In which, for your amusement and/or edification, I take you through the steps one person with CFS (PWC) takes to repair a misbehaving appliance.
Continuing with the manual (creatively written in approximate English):
Oh. They provide drawings – actually legible, and with the parts labeled. Good for them.
So that’s where the pressure relief valve is! Good thing I didn’t actually succeed at opening it to test it when I first tried (according to their instructions) – because, if I had, I would have gotten scalded by water coming out of a copper pipe which ends about shin level.
Nope. We need to use the bucket for that. Good. I brought a 5-gallon bucket from the garage when I got the hose. Foresight!
The next steps, which I will report on after I try them, will involve getting ready for one or the other of these ‘required’ maintenance steps, following the instructions, and making sure things are back where they were when I started. Hmm. Maybe I should take a picture? Thank God for digital cameras.
I should have taken a picture when they were installing it. I can still remember the very large plumber trying to fit himself into the space where it is installed, next to the furnace. Very large plumber. Seemed perfectly competent – but it was still very interesting as an exercise in getting a large person in a small space.
First report – pressure relief valve:
We decide, CFS brain and I, that we will attempt the valve cleanout first. After all, the manual says ‘Lift valve slowly. Make sure it closes and doesn’t leak afterward.’
Doesn’t seem too hard.
Of course the water heater was installed so close to the leg of the basement sink that the bucket cannot be fit into the space in any way. Hmmm. Grab giant water bottle. Nope. Grab empty bleach bottle, smaller and shorter – that just happens to be there because I’m supposed to clean out the furnace pipes with bleach once a month. Nope – but we’re getting there. Plastic pitcher – the kind where the whole top comes off. Okay! That one will fit – but the top of the discharge pipe is perilously close to the top of the pitcher, so the pitcher should be elevated a bit.
What do we have handy? Okay. The wooden chinchilla house – 10” tall? – Gizzy refused to take to it, so it’s ‘stored’ in the basement. Perfect. Square. Sturdy. Only partly chewed on.
Lift the pitcher. Perfect! the end of the discharge pipe is now half-way down into the pitcher.
Ready? Lift the pressure valve slowly.
Oops! Water rushes out, violently half-fills the pitcher, sploshes all over the floor! Quick, close the valve! Oops, still leaking water! Make sure the darn thing settles.
Phew. No more water out, the valve is nicely closed.
Now, of course to deal with the water on the floor.
What? Why didn’t I realize that doing anything in the basement with water from a low source is going to result in water on the floor headed toward the rug? Remember – I gave you fair warning: CFS brain. Oh, right.
So. Fold up the edge of the rug. Go up to kitchen.
Return with an assortment of ‘things that soak up water’ and place them in the appropriate places.
Okay, while they’re sopping up, I repeat the process with the valve a couple of times because the first time I did it the water that came out was all brown and icky looking. After 3 more tries, nice clean water, no great pressure.
We’re done, except for the mopping, with that one. Woo-hoo!