Monday, April 07, 2008

Beginnings and endings

Last week our hot water heater started acting up. Sometimes when we were using hot water it suddenly switched itself off. We called the gas company, and a man came and checked the heater. He told us that he couldn't tell what was wrong. If it was this, he said, then it would cost a little to fix. But if it wasn't this, it could be that, and it would cost quite a bit more. And if it wasn't that either, then we would need a new heater. In any case, he said, our heater was old and they only last 10 or so years anyway. We probably needed a new one, which would be quite a lot more.

What on earth is he talking about? Ten years is not old! Didn't stuff used to last longer? I still thought of that heater as a 'new' one. How could it have broken down already? How badly are these things made? And why do they cost so much when they so badly made?

Tonight I had shampoo in my hair when the water suddenly went cold. I did a little dance around the bathroom and yelled frantically. The Man turned the heater on again for me. (The controls are in the kitchen.) Then I applied conditioner and the water went cold again. This time The Man was unable to get it started again. Apparently it has died completely.

I used water from the bath (the bath water heater is NOT broken, and it is at least twenty years old, hallelujah and long may it last) to rinse my hair, but we are getting a new hot water heater SOON. The weather may have warmed up a little, but it's not THAT warm, and that was not a pleasant experience.

Today as I was cycling in the neighbourhood I noticed the cherry blossoms are at their peak. They are a little earlier this year. Usually classes have started already and I have very little time to see them. This time I managed to get pictures, and the sky was even blue.

Classes start tomorrow, and rain is predicted.


Don said...

They were already well started in Hibiya Park four weeks ago. Anyway, ten years is not old. Maybe the heater was imported from the U.S...

Hebron said...

Poor heater. Sounds like one of those legendary electrical shorts you can sometimes get. Like a loose connection or a fuse that refuses to die! I had one of those in a computer monitor. I smacked it hard one day, and half-fixed it. It never shut off again, but from then on it was only black and white. That lasted two weeks before I went batty and obtained the flatscreen :)
Oh, and 10 years is only old if no one ever maintains it. Which is what it sounds like.
Oh well, soon sounds good. Hope the installation/replacement is short and sweet!

kenju said...

The last time our water heater went bad, that's waht they told us too - only 10 years life expectancy. Things are built to be obsolete way too soon, nowadays!

torrygirl said...

I'm pretty sure the reason that things don't last as long any more is because they started out making everything really well, so that it would last forever - until they realised they would never make any money if no one ever had to replace anything.

I'm sure that's why really really old TV's and Fridges always keep on going and the new ones break all the time.

Anonymous said...

The cherry blossoms are they earlier this year compared to last year. Then maybe last year they were later than normal. I don't recall when they came out the year before that. That is what I find interesting.
I had planned on doing the scenic boat cruise on Ogawa river in Osaka on the 10th with friends. Turns out it was booked out 2 months ahead. Serendipitous perhaps.
The hot water heater has been changed since the earthquake hasn't it? Bummer though and those mid shower surprises are never welcome.

Keera Ann Fox said...

10 years fly by very fast, don't they. Here in Norway, they say that if you have a well-functioning water heat er that's over 10 years old, you're lucky.

Lovely cherry blossom photo! I never tire of those.

Lin B said...

This must be the month for old water heaters to expire: we just replaced the one that serves the whole house (14 years old; started leaking). It cost almost as much to get the new one delivered and installed as the price of the good-quality, energy-efficient, 12-year-warranty water heater itself. Is it like that there?

Badaunt said...

Don: I agree: ten years is not NEARLY long enough, especially for that price. I have a theory about that. (My next blog entry explains the theory.)

Also, I guess blossoms start later here. But they'll be well over now - it's pissing down, and I don't expect them to survive the rain.

Hebron: I don't think they're supposed to be maintained. Or if they are, nobody told us. Our bath gas heater has gone for over 20 years with no maintenance except for the time a spider kept making its home in the pilot light. Removing the spider solved the problem, but it had to be done a few times before it gave up. Now the bath heater works fine.

Kenju: I totally agree, especially with the price they charge!

Torrygirl: Yes, and that's why the bath heater goes on and on but the other one keeps breaking and having to be replaced.

Anon: Hello you! Yes, that heater was replaced AFTER the earthquake. It's new! And yes, the cherry blossoms are earlier than last year - I remember that classes had started already when they were in full bloom last year, so I missed them, mostly.

Keera: Yes, the cost of installing it is almost as much as the cost of the heater itself. Are we being ripped off OR WHAT???

Kay said...

The cherry blossoms against a blue sky made me nearly weep--I miss them (and Japan) so...the stories of the new school year were more natsukashii than glad the delicious Badaunt blog lives free!