While many of my neighbors are trying to get hot water in their houses, we’ve been longing for cold water.
See, we got our gas turned back on and a new water heater installed way back in November. All was well until we had most of the house re-plumbed in late July. Actually Coleman did a bang-up job, but there was one little problem: We’ve had hot water coming out the cold tap ever since.
I’m not talking about lukewarm water either. Everyone knows “cold” water isn’t really very cold in New Orleans in the summertime. But this was scalding hot, enough to brew tea. I put a thermometer in just to test; it maxed out at 110ºF. This was from the cold tap, mind you.
At first Coleman thought it was heat transfer of some sort, like a cold water pipe picking up heat from a hot pipe. So he insulated the pipes, but that didn’t solve the problem. Somehow we fell off his radar for a while after that, and we spent most of August and September brushing our teeth with hot water. Let me tell you, it’s a strange sensation to sit down on a toilet bowl full of hot water.
Coleman’s most recent theory was that the hot water heater wasn’t properly vented. But when he arrived at our house yesterday to look into the matter, he discovered the real problem. The rough-in valves he’d installed for our shower were wide open. This allowed backfeed and mixing of hot and cold water.
So he just closed the valves (yes, there are two — it’s going to be a nice shower) and now our cold water is cold again. And our hot water is noticeably hotter too.
Speaking of problems controlling the flow of water, if you really want to get your dander up, take a look at local blogger Matt McBride’s new post on Problems at the Floodgates. Seeing is believing.