There's a new hot water-maker in my house. It's one of those tankless jobs that only heats the water when you turn it on. At first I was rather suspicious of the idea -- sounded like it would take a long time to get the hot water flowing. But it's amazingly fast, and I've noticed a significant drop on the utility bill, now that we're not paying for energy to keep 30 gallons of water hot when it's not needed.
So that's all good. It was installed around the first of August last year, so there's been plenty of time to work out all the kinks and problems, if there had been any. But there were no kinks and problems. Everything is fine.
Right? Nope! Enter the local Code Enforcer. The tank was installed by a plumber. The gas company had to install a new kind of meter. And the city had to sign off on the whole job to be sure we're not going to blow up the whole neighborhood. Installation of the non-tank took several hours. The gas company changed out the meter while I went to the grocery store and left the gas turned off. And the city? Well, they still haven't signed off. It's been eleven months since they were notified that the job was ready for inspection.
The problem is not that they haven't showed up. The guy in charge has been here so many times that we're on a first -name basis. But he always finds some little problem. Sometimes he comes without calling and leaves a notice on my door that I am "not in compliance" because the project has to be approved within 180 days. On other days, he fusses that there is an extra regulator lying on the floor of the attic. Is it a necessary part of the installation? No. Then why not pick it up? Because it doesn't belong to him. Then why not just leave it there? Because the plumber needs to come get it and give it back to the gas company. But the gas company says it's not theirs and they don't want it. The plumber sends a new guy out to get it, but he weighs 400 pounds and can't climb the flimsy little pull-down ladder that leads to the attic.
And so it goes. On and On and On. Today was visit # 17 in the process. This plumber said "Oh, yes, I know where that regulator goes. It needs to be installed." He had to go for parts, turn the gas off, install the regulator, get the gas turned back on, check the system -- another day's work, all while I'm trying to write. So now it's fixed? Well, that will be up to the Code Enforcer, who will have to schedule another visit to see if he likes it. It would have been easier to dig a well!