Friday, July 14, 2017

The Saga of:
The Rinnai Hot Water Heater Replacement

When we returned from our trip to Oregon on May 20th, we discovered one of the two Rinnai water heaters wasn't working properly and called our local energy company (WOC) to come and take a look. They, or their Towanda office, had installed the originals when we built the house so they were the ones to look it over, diagnose the problem and perform repairs as needed.

Guy shows up the next morning and says they (the Mansfield office) and he personally don't do Rinnai heaters but some other brand, but he'll look it over. Came to me and said the automatic diagnostic program says the ignition fan was not functioning and needs to be replaced. Okay. So they ordered the parts and came back a few days later.

Turns out it wasn't the fan that needed replacing but the entire unit as there was a leak/crack in the heat exchanger which caused water to get into the fan and, thus, caused it to malfunction. No charge for the replacement parts I didn't need. We'll just send them back. Okay, order me a replacement.

Next day I get a call: they don't make that model any more but the new model has the same footprint according to the Rinnai people and it should be easy-peasy to pop in. Oh, and the unit we are replacing? That's been out of warranty for almost a year. Sorry.  Good and bad news, right? Fine get a new unit out here and get it installed.

A week later, they bring the new unit out. Take the old unit off the wall and hang the new one. All the incoming pipes (gas and water) and the outgoing water pipe simply plug into the new unit just fine. The exhaust, however, is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

The exhaust has an exterior diameter that's fine, but the interior pipe (the one carrying the hot gases) is a different diameter. They need to get a new exhaust pipe.

They come back today with the "right" exhaust pipe. It's got the proper diameters and everything. But the coupling from heating unit to pipe is wrong. Whereas the old pipe was male-female the new one is female-make and it needs a different gasket--which Rinnai did not send. Aarrgghh!

We're now on to week four of this dog and pony show. And I can't blame the guys from WOC. They've been told only partial truths by the Rinnai supplier. And the Rinnai supplier has not thought far enough into the project to realize what is needed. It's like some idiot robot only answering the specific question being asked with no thought as to what comes next. How could they not understand that replacing the old unit would require a complete new exhaust?

It's a good thing we had TWO heaters on the wall when this started and that we were able to by-pass one so we still get hot water.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Playing Hide-and-Seek

For several years I've seen what I originally thought was a pure black cat wandering through the yard. I never got close enough to determine the sex of that cat until this spring when SHE gave birth to a litter of kittens under the deck. That's when I noticed she wasn't truely black but more like dark, rich coffee with tints of brown swirling through her coat. She looked thin as a rail after giving birth so I started giving her a can of food every now and then. She was much appreciative and slowly became our outdoor cat. She would brush against our legs and bump into our hands as we spooned the can of food out onto a plate. We could stroke her and get a purr instead of a growl.

Eventually the kittens became large enough that she felt the need to move them to an undisclosed location I've yet to discover on the other side of the travel trailer.

The kittens grew and they began to appear on the lawn where they would stalk one another, attack grass stalks and bugs and generally do kittenish things. There were three of them. One gray tiger who seems afraid of the slightest noise and bolts for the other side of the trailer. I named it Tigger. One short-haired gay and white who is wary but not super wary of my opening the basement door to put food out. I haven't settled on a name for this one yet but it's got a white fur collar so maybe Prissy. (Now up to two cans of food a day plus a can of dry food and a bowl of water as all four are eating.) And the third kitten is nearly a twin of Miss Kitteh: long gray and white fur and ear tufts that stick out a mile. I call that one Fuzzball and it's the friendliest of the bunch.

Fuzzball will come to the food as I'm putting it out but I've yet to actually touch it.

This morning, while putting the food out, Fuzzball darted past me and into the basement through the slightly open door. It made a bee line to the dry food we have there for the indoor cats. After I finished putting out the food, I tried to get Fuzzball back outside but it darted around the boxes in the center of the basement and we went round and round. I couldn't leave the door open for fear we would have Coffee and Prissy joining us indoors.

I eventually lost sight of Fuzzball and things went silent. I searched under furniture and behind boxes to no avail. I think Fuzzy is still downstairs but I can't be sure. None of the other cats are helping to located the kitten. Might be a Code of Silence thing going on. Coffee and her other two are still under the deck and Coffee is looking longingly at the door. Could be she thinks I abducted her favorite--and she's being quite vocal about it.

Believe me, I'd put Fuzzy back outside ASAP--if I could find the little bugger.