It’s been a long time since I had to have cold showers but this past summer it was not by choice. My wife even partook in one or two much to her disgust. But back to the beginning―in the spring time.
Just after we had an enjoyable weekend with company, we noticed our house had no hot water. We were thankful we hadn’t run out while our company was here. But after a day and the tank hadn’t recovered, we started to investigate.
A couple of years back we had installed a new high-efficiency gas hot water tank. As with all new equipment it came with a plethora of paperwork. Fortunately I keep all the warranty materials in one box and write the purchase date on the front page. Thankfully I found the instructions for the tank―unfortunately most of the warranty was expired―it has been more than the two years I thought.
After a coffee and reading the manual, I checked the tank―yellow lights were on. The booklet explained how to reset the tank. It was simple. Everything fired up and we had hot water in an hour or so.
Things went fine for a day or two then one morning I noticed the water was getting cool. When I went downstairs to check the tank, those pesky yellow lights were on again. Once more I got things started but by evening my wife was mentioning the water seemed to be cool. Downstairs again and you guessed it―yellow lights. I reset the tank once more. We kept doing this for about a month sometimes having to reset the tank half-an-hour apart.
When I finally had enough and called the gas company, they informed me they had run a special cleaning chemical through their lines. It sometimes fooled the sensors in the newer hot water tanks indicating there was low gas pressure. The gas company recommended we wait a month. If we were still having problems then call back.
Well by now I had shown my wife how to reset the tank which she reluctantly learned as she is not mechanically inclined. The month went by with each of us taking turns to check and reset the tank. Some mornings were frustrating because neither one of us checked the night before. We learned to shower like we were in a holiday trailer.
The problem didn’t go away. Further discussions with the gas company did not solve the problem either. But one of our sons is a plumber/gas fitter so we called him. He thought it could be a build up of lime or calcium in the water that was causing the problem with the sensor. He gave me instructions over the phone and told me to look for them in the warranty booklet. That was not the problem. Talking more with my son, it now looks like a part will have to be ordered and replaced. Did I mention we live in a small rural town which has no plumbers, gas fitters or electricians? The closest one is 80 km.
The summer has now passed into fall and we are very grateful we only have to check the hot water tank once or twice a week. Most mornings there’s lots of hot water. The moral of the story…no matter what issues you have in your day be thankful you have a tankful of hot water.