Thursday, April 15, 2021

Spring In The Rockies A.K.A. Here It Comes Again!

 Snow, that is. 

We've had some flurries the last couple of days, but this is the first time any of it has stuck around.

So far, we've got several inches, some of which melted as it was coming down earlier.

I sure hope this doesn't knock the buds off the crab apple tree like it did last year. The tree was just starting to show signs of activity the last few weeks, and the branches were getting some color. Hope the snow doesn't shock it into dropping everything like it did last year.


And there's 3~5" more forecast for overnight, with lows in the mid 20's. Gonna be a mess for the Friday morning commute. Lots of scanner traffic on the Larimer and Weld County road crew frequencies, mostly where they were de-icing. Bunch of calls for tow trucks, too, with one pick-up truck being "Several Hundred Yards Off The Highway". That's gonna be an expensive tow!

And SLW has declared to water heater to need replacement as a preemptive strike. I put a new thermostat in it last year, as it kept tripping the "Overheat" switch, which shut it down. I was going to replace both heaters, too, BUT (always one of them) I couldn't drain the tank. The drain valve turned easily, but after an initial trickle of water, it stopped draining. This heater was installed on 12-23-08 per the installation tag, so it's pushing 14 years. It's probably full of sediment blocking the valve, as the water here is pretty hard. It makes plenty of hot water for my showers, but SLW enjoys a good, HOT soak, and has complained since we bought the house that she can't get a full tub of HOT water.

Her standard of "Hot Water" is "HOT Water". I mean, like OUCH hot to me. I don't see how she can stand it, but hey, the O-6 wants HOT water, and By God, she's gonna get it!

The heater is down in the back of a closet in the basement:


WAY in the back:

The big white pipe running vertically in the foreground is part of the "Radon Mitigation System" the house has installed in it. I was thinking of various ways to drain the thing, short of drilling a hole in it, and my inner Engineer told me to:

1) Shut off breaker and water supply

2) Open hot water faucet in downstairs (lowest point) bathroom to drain as much "hot" water out of the upper stories as possible

3) Disconnect the supply pipe and connect an air fitting to it

4) Connect an air compressor to the fitting and apply air pressure to blow the tank empty via the open hot water faucet in the next room.

And they probably know a way to do it that takes five minutes......!



10 comments:

  1. Do yourself a small favor and get the water heater up off the floor on some cinderblocks makes fixing on them easier & what not. its a pain in the ass lifting the damn thing up, but a good idea . I just replaced my old water heater, and my Nephew who is a plumber shared that tip. also could save the unit if the basement floods a little

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll talk to the installers when they get here.

      Delete
    2. IIRC, CA requires water heaters to be mounted maybe 16"-18" above the floor, sitting in a water tub with drain. Even the high pressure blowoff valve must be plumbed to an outside drain. Also a water hammer tank is now required.

      I think the height above floor might be to raise the flame above a flammable gas layer, since most of them are in the garage, and/or are using natural or propane gas to create the heat.

      Delete
  2. Whenever I think of Colorado, this song from a National Lampoon Woodstock parody comes to mind.....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBDXCr5kuJs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAH! I have a copy of "Lemmings" around here somewhere.

      Delete
  3. Since the unit is arguably filling up with sediment, it's only a matter of time before the lower heating element becomes fouled & starts burning out. Better to replace, darn it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's complained about this since we moved in here. I just hope after they're done that she can get a full tub of HOT water!

      Delete
  4. Thought about a tankless water heater to replace it? Then SLW will get ALL of the HOT water she wants. The problem though may well be getting the electric set up for it. Those things are current hogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are generally installed at the "Point Of Delivery". It would require a lot of replumbing in each bathroom, the kitchen, the laundry, and would cost significantly more. One of our neighbors looked in to it, and it also requires upgrading the feeder to the house from the transformer vault at the corner, and the main service breaker.

      Delete
  5. How big is it? From the pic, it doesn't look to be over 30 gallons- which also could be a problem filling a tub with HOT water.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it civil, please....

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