Matched Set, and hot water woes

When doing my morning rounds, I used to get followed by at least Beep Beep and Butterscotch. Sometimes, other cats would come along, but it was usually those two in particular. That changed after they had their kittens. Butterscotch no longer even likes to be picked up anymore (I think it has become uncomfortable for her) and she’s become a lot more stand-offish. Lately, I’ve been seeing her as infrequently as the male cats.

Beep Beep is a lot more homey and, while she doesn’t like being picked up as much as she used to either, it doesn’t seem to be out of any sort of discomfort. She has started to follow me again in the mornings, and the kittens are beginning to expand their territory.

Even Big Jim came out to see what was going on.

It was the kitten that called for attention, first. Then Big Jim sauntered over, only for Beep Beep to burst out of where she was camouflaged among the spent flowers to fake an attack at him! 😀

Jim rarely lets us pet him, and he was really jumpy when I reached out to him, but he not only allowed me to pet him – he began rolling around on my feet, where he was joined by the kitten.

What a matched set these two are! I think it’s pretty safe to assume this is father and son! 😀

Of the males, only Doom Guy has been staying close to home, and he is quite sick. Lots of sneezing, snuffing and coughing, and the most terrible wheezing as he breathes. He would not be able to tolerate going to a vet, even if we had the money to do it – he’s not that socialized! On my to-do list today is to call the vet, anyhow, and ask if there is something we could get. Cat cold medicine, maybe? :-/

Another thing has been crossed off my to-do list. It took some telephone tag, but I finally had a talk to the plumber about our hot water tank that he installed just before our first Christmas out here. Over the past few months, the hot water has just been getting hotter and hotter. I’ve lower the temperature on the thermostat a few times, but after this last adjustment there was no change at all. The water is so hot, it’s become dangerous. At least we know that, if it gets bad enough, there is a pressure release on the tank, so at worse, we’d get hot water sprayed all over the concrete floor.

Not like with the old band-style tank we had, which were known to explode. Years ago, when living in the building my parents used to own, it had an old band heated tank, too. One day, the pipe at the top burst, with steam all over the place, called a plumber in. He replaced a few parts, added a shutoff valve, and extolled the virtues of this style of tank.

That didn’t fix it.

I believe is was just the next day, when the water got so hot and the pressure so high, it backed up into the cold water pipes, and up into the toilet tank. The lid was blown off and water sprayed the ceiling. The plastic parts of the riser in the toilet tank melted. My husband was using the toilet at the time. Thankfully, he heard strange sounds and stood up, just in time to not get seriously burned.

The pipes at the top of the tank burst again, and the basement was completely filled with steam – and an electrical smell!!

It was a long weekend, and we couldn’t reach the plumber. We ended up getting through to the owner of a local hardware store who not only sold us a new hot water tank, but came over and installed it for us!

As you can imagine, we’re still rather paranoid about stuff like this!

In talking to the plumber this morning, we was rather flummoxed as to why our tank would be doing this. He has not actually encountered this before. It could be the thermostat needs replacing. The tank is less than 2 years old, but there could be a factory defect. Except… it’s almost 2 years old, and you’d think a factor defect would have been a problem much sooner. We do have very hard water, so it’s possible that scale has built up inside, creating a false temperature reading, but he hasn’t encountered that, either. All the wells around here have hard water, so ours would hardly be unique to any of the other places he’s worked on in the area. I mentioned the sulfur smell we’ve been dealing with, but added that I don’t know that there’s any connection between the two. There shouldn’t be.

After talking about the situation, he said he would do some research and consult with some other plumbers he knows, then get back to me. We’re shooting to have him come out at the beginning of September (after pay comes in), so that gives him time to see what he can learn.

Hopefully, it will not take much to find the problem and fix it – and not cost very much, either. 😦

The Re-Farmer

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