Monday, December 24, 2007

Water, Water Everywhere....

I think I need a drink...

Well, folks it's Christmas Eve and I'm relaxing on the couch with a cold cider and some warm long johns. It's been quite a day here. We discovered last night that our hot water heater has sprung a leak. A big one. And it soaked through the dry wall in the garage and drenched all of hubby's power tools and building materials.

So instead of spending the day wassailing and going for sleigh rides, we were hauling out the garage, drying off tools and ferrying a generous load of gooey drywall and limp cardboard to the dumpster. But it wasn't all bad.

Ok, it was.

There is no one to call at this point, since tomorrow is Christmas day and we'll be gone for part of the week on vacation. So hubby drilled some holes under the water heater to allow the water to drain into a bucket (remember, the hot water heater is what heats the house, so we can't just drain the whole thing and deal with it when we get back). Fortunately for us, our dog sitter is our next door neighbor and he said he'd keep an eye on it for us.

So as I'm hand-drying routers, sawzalls and drills, I'm feeling a little down about the whole situation. I mean, I'd love to replace the whole damn heating system with a super energy-efficient solar-powered on-demand water heater, whole house fan and heat pump, but we just don't have that much cash laying around. So I know I'm going to settle for replacing the much less efficient gas-powered hot water heater with another one just like it.

But then I started to think about how lucky we are to even have a home. At a time when many Americans are losing everything because they opted for an Adjustable Rate Mortgage - and helplessly watched their monthly payment swell out of control - we should be thanking our stars that I'm a nervous Nelly and opted for a fixed rate. Otherwise, we could be in the same position as many others. So at least we aren't losing our home. It's just disintegrating around us.

But the bottom line is this - Sometimes you do what you can. If cash weren't an issue, we'd be living in a totally green home surrounded by energy efficient appliances, with a wind-turbine outback and R-45 insulation in the walls. However, like most Americans, cash is an issue. A big one. And it sometimes prevents me from going as green as I'd like.

So I make the changes I can with the money or time that I've got and call it a day. What else can I do?

Merry Christmas to All, And to All, A Dry Night.


Wendy said...

If you can, you might consider going tankless on your water heater. We have a tankless (on demand) gas water heater (I wanted electric so that eventually we could switch to solar electric and have free hot water, but hubby had other ideas ... men! :). Anyway, our gas heater is super efficient. We've cut our gas usage by more than HALF!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, despite the leak ;).

Burbanmom said...

Oh, I wish I could. We looked int it, but our dingity-dang AquaTherm Heating unit requires a gas water tank, for some reason. So to go tankless, we'd have to replace the heating system too, which puts us out of budget... :-(

Leslie said...

Oh, I bet you could have thought of a million different things you would rather have been doing!
I am so sorry.
Did you know that major and minor appliances have ESP, and they can divine exactly how much cash you may estimate yourself to be ahead? And they talk among themselves to decide who gets to break down according to the checkbook balance? Sometimes if you get too far ahead, they seize the opportunity for two or more of them to go kablooie.
It's true.