Well, we did it. Bob & I successfully installed our first water heater yesterday. It took from 9 a.m. until just after 6 p.m., with no breaks except a trip to Home Depot. It was an adventure which included some fun, some frustration and some very helpful friends. We started the day with a “team meeting” where we acknowledged that there were bound to be some unexpected difficulties as we proceeded, but we both agreed to do our best to remain positive and supportive of each other. We also agreed that I would be the team leader on this particular project since I’m the one who was crazy enough to think this would be fun.
And at first it was. We got the old water heater shut down, drained and out the door pretty quickly. Naturally I had to do what any woman would do after moving a large appliance out of the space it’s occupied for years – I vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the water heater closet. I mean, how could I not?
Then we moved the new unit in place and began to hook up the water, gas and vent lines. This took some brute force, some delicate work with old copper plumbing, and a climb up on the roof by Bob. But we got everything in place, connected and ready to flow – and then the leaks began.
That’s where the trip to Home Depot came in. (Here’s a shout out to our new friend there, Eddy in plumbing, for his advice, coaching and encouragement! And another to brother Chris, who offered help early on.) But the real hero of this story is good neighbor Mike, who came over with tools in hand just as we were about to give up. He saved the day!
So, now we have a shiny new water heater, some useful new plumbing skills, and a renewed appreciation for people who are willing to go out of their way to help when you thought you could do it yourself.
And in case you’re wondering, Bob & I did not go dancing afterward (see my previous blog post below – In Hot Water), because we were both completely exhausted. But we did take a long, hot shower.