Anyway, we installed the water softener (which is located in a closet along with an electric water heater in the corner of my studio) , and we were very proud of ourselves. The unit seemed to be working just fine, so we went about some other chores. The next day we were in the studio when all of a sudden a really strange noise like "Boooooing" came from the water heater and the lights in the studio flickered. My husband and I looked at each other in horror wondering what in the world had happened, and fearing some horrible event had taken place in that closet.... had we installed something wrong? We checked the electric panel and the breaker for the water heater was tripped. Great. What now. So my husband switched it back to the "on" position and everything appeared to be OK. Whew! Maybe it was just a fluke!
We went to bed that night a little nervous about the breaker incident, but hoped for the best. When we awoke the next morning I went to take a shower and found that we had no hot water. The breaker was tripped again and flipping it back on did not work this time. My husband scratched his head and said "what did we do wrong? Did installing the water softener cause the water heater to go out?" I told him that I had been expecting the 8 year old water heater to go out soon since we have very hard water and surmised that it was probably at least a third full of calcium. We checked the heater and found that the heating element at the bottom of the tank had shorted out due to the calcium build up.
So, we had another plumbing project on our hands. We purchased a new water heater and drained the old one. (My guess was correct by the way, I measured the water that we drained with a 2 gallon container and was only able to drain 51 gallons out of that 66 gallon tank!) Getting the old one out of closet was a superhuman feat since it sits on a platform that is about 18 inches off the ground in a closet. Somehow we managed to "walk" it down a makeshift set of platforms that we threw together with odds and ends until we could get it to the floor and out of the way. With all the "rocks" in the bottom it was really heavy! Then getting the new heater into position was another superhuman endeavor! But, we did it!!! We spent half the day on New Years Eve and all day on New Years Day installing a new water heater. So far everything is working great! We have plenty of hot water and no calcium deposits!
What did YOU do on YOUR vacation? :o )