I can get frustrated about something I don’t understand and the situation begs for a resolution. It isn’t as bad as it sounds because I often learn new things when I am perplexed. It provokes a kind of inquisitive response in me automatically. I feel anxiety until I get an answer. This can cause me to ask repeated questions which can drive you nuts if you don’t know me. Take the plumber, for example. I called him over because my hot water heater didn’t work for some reason. I guess it was getting old. I had one to many cold showers before I capitulated and cried for help. I know how expensive these professionals are, but I was in a real bind. I am not about to repair a tank myself. I saw YouTube videos on line, but it made the process that much more intimidating. It says in most do it yourself articles and on review sites that a tankless unit is far easier (source). Since I still had the old-fashioned kind, I made a quick phone call. What other choice did I have?

When the plumber arrived, I started in as I usually do with a barrage of queries about how water heaters work and why they fail. He gave me a blank look and stammered, “why do you need to know.” “Take my word for it,” I said. “Okay,” he conceded and went on for an hour about the entire system, the pilot light, the electrical connection, and how many gallons the tank contains. He elaborated on the length of time it takes to heat a tank and produce maximum output when starting from scratch (cold water). He added information about average utility bills and how a newer model would save me money on repairs and usage. I was getting a lesson in economy.

It seemed like a lot of useless information, but it put my mind to rest. I now knew exactly how many showers or baths I could take per day and for how long. He walked me through the repair, which a simple matter of a loose nut or bolt. “Yes, you could have done it,” he uttered. He told me that when it gets to the gas pilot, I should steer clear lest there be an explosion. That convinced me and I didn’t mind paying his hefty bill. Plumbers charge by the hour even if they spend only ten minutes. So, his rambling for an hour didn’t cost me any extra money.

I realized that I was way out of date with this old water heater, but the plumber assured me that the time for replacement had not come. When it does, he will recommend a modern system that will experience few breakdowns. “Meanwhile, you can save up for that eventual day,” he counseled. And that is just what I am going to do. No doubt, I will have to ask a million new questions about the tankless style to satisfy my anxiety about making a decision.