Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Things fall apart -- in threes

It wasn't the malfunctioning DVD drive in the old iMac, or the discovery of the leaking master cylinder in the 1990 Honda that had me worried. It was the knowledge that at our house, things break in groups of threes.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

I took the iMac to the Apple Store at 8:15 last night (you can make a same-day appointment at the Genius Bar); they called at 10 p.m. to say the new DVD drive was in (free, since I'd bought the three-year Apple Care coverage). High Road Automotive was able to replace the master cylinder with same-day service as well, so the only pain there was the bill.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Then, it happened. I got up this morning, took a shower, had breakfast, and was rinsing the breakfast dishes when I noticed that the water pressure had dropped quite a bit. Thinking nothing of it, I took my tea into my office and sat down to work on a new project.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

At 11 I got up to make another cup of tea, and figured I'd run a load of clothes in the laundry downstairs. As I walked in to the basement laundry room, I heard a sound like a running dishwasher. Or a running washing machine. But the dishwasher was off, and so was the washing machine. The loud gurgling, swooshing, sloshing, noise was coming from our year-old, high-end, gas water heater.

The plumber who installed it has since relocated his shop to Mukilteo, and we've switched to a local Ballard plumber (Paris Plumbing) that we've been quite happy with. I dialed them immediately. Their dispatcher called back and advised that I try to turn off the water heater. Praying that nothing would explode, I sidled closer to the gurgling water heater and located the gas shut-off specific to it (high up on the basement wall, how convenient). As soon as I flippped it, the swooshing and sloshing ceased. Now I'm waiting, checkbook at the ready, for the plumber to arrive and get to the bottom of it. I'm so hoping that the problem is the waterheater (under warranty) and not the new gas system, as that would involve the stove and the dryer. Sigh.

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