Water heater hell.

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After 5 days of heating water on the stove for sponge baths… life was pretty bleak. (not to mention stinky) But our plumber came through and replaced not only the malfunctioning control board but the two elements as well. For free! I’m not exaggerating when I say my first shower after the repairs was longer than most sexual encounters. (I’d say it was more enjoyable as well, but feelings might be hurt.) Life was good! For 3 whole days….

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Until the hot water ran out and the unit was flashing another error code. F3 means compressor failure…. which didn’t sound good at all. After hours on the phone with our plumber, the FW Webb supplier and the Bradford White manufacturer… it was determined to be programmed incorrectly and was quickly resolved. Yay!

But no. It was also revealed that Webb had taken a water sample because the destruction of the elements was so severe and unprecedented there had to be an organic cause.

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These were the results, which I don’t claim to know anything about. Yes, we have high iron. Our whole area does because we live on clay near the river. Naturally the plumber and supplier are saying we need a whole house filtration system which will cost somewhere near $5,000. If we need it, fine. But I wanted a second opinion and fired off a copy of the results to our next door neighbor who is high up in the state water department. He’s basically drinking the same water, so if he says we need one I’m more apt to believe it. His wife sent me his response…

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Ok, so they have moderately hard water. This may cause premature failure of the heating element. If they have a lot of calcium buildup inside the dishwasher I could see this being an issue in the hot water tank, or maybe they notice etching on their drinking glasses. The pH and hardness are safe to drink, no issues there. The pH along with the hardness can result in scaling within anything that has hot water touching it. Meaning pipes, fixtures, heating elements. Do they notice these things?

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We yanked out the dishwasher when we moved in, but have no etching on our glasses. We’ve never had trouble with our water, and we’ve lived here almost 20 years. The plumber came back yesterday and took more samples. Said they need to find out why those elements burned out so quickly. (because you know they’re not going to admit it was a faulty unit) Our neighbor told us to send along those results as well. It pays to know people.

And in case you’re wondering?

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Lord Dudley Mountcatten was not inconvenienced in the least …. and probably wonders why we don’t just lick ourselves clean.

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32 thoughts on “Water heater hell.”

  1. We once had a home with a well and high iron in the water. We just installed a simple filter in the water line – the interior filter had to be changed regularly – and that took out the iron. I don’t recall how much was involved, but I know it wasn’t $5000 even accounting for inflation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have hot water again, the second error was just incorrect programming. But the plumber swears something is wrong with the water and keeps testing. Personally I think the water heater was just a lemon.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What about a water softener? We used one on our well water and even the arsenic was less than negligible. Ugh. If you don’t have it in you, you need to find someone who will yell until you get another unit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really not a fan of soft water, but we may have to go that way. As for the unit, they replaced both elements and the computer control board… so basically we got a new unit.

      Like

  3. May I just say that I like your bean pot in the background of the last photo. Once upon a time I collected antique bean pots so my eye was drawn to it. Sorry about your hot water heater.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We have hard water, and it still took 20 years for enough calcium to build up on the coils to cause failure. We just replaced the hot water heater in its entirety. That was 3 years ago and still no issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just went thru a big scale issue at a work facility. The water pressure went to a trickle and the plumber had to basically do angioplasty on the pipes. Messy, expensive, tedious work. Can he run a camera in the pipes? That would show you more. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh. I feel your frustration. $5k for a filtration system is ridiculous. That is an unnecessary level of filtration. I hope you are googling the heck out of this.

        Liked by 1 person

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