I went inside and was going to try to contact Dave when I got a call from my neighbor, Lynn, who thought I was still in Idaho. Our gardener had noticed the leak (it flooded the back yard), opened the cabinet to turn off the water, and contacted our neighbors to try to get hold of me. Whew! What a nice yard keeper I have! It's comforting to be surrounded by such dependable people.
I called the water heater manufacturer to report the problem with our 3-year-old tank, and they confirmed it was still under warranty, minus labor, and put me in touch with three local plumbers. The one I was able to reach quoted me $350, plus installation parts. Wow! I didn't know what else to do, and they were able to have me fixed up within hours.
I told my neighbor, for some reason, and she said that price was highway robbery. She called a local supplier, explained that my husband is deployed, and that I have a baby, and really played up my plight. The supplier said they had the replacement unit and would do the paperwork for me if we could come and pick it up.
Axel was napping from the hike, and I couldn't go with them to get the tank, so they went for me! Wow. Thanks, John and Catherine! They got my new tank, called their plumber/firefighter friend, and arranged to install it in the morning.
Gerry the Firefighter had the old unit out and the new one in within an hour, and he hauled off the old one. Gerry, Catherine, and John, we don't know how to thank you enough! THANK YOU!!!
IN THE MEANTIME, Friday, after the hike, we had to fend for ourselves with no hot water and nothing but a trickle of cold. I boiled water to wash bottles and dishes, and I used boiled water and a CamelBak to rig a little shower to rid myself of the filth from our hike.
That evening, Deb invited us over for dinner, and she said I could bathe Axel there. After a delicious plate of fish tacos and a romp with Ollie the Cat, we put the kids in the tub. Take a look at the pics for the whole story.
The babies and Ollie the Cat actually caused a crowd of adoring gawkers to gather on the sidewalk to admire the spectacle. Axel just loves kitties!