The CFS way to win household battles: WATER HEATER, PART 3.

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.


Back down to the basement to try actually following the instructions (ha!) for draining and flushing.

Will take notes for y’all.

Okay, I’m back. I’m at the ‘wait ten minutes for the gas to dissipate’ step.

I am 100% sure it isn’t necessary, but who am I to argue with an instruction manual. Besides, I really need a break.

Here’s the recap (side note: we have now used ALL the adrenaline for the day):

Shut off the manual gas valve. It is not on the piping like the illustration, but all piping is connected, and I know if I follow it long enough, I will find the valve. There it is, conveniently located over my head, almost out of reach. Just almost.

Turn. This IS a manual valve, right? Designed for me to shut off the gas in a hurry in an emergency, right? I am tall (5’10”), REASONABLY strong, female. It doesn’t budge. Reassess.

Re-read. Nope, it’s supposed to be manual – there is no tool being used in the illustration. Try again. Ah. If you use all the strength in you hand, finally, it budges. Make note: do not reincarnate as anything smaller. It seems a nicely designed valve, with positive positioning, and a logical orientation of the nub – crosswise to the pipe – when it is closed. Designed for men.

Locate cold water shutoff valve on top of water heater. This one’s easy: easy to reach, big long handle, a blue plastic circle around the base – MUST be the cold water shutoff. The gas shutoff people could learn something here.

Close it.

Now it says to open a hot water faucet nearby. Basement sink is nearby. Big laundry-and-everything-messy sink. I question this one, but okay, it’s their instructions. Out comes, not a gush, but a medium sized trickle. So far so good.

Attach the hose to the drain. Methinks that should have been done before the previous step, but let’s do it. Done. Hose is long enough to go into the sink. It goes from a few inches above the floor on the water heater, up and over the sink edge, and down into the bottom of the sink.

Now, open the water heater drain valve. Hmmm. Looks as if it would take a dime or a big screwdriver. Go fetch.

Open the valve.

Not much water coming out. I presume the sediment is blocking all the way to the drain valve. Hmm. Shouldn’t the water pressure of five feet of…

SURPRISE! And I KNEW I should have expected this one, somewhere in the very back and bottom of the CFS brain: Hose suddenly filled with water BUCKS like a firehose, sprays water EVERYWHERE (including yours truly, who is now soaked all down the front of her long dress (don’t ask) and sweatshirt), and who, by the time (only a few seconds real time) she subdues the hose, is laughing hysterically.

Makes a MUCH better story for y’all, so you’re welcome.

Makes the stack of towels, etc., brought from the kitchen seem a bit piddling, and the water is heading toward the rug.

I no longer care.

Then I stand there (this is the anticlimactic part, so don’t say you weren’t warned), soaked, literally, to the skin. I methodically fill the tank, flush and drain the tank, letting the water run several times until I can no longer feel sediment coming out.

I spread the towels around – it’s only water, mostly clean by this point.

I read the re-lighting instructions, turn the pilot off, take the little access door (which is not longer hot) off, and set off to bring everyone up to date while waiting the MANDATED ten minutes, even though there is no gas smell.

No gas smell – that’s gotta be good, right?

(Part 4–>)


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