Thursday, June 07, 2007

The "Lowes" down on a new water heater

Ok, so last nite on the way home from work I stopped at Lowes to check into the whole water-heater thing. I had not had time to completely empty the closet behind which the dread water-heater lurks like a brown recluse ready to spring out and bite you...

So I don't know what size, how many gallons, or anything. My boss and his son confirmed that I probably have a natural-gas water heater, as it goes "WHOOSH" audibly when it starts up, much like the broiler mechanism on my oven.

So I ask for some assistance - because I want to know what I need to measure, how I need to measure, and what all is included in their installation package offer. What I got was scared off.

First off, apparently the mental defective who is the Customer "Service" person for the water heater area doesn't like women in his domain. Talk about a nasty greeting. Then, of course, I should KNOW how many gallons, how tall, how large diameter &etc are on my old water heater that is behind 3 tons of winter coats, my collection of board games, the vacuum cleaner, floor scrubber, carpet steamer, toolbox, seldom-used silver set, garden hose, table extension-leaves, "Merkan" flag for occasional outdoor display, collapsable lawn chairs, TV dinner trays, supply of freezer bags, box of floor-care-machine-add-ons, and possibly a partridge in a pear tree - and has been since the day I moved in, in fact, I've never once seen it, as I'd have to remove the shelves above the coat-hanging bar in order to open the bifold doors that hide this beast from ever seeing the light of day.

He then proceeded to rattle off about how installation is $274 PLUS permits, PLUS if I was mentally defective and hadn't measured correctly, then they would charge me $30 for someone to come out and give an ESTIMATE on how much it would cost to install it, and .... well... I politely thanked him and left him alone with his precious water heaters.

I think I'll go to Sears instead.

592 days


BBC said...

Well, sixty gallon heaters is pretty much standard. Although there are many other sizes.

Once you get to the water heater there should be a tag in plain sight telling you what size it is.

But get this, a new sixty gallon one may different in dimensions than your old one. It may be a little shorter and fatter, or taller and thinner.

That usually is easily taken care of even though you may have to buy some new service lines.

It does sound like it is a natural gas heater, I hope that you didn't cover the air intake vent, it may be on an outside wall though and the air intake for combustion may be on the outside wall.

I'm just thinking out loud here.

You need to get to it first, It may just be a leaking line or connection, but if it is over ten years old it could very well be shot also.

Or so full of sediment that its not all that efficient anymore.

Anyway, permit? Ha, ha, ha. I go buy a heater, I take it to someones home and install it, I'm an asshole that way. LOL

I don't think that I have ever charged over sixty bucks to install one.

Good luck.

BBC said...

First off, apparently the mental defective who is the Customer "Service" person for the water heater area doesn't like women in his domain.

Hon, that isn't true at all. Did you walk up and say something like, "Hi hon, my water heater seems to be leaking and I'm looking for help and advice."

Just saying, I've found that when you call other members of the opposite sex hon that you get a lot better response.

You have to have a good attitude to get a good attitude.

Just saying. Hugs.

Peacechick Mary said...

Two words - plumbing supply store. You'll save big bucks, professional advice and names of people who will install it. At least that was my experience. As for Lowes, they are no longer in the customer business.

Sewmouse said...

Actually, BBC - I've noted that there are several stores that are "guy hangouts" that just do NOT welcome women.

Radio Shack was the first place I ever saw this phenomenon - they must have a "CHICK ALERT" alarm on their door, because the second I walk in, there are 3 guys in ties converging on my position to find out what I want, get it for me and get me the hell OUT of their little boy treefort.

*rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

Radio Shack clerks are very pushy but I have a feeling it's because they're on commission or they're monitored somehow.

I find these comments about "guy hangouts" very interesting. In my little corner of the universe we have many different home improvement stores from the small neighbourhood hardware store to the big Home Depot and Rona and Canadian Tire (which sells more than just tires).

In every one of these stores women feel right at home. We're treated no differently than the men and in fact it's a non-issue. Many of the clerks are women and they're very knowledgeable about the products just as the men are.

Men and women alike can go into these stores not having a clue and come out with all the instructions, parts, and tools, for a home project.

These former male hangouts realize that a customer is a customer and many women have their own tool belts.

I'm in an urban area but small towns are much different.