Friday, October 7, 2011

An explosion or a frosty rinse off

Living in a new country sets you back in a lot of ways. Most notably, in the ability to communicate (sometimes you have to get really creative), but also in things like home maintenance. Yes, Italians have washing machines, and hot water heaters, toilets and everything else, but they're all a little different than what I'm familiar with. Oh, and the troubleshooting instructions (if they have instructions at all) are all in Italian (and rightfully so).

We are going on something like 36 hours without hot water. When Mike was doing dinner dishes night before last he wondered why the water wasn't getting hot. I thought maybe it was because we had a load of laundry going.

Turns out something isn't right.

Mikey has spent a lot of time turning knobs willy-nilly and I have been looking at YouTube videos (I love this guy) and Googling "How to fix your hot water heater." We're brilliant. I know. This is a time I would normally call my dad, he would tell me what's wrong and how to fix it or say, "Call someone," if he knew the job was out of my league.

We tried following some videos, only our water heater doesn't look like the ones in the YouTube videos (shooting through roofs. Thanks Mythbusters). It's rectangular. And there are lots more pipes and wires and things inside. So I started Googling our make and model with words like "pilot light" and "gas water heater." Those searches returned things like this:

Man airlifted to hospital with burns after water heater explosion
"The explosion occurred at the center of the home near the water heater, which has a pilot light that could have ignited the gas."
New York Water Heater Injury Attorney
"The water heater turned on and the pilot light reacting to the fumes created a violent explosion"

This made me a little uneasy. I made Mike put down the matches, stop the troubleshooting, and go door to door asking for help.

Help should be coming this morning. We'll see.

Until then, I'm not showering. Or doing dishes. Or laundry.

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