Home Improvement by Necessity

I came home from work yesterday to the concerned story Haley had to tell of the large, rusty puddle in the furnace room. The water heater had given up the ghost! We were pretty sure it was on its last legs, because we were lucky to get a couple of showers out of a tank in the morning. But yesterday we were forced to replace it. We dithered back and forth (I like that word, dithered!) and finally decided we would attempt the installation ourselves. So we turned off the water and the gas and started unhooking things and then headed to our favorite “home away from home” – namely Home Depot. We weighed the merits of the various choices – how much did we want to pay, how big a tank could we afford, etc. Then we loaded it up and brought it home and (with great difficulty and four of us lifting) got it up the stairs into the house and then down the stairs into the basement. Then we had to get the old one out. It was REALLY heavy – and there was nothing to hold on to. I finally came up with the idea of putting it into the box the new heater came in and using that to drag it back up the basement stairs and out into the garage. It worked (yay!) and now we have this monstrosity to dispose of …

Then we manhandled the new heater into the space and figured out what new parts we would need to hook everything back up and then headed back to Home Depot (you can never accomplish a home improvement job without at least two trips – this job took three). Surprisingly there was only one hiccup. We replaced the water shutoff valve because the old one wasn’t working and we elected to go with the “Sharkbite” brand so we wouldn’t have to do soldering. But after we attached the shutoff valve we realized that it was too low and we needed to remove more of the copper pipe so that the supply hose wasn’t kinked. So Tom went back to our neighborhood DIY warehouse and got the special tool that allows you to remove these handy “Sharkbite” fittings. Then we hooked everything up, turned on the water and gas, and there were NO LEAKS (cue heavenly choruses). I think this might be the first time I hooked up plumbing fittings and got it right the first time. Here’s the new beauty that has already provided hot showers …

We’ve been working on our deck for the last six months, but alas there are no “before” pictures or “during” pictures. But we are almost done and I will try to post a few “after” pictures at that point. DIY never ends in this house …

18. June 2014 by tjsjohanna
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