Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Price of Hot Water
The 2013 'first weekend' in April had a modest goal: Install the Kitchen Tile and get the trimwork around the bathroom door so our guests in May could feel they had a modicum of privacy. We arrived on Saturday to find our friends up the street were in for the weekend and so promptly got together for a walk up the trail. I'm sure the neighbors shook their heads in disbelief, knowing that the logging road we were heading toward is essentially a river during 'mud season'. We soon found this out, but somehow managed to navigate half way up the mountain before finally admitting defeat. The boy stayed to play with their kids all afternoon and we met up again later for homemade pizza, wine and conversation. Very nice.
Sunday morning we set to work, deciding that we should finish sanding and priming before starting the tile work. We hung a drop cloth to keep the dust at bay and the LSW gamely set to work. Miserable job, that is, and the place was back to looking like a construction site. While she was at it, I began framing the windows in primed 1x4 joined by pocket screws. After a couple of false starts, I had it down to a system, and all of the windows were trimmed out by the end of the day.
The fault, it turned out, was mine. When we were setting up, I turned on the well pump and the hot water heater at the same time. I recall wondering at the time if I should do that, but the water tank is small and I figured it would fill before the element had time to heat up. Wrong. Apparently, without water to draw the heat off, the elements burn themselves out almost immediately. Fill the tank first, moron, and then turn on the water heater - that's why you installed a separate switch for each, remember? The electrician was kind enough to show me the $10 tool I'd need to replace the next one myself and save $250, so now I'm packing extras...
On Monday we covered the 10'x10' kitchen in 1'x1' tile with 3 accent strips and decided to spend the afternoon geocaching in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, the LSW got to work grouting while I installed the bank moulding on the windows and finally trimmed the bathroom door. By noon we were taking notes on all of the supplies we were running low on and packing up.