Progress to Date

  • Original Loan Amount: $204,000.00
  • Balance at Beginning of 5-year Goal (1/1/08): $188,983.82 @ 6.00%
  • Balance at Refinance in February 2009: $148,000.00 @ 4.625%
  • Outstanding Balance: $0.00 (PAID IN FULL!!!)
  • Latest Payment Date: April 2011
  • Latest Additional Principal Amount: $17,623.22
  • Amount Ahead of Schedule (since refinance): $121,462
  • Time Ahead of Schedule (since refinance): 7 years 10 months
  • Interest Saved Last Month: $23,972.48
  • Total Interest Saved: $28,435.55 ($1,037.74 on original mortgage; $27,397.81 on current mortgage)
  • Months Remaining in 5-year Goal: 20
  • Average Monthly Principal Needed to Meet Goal: N/A (Goal achieved)
  • Progress List Explained

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hot Water

I woke up this morning and went downstairs to the basement to get some clothing from the laundry room. I noticed it was warmer than normal, and humid. After walking to the other end of the basement, I found our hot water heater had completely failed sometime during the night, pouring its contents out all over our (carpeted) basement floor.

I spent most of the day hauling stuff out of the affected area. The room where the water heater lives is also where we keep things we don't use on a regular basis: seasonal decorations, old books, mementos, extra lamps and fans, exercise equipment, and boxes and bins full of random life accumulations. My wife came home from work and together we quickly sorted items into "piles" in the garage: things to keep, things to donate or sell, things to recycle or throw away. A few items had to be trashed, because they had soaked up too much water. But fortunately, we discovered the flood before there was excessive damage, and a lot of our items (especially the decorations) were protected from the standing water because they were stored in waterproof plastic bins.

Although I'm not happy about the circumstances, I am glad for the opportunity for us to get rid of things we were holding on to for no good reason. There's nothing like a frustrating morning of hauling boxes out of the basement to make you think to yourself, "Why do we even have this?" I realized that I had lost the emotional connections to a lot of things which I had packed away earlier in life.

I was surprised to learn that our home insurance policy covers clean-up and repair of the water damage to the house, but not replacement of the water heater itself. So unfortunately, we have to dip into our emergency savings to replace it. We are going with at tankless "on demand" model with automatic shut-off (to prevent flooding). It costs more than a tank model, but it is supposed to last about twice as long, and may help us use less natural gas fuel over time.

Since we bought our house four years ago, we've had our fair share of plumbing mishaps, including upstairs toilets and shower drains leaking through the ceiling onto the main floor. I am wondering if we should proactively inspect and replace the other fixtures to ensure that we don't have to discover any more unexpected water damage. I had hoped to replace the water heater after the mortgage project was complete, but obviously that didn't happen. Seems like plumbing repairs are always more of a hassle and expense when we haven't planned for them.


RainyDaySaver said...

I remember our hot water heater bursting when I was a little kid. In my innocence, I thought my parents had "mopped" the floor -- which was covered with an industrial-grade rug.

I'm sorry you have to replace the hot water heater before you were ready, but I think you might save some money with the tankless version. Plus, it also underscores the importance of putting your stuff in waterproof bins (or keeping them raised off the ground). I'm also curious to see what our homeowners insurance would cover in this case.

Daizy said...

Accidents are my main cleaning motivation. I have a bunch of boxes from my childhood and I only get rid of things when something happens like water damage, other spills, melted candles, nesting mice, etc... It takes those occurances to break the sentimental hold my stuff has on me.

Middle Way said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear about this. Was your basement drain able to handle most of water?

I think it is a good idea to get someone to have a good once over look at the rest of the plumbing structures to get an opinion of its soundness. May save you from future headaches.

I will be curious to find out what you think of the tankless model.

The Executioner said...

I took the first shower using our new hot water source. Honestly I couldn't really tell a difference, which I guess is all I wanted. The tankless heater is very quiet when operating and takes up much less space in the basement.

We have no drain in our basement. It's not designed to have any water inside. The insurance company paid for a cleaning service to come out and remove the standing water. They left fans and dehumidifiers behind to dry out the carpets and drywall that was soaked in the flood. Not sure yet whether they can be salvaged or if they will have to be replaced.

Middle Way said...

Would you mind sharing how much it cost to get a tankless model? When ours need to be replaced, I would consider going with one.

It goes to show just how different things can be. Our building codes differ more than I thought.

Our basements are designed with the utility stuff (furnace, hot water heater, utility tub etc.) off on their own in their own room where the concrete floor slopes a bit to a drain which empties into the house sewer line.

Homes that are built on more moist ground would have a sump pump as standard so that should there be flood from upstairs, outside etc.
there would be a way for the water to run off. Even our furnace has a tube that goes to our drain.

The rest of the basement is where you would finish off as a rec room, extra bed/bath room etc.

Most people rent their water heaters here and the company is responsible to replace it at certain intervals.

The Executioner said...

Well, honestly, I don't know exactly how much the unit cost. I know the total bill for removal of the old tank heater, installation of the new tankless heater, and labor (which included some plumbing work, some natural gas line work, some exhaust/ventilation work, some electrical work, and some water cleanup). If it helps, this is the model we have:

But of course they don't display a price there either.

Years ago when living with my parents in a different part of the US, we did have a basement with a drain and a sump pump. And some basements here in NH do have those. But not ours for whatever reason. With the exception of the water tank bursting, we have never had any water in our basement at all -- knock on wood.