In one of those rare occasions where common sense overrides blind adherence to “procedure,” the service tech from General Electric fixed our water heater today at no charge, considered it a valid warranty claim, and wondered, like us, why the installers did not do their job.

Although a bureaucrat at GE’s phone center had declared our warranty invalid because we had an electrician rewire the unit to work on one heating element, the service tech said he considered the electrician’s work necessary to correct the fault in the unit. In other words, the service tech recognized that our electrician took necessary action to give us hot water until a new element could be installed.

A refreshing change after the problems of the last few days. The service tech considered the reality of the situation. He installed a new heating element, restored the wiring to the original configuration and cataloged it all as valid warranty work. Shortly after he left, a call came in from Home Depot wanting to know if GE had resolved the situation to our satisfaction. Yes, I said, their service tech did. Home Depot promised a full investigation into the performance of Mc Ghee Plumbing and said a refund would be issued for the installation charge for the water heater. For the moment, at least, I’m left with a restoration of faith in the system.

Oh yes. The GE Tech also fixed the leak that Mc Ghee couldn’t fix in two visits to our home — the leak that wasn’t there before this so-called plumber from Christiansburg laid a hand on our PVC pipes.