April 28, 2016

Home repair

Jerry and I have lived in this house ever since we got married nearly 13 years ago. Neither of us had any clue about home maintenance, so we've just been dealing with issues as they come up. After about 10 years, we started having little things here and there that needed to be replaced, but luckily, we haven't had anything major happen.

Yesterday evening, I went into the utility room to feed the cats, and I noticed water on the floor. The only place it could have come from was the water heater. We've known for a while that the water heater would need replacement soon, but we kept putting it off (word of advice--don't put it off! ha). I called Jerry at work to tell him about the water heater, and he ended up coming home. My brother Brian came over as well (he does all sorts of DIY stuff, and Jerry didn't have any idea what to do about the leak). I noticed that the floor felt kind of soft in front of the water heater, so Brian and Jerry pulled back some of the linoleum to check it out.

The floor surrounding the water tank was totally rotted from water damage!

We couldn't see it before because the linoleum covered it up. It wasn't until I stepped down and felt a soft spot on the floor that I realized something was wrong.

Anyway, I was shocked when I saw it! Brian and Jerry took the water heater out, and from the looks of it, it clearly should have been replaced a long time ago. They also had to take out the washer and dryer. They pulled up all the linoleum, and then the subfloor. I couldn't believe what a disaster the whole thing was.

By 10:00 pm, the room looked like this:

I wish I had a before picture, but I wasn't exactly planning on renovating ;)

I knew that I wanted to get a tankless water heater. They're more expensive up front, but they're very energy efficient and we won't run into this problem again later on. Jerry's dad and Brian came over this morning, and the three of them worked on the room all day. Brian set up the gas and water for the new water heater, which required tearing out a lot of the wall. Then they had to put in a new subfloor, repair the wall, and hang the water heater.

The water heater is the size of a carry-on suitcase! Soooo much smaller than the 40-gallon tank we had before. Now, we'll have a lot of extra space in that room (we keep the litter box and cat food in there, as well as the washer, dryer, and furnace).

The water heater is that white box. It heats water as you use it, rather than heating and storing it in a tank. Brian has one and he loves it.

Now, we have to finish the walls and floor, but at least we have hot water! Jerry and I learned a lot about home maintenance, too--I had no idea that water heaters actually have a "life expectancy". And I'm sure ours wasn't expected to last 13 years! ;) Jerry learned how to replace flooring, which will come in handy when we redo our bathroom next year (another project that we've been putting off).

This whole thing was a disaster, but interestingly, I wasn't stressed about it. I think that going to psychotherapy every week has been helping with my anxiety. Normally, this sort of issue would have sent me over the edge, and I would have been super stressed over it. But even though the house was torn up and we had to spend a lot of money on the credit card, I felt calm about the whole thing.

I had a great day yesterday and today with getting back to feeling peaceful about food, too. I've been eating what I want, and counting the calories for it, and I don't feel anxious about it. I think writing yesterday's post was almost therapeutic in a way, because it helped me sort out my thoughts about the bad week I had. Speaking of eats, check out what Brian brought the kids from Japan! They requested Japanese candy, so Brian fooled them with this dried squid before giving them actual candy.

I ate one of them, just to try it (I love to try new things) and I was surprised that I actually really liked the texture of it (it was like jerky). But the taste was kind of fishy, and I wasn't crazy about it. Still, it was interesting to try!

Tomorrow, I may be going to Pinckney again with Nathan to do a long run on the trails. This week is off to a great start, despite the utility room disaster!


  1. It was interesting to learn about the tank less water heaters-- it sounds like that is the way to go.

  2. We had that happen to us at our old house. Had to tear out the floor... oh what a mess. Home ownership is no joke. There is a lot to be learned! :) Glad you were able to stay stress free under crazy circumstances.

    And, EWW!!!! to the squid. Just eww.

  3. I bought my house new in 2004. I never thought to check the water heater for replacement. I've never done that before. Thanks for the information. I've not had any problems, but I think after 12 years it's maybe a good time to start looking into a new one.

    1. Ours was new in 2003, so about the same age. Definitely look into a new water heater now! It will be so much easier to replace if it doesn't leak and cause water damage, like it did for us ;)

    2. I just went out and looked. The water heater looks brand new. It's crazy. I think I'll put a reminder on my calendar to check it each month. It's on a cement slab so I don't think it would cause as much damage as yours did. Still, I'd rather take care of a problem before it happens.

  4. Sorry you guys had to go through this but great way to look at all the positives that happened! Also, don't forget to check with your homeowners insurance. Some of the damage may be covered.

  5. We have a tankless hot water heater and love it! It takes a few extra minutes of water running for it to get hot (since it is heating up the water on demand) but it is great and you never run out of water! One maintenance issue we just learned about a few months ago... tankless water heaters require an annual "flushing" or they won't be as efficient, can lapse your warranty, and can make them not last as long. We learned that after owning ours for three years... whoops! Enjoy lots of hot water! :)

    1. That's good to know! I will add that to my calendar right now, so I don't forget. Thanks!

  6. I am so impressed with the DIY! To be honest, the stress involved would have sent me straight to the phone book (ok, the internet, I haven't picked up a phone book in at least a decade) to find someone to save me. Well done Jerry and team. Way to keep your cool too. :)

  7. I feel your pain - our dishwasher had a slow leak and we didn't know about it. A whole kitchen reno later my husband has learned to lay flooring also.

  8. Congrats to you for not overly stressing! It looks great now, and I've never heard of tankless water heaters, how neat!


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