Remember those great Army slogans from the 80s, "Be all that you can be" and "We do more before 9 am than most people do all day"? I really felt like I was living those this morning.
Yesterday it was obvious that my water heater wasn't working. No amount of cajoling could get that pilot light back on, either. I figured I'd need a new one; after all, it was a Montgomery Ward water heater, and how long have they been out of business?
My dad's memory is going a little, but if he remembers only 1/50 of what he ever knew about building or fixing things, he'll remember more than I'll ever know on such topics. He was not a jack-of-all-trades, he was a master-of-all-trades. There wasn't a vehicle or appliance built that he couldn't repair back in his day. He designed and built his own house when he was 33. He wasn't book-smart, but he sure knew a lot about a lot of things. And when I told him about my water heater problem, he said he'd be over in the morning and we'd replace it.
As he usually does when he says he'll be here at a certain time in the morning, he called and said he'd be much earlier. I was prepared for that this morning. He got here before 8 am and we got right to work disconnecting and removing the old one. When it was out we went to Home Depot, where I'd already checked online for exactly the heater I wanted and knew it was in stock. We got back home and started installing.
Installation needs to be done well, but it isn't rocket science. Things went very smoothly for us, and by 11 am or so the heater was fully operational. By the time I got back from taking my dad to A&W for a root beer float, I had 40 gallons of hot water just waiting to be used in the shower.
It cost me several hundred dollars and a root beer float. That seems a good deal to me for a water heater and some fix-it knowledge.