On Friday afternoon, I commented to a coworker “I think I’ll try to spend some time in the basement this weekend.” That’s where my workshop is, and for some reason it’s relaxing just to hang out in the basement and put things in order.
Today I decided to get off my duff and install the new shocks I bought for Aimee’s car. They’re air shocks, so I had to drill some holes. After drilling the holes, I went to retrieve some tools from the basement.
The floor was wet. Our basement hasn’t been wet since we had a B-Dry system installed, and that’s been three years! My first suspicion was a leaking furnace humidifier, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. As I rooted around a bit, I finally noticed water coming out of the water heater…except that it was coming from places where is wasn’t supposed to be coming from!
So, it turns out that I really did spend time in the basement today. A lot of time. More than I could ever have expected! The really annoying part is that I probably aided the failure of our old water heater. We recently installed a water softener, and despite advice to install an expansion tank, I did not. Plumbing never turns out well, and there had previously been a softener installed without a tank. I was really afraid of upsetting our delicately balanced, non-leaking plumbing.
Today, of course, I finally picked up a tank when I bought the heater.
It cost $40 and installed with a saddle valve that pierced the copper line. If I had simply taken a few minutes to read about the expansion tank, I would have known that the installation was brain-dead simple, and I might have prolonged the life of our heater.
Of course, then I probably wouldn’t have spent time in my workshop today either.