Life in progress

I think something’s fishy


For the past couple of months the water coming out of my water heater has been getting colder and colder. It’s to the level now that I can turn the shower on full-hot, do (only) what I have to in there, and get out to a mirror that hasn’t seen steam in weeks. The water heater is a rental, so I called the company to come and fix it.

Today a contractor came out to have a look. To start with, he ignored both the puppy and the cute kitty, so that was one strike against him already.

He felt the pipes coming out of the water heater and asked me to turn on the tap. I did. Then he asked me to compare the temperature ofΒ  the pipe going out to the wash basin compared to the pipe coming directly out of the hot water tank. After being told it was too hot for him to touch, I held it. And held it. I had to admit it was a bit hotter than the other one, but not nearly as hot as he claimed it to be. Strike two.

Next, he told me it’s definitely the “mixer pipe” at the top of the tank, where the cold and the hot mix to regulate how much goes out so no one scalds themselves. “We only put these regulators on for the very young, the handicapped, and the elderly,” he said. “Everyone else has the sense to turn the cold on if the water’s too hot.” With a young son, a handicapped son, and an elderly mother that comes to visit, my thought was “Strike Three.”

You’d think that would be enough, but he got one more strike in before he left. “Do you have cash? Because, I don’t like to paint everyone with the same brush but people who’ve given me cheques in the past have ended up bouncing them and not paying. I can fix your mixer pipe for $200. Cash. It’s not covered under the rental of the water tank.”

Would you trust someone who doesn’t trust you? Or is he just a poor plumber who can’t get paid? Sounds fishy to me.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

61 thoughts on “I think something’s fishy

  1. Pingback: Something fishy may cause disease – the saga continues | Linda G. Hill

  2. Could be the heating elements. I live in Florida where the water has so many minerals in it that the elements get caked with them. I have to change them every couple of years.


  3. Pingback: My Article Read (2-26-2016) – My Daily Musing

  4. Trust your gut. Just reading this makes me not trust him. I wouldn’t have given any money, either.


    • Luckily I didn’t even have to think about it – I’m bad at making split-second decisions where having things fixed is concerned – because I don’t have any cash in the house anyway.


  5. I’m not sure I understand the concept of renting a water heater, how does that work exactly?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. *SMH* Some people! He definitely sounds like a scam artist and I’m glad you’re talking with the rental company. I’ve never heard of a water heater being rented, but I guess that’s one of the things that’s different about Canada, eh?


  7. No Linda, I wouldn’t trust that guy at all. $200 is highway robbery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We had an almost word for word identical repair two weeks ago. The mixing valve was gunned up with minerals. The price is about right but almost any plumber can do it. One that has three strikes and then swings and misses at a forth attempt doesn’t deserve you business. Just my 2, maybe 3 cents.


    • If it’s really the problem then I might bypass the entire issue by getting a tankless system, which I’ve been thinking of doing for 3 years anyway. And if it’s a rental, it won’t cost a thing. Thanks for your input, Dan. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That would definitely be frustrating… and fishy. I hope there are other contractors you could contact. Best wishes with this one, Linda


  10. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d be calling someone else out. ARGH!!


  11. Smells a bit fishy to me, too. I would also say check the temp dial, and the pilot light, as well.


  12. I smell fish!


  13. I would definitely call up the ladder report all of the strikes and I would not pay cash. If the problem is not corrected, soon, I’d be looking for another company.


  14. I would agree that this guy is not exactly on the up and up. If you are renting this unit, then they should replace it for you. If it’s an older unit, it’s not worth repairing, because a new one is only about $300 at Lowes.

    Also, as other commenters have said, check the temp dial and turn it up if you can.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. you know the answer…you way too smart!!! call his boss and ask him to approve the $$$…

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Uh, no, I would call someone else.
    We don’t have a regulator on our temp either. It took Moo some time to adjust, because we always had one before and I’m pretty sure they’re standard SINCE I’VE NEVER LIVED WITHOUT ONE AND I’VE LIVED IN ABOUT 30 PLACES. (That may be a US code thing. I dunno.) I second Paul’s comment to check your temp dial.
    Definitely call someone else.
    I presume you have hunted out YouTube tutorials and the like?


  17. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    Also cash does not leave a trail, if the work proves to be faulty what is your come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You haven’t said anything about how old the tank is, if +7 years then it’s near the end if its’ lifecycle, and probably needs replaced. If not, then I have to ask, not knowing where in the world you live, if you drain it every 6 months. Hard water will build up calcium deposits, and when enough build up the water can’t get as hot.

    Now, it could very well be the mixer as he says, but I would get a second opinion on that. $200 sounds reasonable for the job (considering how much plumbers get paid).


    • The tank’s only about 5 years old. There’s a distinct possibility it’s lime and calcium buildup; we have very hard water here (here being Ontario, Canada). And no, I don’t drain it every six months, though from what I’ve read it doesn’t help much. I’ve read online how I can scrape the deposits off, but it’s a very involved process. I may ask the rental company what they recommend – but I don’t want the same contractor back. Thanks for your input. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I would agree, it definitely sounds fishy! The cheek of some people… If I were you I would tell the rental company that this guy was not professional and they need to send another to fix the heater.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s a scam Linda -pay nothing. the rental fee that you pay month in and month out and have for years, covers all repairs and/or replacement – you should not have to pay one penny. And that is why he wants cash because it is untraceable. Call whoever you rent the tank from and tell them to bring a new one. Most are not fixable. I would suggest you try one thing before you do that (oh and by the way most mixers are at the faucet level behind the wall not on the water heater – that way if a faucet needs a mixer – say a tub faucet – they get it whereas faucets not requiring it don’t).

    At the base of the water tank there is a dial (it is poorly marked if at all but it is the only dial there) and that dial regulates the temperature of the water inside. It’s about the size of the bottom of a water glass and has a finger grip that turns inside a housing. Depending on what type of tank it is there may be piping or wires connected to it. Don’t be shy to crank it – usually clockwise is hotter and counter clockwise is cooler. Turn it all the way and give it a few minutes and then try your hot water faucet and see what the temp is. I will tell you this – most tanks will deliver water far hotter than you want, so if you get the water hotter, turn the dial back a bit at a time, trying the water until you are satisfied with the temperature.

    If that doesn’t work, then call the supplier – you have paid for that tank many times over the years, don’t let them try to collect more money form you.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve been busy doing research, partly based on your comment and partly on others. The plumber swore there was no point turning up the heat on the tank (based on his feel of the pipes) but there’s a good chance the mixer valve is at fault anyway. There’s also a good possibility that there’s a calcium buildup that’s the reason behind the problems. Rather than fight (though I will try to get this resolved, but if I can’t) I may just switch to a tankless heater, making this one a non-issue. I WILL complain about the contractor though. I don’t want to have to deal with him again. In the meantime, I’ll try (again) to find the thermostat.

      Liked by 1 person

Don't hesitate - jump right in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.