Boil-water order

So this past Sat­ur­day we’re doing some clean­ing. It’s the last warm day of the fall, prob­a­bly (almost 25C, I’d war­rant — Swan Riv­er, three-ish hours north of here, was the hot spot in Cana­da that day), and so we’re wash­ing win­dows, hang­ing laun­dry on the line, that sort of thing. I went up and down the lad­der a dozen or so times, clean­ing the gut­ters.

My wife calls to me: “I need you inside, some­thing’s leak­ing.”

I think, Oh crap.

Our hot-water tank has sprung a leak.


I call around to some folks. First my dad, who’s not home. Then my broth­er-in-law in Win­nipeg, on the off chance he’s got some least expe­ri­ence with this sort of thing. “Blind pan­ic,” he advis­es. “Then maybe call a 24-hour plumber.”

I call the plumber. I have an elec­tric tank all ready to go, to replace the holed gas one. “$300,” he tells me. “Plus $92.50 for week­end pre­mi­um.” Even though I’ve got the new tank in the house already. “Plus you’ll need an elec­tri­cian to wire it to your pan­el.”

I’ll, uh, get back to you,” I say.


Because, see, here’s the thing — we are in the endgame of installing geot­her­mal heat, and part of the sys­tem is a pre-heat cycle for the hot-water tank. So we were going to have the elec­tric tank installed by the geot­her­mal guys, and use the gas tank as a hold­ing tank for the pre-heat­ed water. The new plan, of course, is to use just one tank, the elec­tric one. Some­time this week, it should all be done. All hooked up, ready to draw heat from the pipes buried in my yard, pipes that go down 100 feet ver­ti­cal­ly.

Long sto­ry short, if you come to my house in the next few days, don’t expect a hot show­er. The best I can do is boil water for your bath.