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.

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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.

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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.