Where’s the Hot Water?

You must step into the shower, close the door, and huddle against the left side as you reach out with your right arm to turn the water on. Within five seconds the water will be hot and you can adjust it to a comfortable temperature. We have recirculating hot water because this location is so far away from the hot water heater. The convenience is so nice. Once in a while the timer gets off you find yourself waiting an eternity for hot water. Fortunately that doesn’t happen often.

On this day, the water spraying down on me was warm-ish. I waited another minute, thinking it will warm up, but it stayed the same, warm-ish. Thoughts of hot water heater going out jumped into my mind. Panic is beginning to set in. I hate dealing with plumbing issues! What should I do? Do I turn off the water and relay this news to my husband now or finish my shower? Will the warm-ish water last through hair washing?

I decide to take a chance that my water won’t get colder and complete this shower, including hair washing. The water temperature has not dropped, as I suds at warp speed. I think, this is the temperature I would like if it were a hot summer day and I had been doing something strenuous. This would cool me down. However, it is a cool winter day and as I finish, I am shivering. I even used the hair dryer down my back to warm me up!

Now, I must say something to my husband about this problem I have discovered. He also, does not like dealing with plumbing issues. “I think there may be something wrong with the hot water heater because the water was tepid when I took my shower.”

“Maybe not,” he replies,  “I put an insulation blanket on the hot water heater yesterday, so maybe I bumped the timer. I tried to be really careful.”

I go out to the furnace closet in the garage, which is where the hot water heater is to check. I check the timer dial. No, it is set right. Now I am starting to worry, but I remember the temperature dial is on the outside of the hot water tank. I uncover part of the insulation blanket and discover the dial has been turned down to warm. Usually it is half way to hot. There is the reason I shivered my way through a shower! I turned the dial, and immediately I hear the whoosh sound of it igniting. Oh, what a wonderful sound! Relief warms me as return to report my findings. Thank goodness the problem was solved easily this time. But what about the next time?


12 thoughts on “Where’s the Hot Water?

  1. Oh yes…the anxiety that can ensue when those comforts are threatened! I was wondering if you had time to go jump back in the shower to warm up? So glad you heard the reassuring whoosh!

  2. Yikes! I hate these kind of “homeowner” issues. So glad it had an inexpensive solution! I was hearing the sound of KA-CHING in the background for a minute there.

  3. You’ve touched all of us with this one! What anxiety when something happens! Our hot water heater went out as we were headed out on a day road trip this summer. I thought I’d throw in a load of clothes first, only to find water all over the floor in the basement. We didn’t go, but waited for the plumber. You told this so well, Elsie, checking this, checking that, hoping, hoping. That’s what we do, isn’t it?

  4. TGH says:

    LC, you filled me with fear and dread. I strongly dislike the whole idea of changing a water hearter. No matter how new, we are all on borrowed time with plumbing…Ugh!!!

  5. Shampooing at warp speed – that is my daily ritual, but not without HOT water (the one luxury – other than freshly brewed coffee) that I MUST have every morning. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that water heater, Elsie.

  6. Elsie this was a mystery story. A problem that required an answer. You made a household issue intriguing for the reader. It is absolutely essential to be at ease in the shower!

  7. I like the way the story moved in real time — my mind was flashing back to all the times I have encountered similar situations in the shower, and I was exploring the possible causes of the problem right along with you! (Sometimes our hot water just runs out for no reason and then goes back to perfectly normal the next day, so I’m used to this problem occasionally…) Glad to hear that nothing was really wrong!

  8. So glad you have hot water without having to call a plumber! I love the image of using your hair dryer on your back to warm you. Shivering after a shower is no good. I wonder, once you fixed the temperature did you get back in?

  9. You captured that worry that comes with home ownership (appliance and machinery ownership) that I know all too well. I’m glad that the hot water heater is working. Tepid showers in the winter just don’t cut it.

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