 19:
8:00am: No plumber.
12noon: No plumber.
2:00pm: I have to head to work and call Manny and tell him that I have not seen hide nor hair of a plumber and that I'm going to call and give them a piece of my mind because 2pm is not my idea of first thing in the morning! I am politely reminded not to call and "run my mouth" because I'm not technically on the lease yet. Grrrrr.
4:30pm: I call Manny from work and demand to know if they've been there yet. They have not. He calls the apartment main office and inquires where the hell our plumber is. We are told that he "got stuck" on the job before us and will be out "first thing tomorrow morning." Yeah, sure he will.

Wednesday, April 20: The plumber finally shows up sometime in the afternoon (seriously, the next time these people say "first thing in the morning" I'm going to ask when the $&%# they wake up because to me, first thing in the morning is 8am, 9am at the latest) and finally fixes, for real this time, the #(&$%* @#$(*)& water heater.

For anyone who's counting, this bullshit went on for two weeks.

That's all. I'm exhausted. I'm going to go take a hot shower now.


  1. God I love this. Don't get me wrong, I HATE what you went through. I HATE taking freezing cold showers to the point where they sting your skin. And I HATE that small crap like that can't get fixed (right) the first time!

    But I love that you managed to bite your tongue, that you wrote this post, and that it made a fantastic story :D

    You deserve a hot bath too. And a medal. And possibly a whole bag of cookies.

  2. OOOOOh dang that's annoying!! We had a horrible land lord in TX who would do shit like that to the point we just took to getting things fixed, documenting (with pictures) the procedure, and sending him bills. He did pay us back for all of it but you can't do that at an appartment place. Glad it's working now!

  3. I really like how you are working on being more refined and shit. Got to keep up the appearance of being a real southern lady. :)