Last night after we got home from shopping, Jean was doing the dishes when she discovered that we had no hot water. Since that is usually the signal for a flood in the guest room, I got up from my chair and went to the utility room to check. Sure enough, there was water on the floor of the utility room. On further investigation I discovered that the water came from a leak in the outflow pipe at the top of the water heater. Good news! the tank had not sprung a leak. I turned off the power to the heater and put some towels down to catch the water and went to bed. This morning I removed the leaking flex pipe and replaced it with a new one from Olson's Hardware, reset the breaker switch and turned on the power. Hot water! Huzzah! We dodged a bullet, instead of a $300+ water heater we only needed a $15 flex pipe.
I am beginning to understand better my neighbor Paul's frustration as he neared his last days. He had been a handyman all his life and near the end he was unable to do those simple repair jobs. The cost of hiring the job done is exorbitant and the loss of the ability to do it had to be painful. I found it harder to do this job because I have trouble holding on to the wrenches. When you have no feeling in your hands it's difficult to tell when you have a good grip on the tool and if it is aligned correctly. Had I been unable to do this job we would have been without hot water for at least a day or more. Getting a plumber to come to Vale is no easy task in itself and they charge $60/hr for travel time and there's no telling what the charge for the repair would have been. Thanks be to God that I can still do the fixing around here.