I am not complaining. But every household has a heavy-lifter; in ours, I am that person. The person who earns most of the money, pays all the bills, spends their lunch hour fighting with the insurance company, files all the tax returns, etc. etc. Fortunately, there are happy things too; like planing all our vacations, figuring out and cooking our daily menu, and not only driving my son to soccer practice, but hanging around to see him playing and giggling with friends.
So naturally, the problem of our rapidly deteriorating water heater consumed most of my free-time this week, while life with the rest of my family went on undisturbed. I choreographed everyone’s showers, dish washing, to minimize leakage; and mopped constantly when the water heater was turned on. After several days I decided against going the plumber route. We don’t really have the extra money right now and somebody once told me that everyone should know how to change a water heater. So I ended up replacing the hot water heater myself. Everything went smoothly with 3 hours of work.
So here’s the point of my story. The water in the water heater was disgusting; deeply brown and rusted. To put it pleasantly, it looked like Iced Tea, but my first thoughts were not so pleasant. I am told (a) that rust is harmless, and (b) the water I use daily is from the top of the tank, while most of the rust is near the bottom. But my mind could not help but recall every instance over the past few years when I inadvertently used the hot water tap in cooking. Yuck. So remember the advice you’ve all been given before, always, always cook with cold water.
I also realized a few more things about hot water heaters:
- That I should be draining my hot water heater annually. After seeing the brown sludge that’s lurking in my tank after 5 years of not draining, it’s another chore I’ll do annually. And worth every second.
- I had never heard of an Anode Rod before, but learned that it may have sped the demise of my 50-gallon water heater. The purpose of this rod is to degrade so that your hot water heater doesn’t.
- The funny “T” in the gas line that I just noticed has an important purpose. It’s a Drip Tube that will prevent condensation from ruining the hot water heater’s control valve. Wow, they think of everything.
So as much as I’d rather my sole responsibilities to be in the kitchen, a father’s duties must be much greater. Still, I am hoping to cook something extraordinary in the very near future.