Monday, November 14, 2011

Cold Showers Are Unpleasant!

I'm interrupting my coverage of the last week's Lee's Summit Quilters Guild show because home maintenance has seized my attention.

Last Wednesday the water in the shower never warmed up.  While "cold" water showers in July are uncomfortable, cold water showers in November leave me shivering.  IT Prof learned from my teeth-chattering experience and skipped his shower.  Of course, I called the plumber.

Wednesday afternoon the partner of the plumber we've used before came to check the situation and announced, rather unsurprisingly, that we needed a new water heater.  He also told me proudly that he was a master plumber (like his partner), but the earliest he could replace the water heater was on Friday.

Naturally I would have preferred immediate repairs, but what can you do?  We set up an appointment for late Friday morning, and I resolved to bear the cold showers with as much fortitude as possible.

IT Prof worked at home on Friday and was in charge of "supervision."  The plumber replaced the water heater and reconfigured the water pipes into something sensible which included shut off valves.  IT Prof noticed a small water leak in one valve when the plumber finished, but the plumber repaired that and took our check for full payment before he left.

Immediately afterwards we drove to Springfield, Missouri, where IT Prof had a Saturday morning business meeting.  We returned home on Saturday night, walked into the house, and smelled the mercaptan that is used in odorless natural gas to warn people of the presence of natural gas.  This was especially unsettling because IT Prof and I both were congested and our odor detection systems were rather impaired.

So, we quickly exited the house into the cold night and called Missouri Gas Energy's emergency number.  Promptly a very pleasant man showed up to look for the problem.  The result was that there were three gas leaks in the new pipes for the water heater and one in an adjacent pipe for the furnace!  The MGE man said that the furnace pipe had probably been knocked out of alignment when the water heater was replaced.  The MGE man also was required to turn off the gas to the water heater and the furnace.  Thus, we were even worse off than we had been Wednesday morning.

I have been calling the plumber since Saturday night and leaving message after message on the answering machine.  There has been no reply yet.  Fortunately yesterday was not too cold, so we are managing with sweaters and such.  But, I am becoming increasingly more angry as the plumber continues to ignore us, especially since the phone number I am using is the one given as the "emergency" number on the plumber's website.

It is 7:00 a.m. now.   I probably will call the plumber every fifteen minutes until someone answers the phone.  We had better get our natural gas flowing safely again by, say, noon, or I am going to start specifying the names of the people involved on this blog and on Facebook.  I will also receive gladly any recommendations for a new plumber.

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