June 3rd, 2006


water heaters

One of my colleagues mentioned a few months ago that all houses have bugs. I think I discovered one in our new place. The hot water heater seems to have insufficient capacity to fill our spacious bathtub with hot water. Which begs the question of how the previous owners used it, but perhaps they didn't so much. We managed to get it mostly full last night by setting the heater to the hottest setting, waiting for it to heat up, and putting two people in the tub, but there was still 3-4" of height that could have been added before we reached the overflow drain, which may have served to cover the upper part of my torso. (fanlain was just fine.)

I'm a little dissatisfied with this (and I'm wondering how the previous owners lived with this issue), so I started looking into the cost of hot water heaters. They're surprisingly inexpensive — I was expecting them to run on the order of many thousands of dollars. But after some thought, I realized that perhaps a flash heater is really what I need. Since we won't be taking a tub every day, it seems like a waste to keep that large amount of water heated all the time. A flash heater, OTOH, would deliver a continuous flow of hot water, and we may not even have to get a very large one, as long as it can deliver hot water at a significantly faster rate than the water in the tub will cool. Though in the long run, having one that could supply enough water for the three simultaneous showers may be best, seeing as we have 3 in the house. Flash heaters seem to be more expensive, but we can apparently get a tax credit for these. Fun!

The other bug I noticed is that the fan for the HVAC squeaks a bit. This isn't much of a problem since you can't hear it almost anywhere in the house (the HVAC system is in fact really quiet), except the master bedroom, which has an intake vent that goes straight down to the HVAC unit. But I wonder if this bug could be corrected with a little bit of oil. In any case, the noise isn't very loud, it's just that the rest of the house is sooo quiet. It's pretty amazing. It's also quite dark.

The only other bugs I've found so far are a bunch of spiders in the basement, so I think we're doing OK.