Thursday, May 15, 2008

From bad to worse

I got the water bill for the last three months and much to my surprise our usage spiked to almost double of what we usually use. I showed Michael, but despite all our best efforts, we couldn't come up with any good reason for the sudden change.

So, it's two weeks after we got the bill and as I was giving the children a bath the water never really got warm. Since it had been hot all day the water was comfortably cool, but in trying to adjust the temperature I finally turned off the cold water with only the hot spikett open but only cool water was coming out. I went down and asked Michael to check the pilot light. He said to wait longer for the water to warm up, but I insisted so he went out to check. I knew he found something bad when he turned the hot water off.

I went down, "You found a leak, didn't you" Apparently years ago when Michael's dad put the water heater in he installed copper piping directly to steel connections. Electrolysis. I went out to look. The whole water heater cabinet was soaking wet from the leak, the water heater was badly damaged and rusted. I guess it was just within the last three months that the connection finally gave up and started leaking.

Michael sent me down to the local hardware store to get 2 steel hoses. When I brought them back it turned out that they weren't long enough so he sent me back to get longer hoses.

His work truck was in the driveway, the Land Cruiser was blocked in so I drove his truck both times. I don't particularly like driving it because it's SO big and difficult for me to navigate. On my way back to the hardware store the second time I turned the corner and didn't swing wide enough so the back end of the truck hit a parked car on the corner.

I pulled over to asses the damage and try and contact the people whose house it was in front of. They weren't home so I left a note. I didn't have my camera either. I went home because by then the hardware store had closed and Michael had to go to the next city over before Home Depot closed at 9pm.

I went back about a half hour later to take pictures of the damage and the people were home so I knocked on their door. It was a guy and his girlfriend who lived there. It was his truck. He was nice and understanding.

I suggested that we could pay for the repairs out of pocket since they were minor. The tail light was broken, some paint scratches, and the bumper was bent. The girlfriend was a real (bad word edited out)....just a real nasty person. But I suppose she can be that way because she was "hot", as Michael put it.

The guy was OK with handling it privately, but said that it was probably a lot worse than I thought. He was saying that it was going to be two weeks to repair, car rental during that time and $5000 for the restoration. Uhh....

He wanted to get my driver's license information and insurance info (just in case), but since I just came back down to get pictures I left my purse at home. I drove back to get it. When I got back I went looking for the insurance card in the Land Cruiser (which would have been the wrong one anyway), but I couldn't' find it. I told the guy I could call him with the information, but the girlfriend must have thought we didn't even have insurance. When Michael pulled up right after I left he re-iterated that we would pay for it out of pocket. At that point the girlfriend accused, "Do you even HAVE insurance?!?" Michael started citing the vehicle code to them and shut her down. "Oh, you sound like a cop."

Right. I just hit your car with no witnesses and came back to tell you about it even though I don't have insurance. Duh!

I called the guy back with the insurance phone number and our policy number for the truck and left the information on his voice mail.

I want to to the right thing, but if the girlfriend makes things nasty and gets the insurance involved we could probably demand that they pay for half since they were parked in a red zone. It's probably red because that area is so close to the corner. When I was talking to them it came out that this isn't the first time their car has been hit sitting on that corner. No, REALLY!??
We did get the right parts for the water heater and Michael got it all put back together for hot showers in the morning. It's amazing how things can go from bad to worse so quickly. I should be happy. It could have been MUCH worse. The water heater is still working, Michael was able to fix it, we got to the other hardware store before it closed and got the parts for cheaper than the local store, nobody was hurt in the fender bender, and really...despite what spanky says, the damage wasn't that bad.

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