Domestic Bliss or Not

If I ever get fat, it’ll be because we live eight minutes away from Bella Panini. They have some of the best pizza in Colorado. Which is a bit like bragging about being the tallest building in Tulsa, but still, Bella makes a damn good pie. Never heard of it? That’s because it’s a little mom’n’pop joint in Palmer Lake, which is a town you’ve never been to and probably never heard of. But for a no-stoplight town nestled in the bosom of the Front Range, it features some good eating.


Didn’t mean to talk about last night’s dinner. The real excitement around here is in the basement, where I keep my inner child chained to the water heater. I’m kidding about that last part, but one of the water heaters is on the fritz.

Got in the shower this morning and had to turn it all the way to hot, just to get the water comfortable. That’s not right. We keep our heaters on the “B” level, meaning that all the way hot is very hot indeed. You can’t just jack it up and jump in like a drunken frat boy. You’ve got to work your way up to it. And that, only when you really need to pound some sore muscles into submission.

So the shower was warm enough, if only just. Melissa asked if we should call the new plumber, who is doing the bathroom in the new basement, or somebody else. Answer: Anybody else. I’m still mad at the new plumber.

First time he came by to put in the tub and stuff downstairs, he noticed our water heaters were turned up too high, and weren’t set at the same temperature. Wastes gas, he told me. “Oh, sure, fix that please,” I told him. Then he fixed it way too much.

Ever get in the shower just a few seconds too early, and get that slight-but-still-unpleasant chill until the hot water kicks in all the way? Of course you have, we’ve all done that one.


Imagine an entire shower that feels like it’s going to warm up any second now, but never does. After I dried off, and stopped cursing, I went downstairs and cranked the heaters back up to B. Which can’t be wasting too much gas, because I think the knobs go all the way up to 11. Or at least to D.

Problem solved.

Next time the plumber came over, to fix a couple minor things the inspector noticed, he turned the water heaters back down to Just Cold Enough to Really Piss Me Off. He didn’t ask. He didn’t tell. He just decided where my water heaters should be set, and screw whatever I might think.

Needless to say, I got another cold shower. Also needless to say, we won’t be hiring him again. He can save the planet on his dime, not mine.

Anyway, today’s shower wasn’t that cold. Even with one of the heaters putting out cold water, the temp was still (barely) high enough for comfort. But it was obvious something was wrong.

Went downstairs expecting the worst — a giant flood. Pictures and CDs ruined. Water ankle deep. Raw sewage. Crocodiles, maybe.

Took a look at the heaters. All valves open. All pilot lights lit. Opened the taps to see which one was cold. The first one dumped a stream of hot water at my toes. The second one… trickled, then stopped. It was bone dry. With open valves. Go figure. It’s probably something horrible, like an alligator stuck in the pipes.


Anyway, the old plumber is here and I’ve wasted enough valuable blogging time on stuff no one could possibly care about, including me. But just in case you missed the message: Don’t hire any hippie plumbers.


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