As reported earlier, water heater went out late Friday afternoon (during electrical storm). Spent Friday night without hot water.

Lost most of Saturday waiting for Home Depot to deliver and install new unit. Cancelled dinner plans (along with plans for friends to meet at our house).

Altough order placed at 7 a.m. Saturday, installers (Mc Ghee plumbing of Christiansburg) did not arrive until 6:30 p.m. They installed new heater but did not stay to fill or start it, saying PVC pipes needed two hours for adhesive to set. We turned water and pressure on at 9:30 p.m. but PVC inlet pipe split and sprayed water all over garage. Shut water off. Called Mc Ghee but they refused to return Saturday night to fix results of their inferior work. Said they would be here first thing Sunday morning. Spent Saturday night without hot or cold water.

Sunday morning came and went with no Mc Ghee. They finally appeared shortly after noon, but only after two calls to Home Depot’s Christiansburg store manager. Unapologetic, they blamed problem on being forced to use PVC pipe (which did not leak before they touched our system). Applied new pipes with tape and clamps and left at 1 p.m. with instructions to leave water off until 5 p.m. We wanted to know if they would be around if it did not work. No, they said, they would not be back. If it didn’t work this time, they said, call Home Depot, not them. Made a note to call Home Depot one way or another no matter what happened and have a talk about the quality of their “licensed installers.”

Restored water and pressure at 5 p.m. and turned on breaker box to water heater. Inlet pipe did not leak this time but found drops of water oozing from outlet pipe. Not major enough to force shutdown of system, though, so we waited for hot water.

And waited. After two hours, still no hot water. No sounds from water heater. No warmth in pipe leaving heater. Nada. Called Home Depot hotline. Waited on hold for customer service rep for 30 minutes. Nothing. Called Floyd electrician Jim Lemon, who had just returned from a weekend in North Carolina. Could he come over and check electrical connections? Said he’d be right there.

Jim checked circuits. Found upper heating element of brand new GE water heater burned out. That failure kept lower heating element from kicking in. As a temporary fix, he rewired unit to allow the lower element to provide all heat for water in tank. Thirty minutes later, hot water and our first showers since Friday.

Jim will be back later this morning to run line for new hot tub slated for installation today. It’s a good thing Mc Ghee Plumbing said they would not be back because if they ever set foot on our property again, I will charge them with trespassing. Home Depot will get call as soon as they open today with stern instructions to replace defective water heater with one that works along with demand that they send someone besides Mc Ghee Plumbing to do the job.

According to Home Depot’s web site, their installers will:

“Fill and test your new water heater to make sure it’s working properly.”

On two visits this weekend, Mc Ghee Plumbing failed to fill or test our new water heater. Instead, they were in such a hurry to get in and get out they told us to do it. The first time, their shoddy installation of PVC pipe flooded our water heater area. The second time, the heater would not operate. But since they weren’t around either time Home Depot will get an earful later today and we will demand they use another company to replace our new, but defective, water heater. We will also demand that whomever they send knows how to install PVC pipes.

We were about to order a new utility shed from Home Depot but, after this experience, we will examine other options.