Aug 122006

Yesterday morning I went to the manager’s office and presented our evidence that the water heater had gone insane. Super-Hot Manager was not there today but Accountant-in-Training guy was. When I told him about the little timing experiment me and the wife did, his eyes glazed over. He asked me if I was an electrician.

I said, “No, but I can count and do math. With the water heater breaker on, I’m using ten times my normal power.”

Confused, he got out Maintenance Guy. M-G expressed disbelief. He had just checked the water heater yesterday and the elements were fine. The heater was working right.

I asked, “Is it possible it is working right, but is working all the time?”

An hour later, M-G confirms that yes, there is a problem with the water heater. There is a release valve that is supposed to drain off water in certain situations. That valve was broken and was releasing all my hot water as the water heater made it. M-G was a bit upset that he didn’t figure it out, but I was just thrilled it had been figured out.

So I spent the next few hours helping M-G replace the valve cause I’m a hands on kind of guy. I even got to break out my neglected toolbox from when I worked at a car factory. M-G was stunned that I was willing to get dirty and take apart pipes with him, but he decided I was an alright guy for a tenant.

We replaced the valve and believe me, I have been checking the meter every few hours. It is now working at a sane pace. I was told to come by Monday morning to talk to Super-Hot Manager and she would contact the power company about reducing my bill.

If I have one lesson to take from these three days of stress, it’s this. Although Super-Hot Manager was helpful, nothing would have been accomplished if I hadn’t been a total pest about it. I don’t think companies are evil, I just think they are filled with people who are trained to be skeptical and to act when given no other choice. It was only when I vigorously fought on my own behalf did I get things changed. I know that sounds simple, but you would be amazed how many people advised me that I would never get anything done because I was not a lawyer or rich. It makes me wonder if middle class America has a roll-over and submit attitude. It makes me more aware of the general sense of hopelessness that seems to be us as an income bracket and as a country.

Fuck that.

Now excuse me, I am going to take a long hot shower.

  2 Responses to “The Case of the Leaky Water Valve”

  1. Years ago a friend and I came across a cheery motto (If it’s going to be, it’s up to me) that we of course mocked mercilessly.

    Hey what do you know, I’ve learned: it’s true.


  2. I’m glad it worked out. They should be able to do something about the bill.

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