Have You Experienced Homeowner Woes?

We became homeowners a little over 5 years ago. The decision was made after a lot of thought, research, and the realization that buying a home was definitely a better bargain than paying exorbitant rents. One negative to being a homeowner is the fact that any little repair falls into our hands, unlike apartments where the maintenance crew is just a phone call away. One can’t expect the best of both worlds, right?

One fine morning, about a month ago, as I was getting into the car parked outside, I thought I saw some water under the garage door. Neither had it rained nor are there any sprinklers near the area, so I opened the garage to notice a leaking water heater. Not a good sight when you’re rushing for work… I got into the car and called Mr. P and asked him to take a look. Later that evening, the plumber came by, inspected the heater, and said that it may need to be replaced. Surprisingly, though, the leak had stopped by then. He asked us to watch it and let him know if it leaked again. It didn’t until this Wednesday evening.

The damaged heater and base

This time the leak was more intense, with water dripping profusely from the top of the heater. The plumber came back and his first reaction was, “Why didn’t you turn off the main as soon as you saw the leak? If you leave it like this, it can cause water damage inside the house too.” Luckily that hadn’t happened yet. After an initial inspection, he told Mr. P, “We’ll have to turn off the main, you can go take a shower at your friends’ place.” At that instant my brain went on a spin, thinking which friend would be able to accommodate three extra people… then I was like, maybe we should go to Extended Stay (furnished rooms with kitchenettes) for a couple of days and celebrate Vishu in a hotel :-D. It didn’t come to that, however, because he left the main on and simply cut off the hot water (which we could live with).

Treasure from 3 decades ago!

Before leaving, the plumber scared us good by saying that we had to break the base of the heater open because water would have accumulated there. I was expecting a major flood in the garage, but luck favored us again, as it was just very wet. It had to be cleaned and dried with a fan. Mr. P got to work and after cleaning some of the debris, he came across a treasure… an empty pack of large McDonalds’ fries from maybe 30 years ago!!! I showed it to the plumber when he came the next morning and he wasn’t surprised; he said he has seen many such things including beer cans :-D.

When an engineer and his creative wife work together 🙂

Anyway, coming to the end of the water heater story, the plumber fixed it for us on Thursday night and we had running hot water (no, not the type in the movie Kahaani). Though our New Year started off with an unexpected expense, I guess it was worth it because the old heater was definitely counting its last days.

Have you experienced such homeowner woes? Do you have any tips for newbies out there? One tip I have, especially for folks here is to have either a good general contractor or specific service providers such as plumbers, electricians, painters, etc. in your contact list for emergencies like ours. Until I write again, stay safe, stay happy, and start building your contact list.

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