about a month ago, i go on a call for a noisy circulator. i get there, find an old B&G with busted motor mounts, a seized bearing, leaking seals, and a broken coupler. The 90 year old HO says he tried to oil it. I can tell he did a thurough job because of the Exxon Valdez size oil slick on the floor. he says he shut the boiler down last night due to the noise. boiler is cold (this is important later in the story.) I hook up drain hose to the boiler and start draining. this was an old gravity system so it has a lot of water. i remove the pump and put in a new Taco cartridge circulator.
i go to turn on the fill valve, and the HO stops me. he says that the last contractor that came to the house (35 years ago) cracked the boiler by filling it with cold water. I explain the boiler is cold sinces it has not been on for 12 hours. He will have none of it. He gives me a washing machine (double female) hose and insists that i fill it with warm water. i hook one of the hose to the boiler drain. i go to hook the other end to the utility sink. discover the sink has no theads. HO suggests i hook it to the water heater drain. even though i know there is no hot water at the bottom, i agree to the plan. i hook the hose to the cheap plastic valve and give the valve a twist
valve snaps off in my hand. water spraying everywhere. i hurry to turn off the valve on top of the heater. it is rusted open. i find my pipe wrench and shut it off. water still spraying from heater. discover that valve is on the HOT water pipe. ask for location of water meter. HO says its under those boxes. move boxes, shut off meter, replace water heater drain with a real valve, turn on water. slip on previously mentined oil slick which has become 4 times bigger due to the water. refill boiler with "hot" water from bottom of tank. bleed radiators. write bill, give bill to customer. customer asks why the water heater drain valve cost almost half as much as the circulator. collect check. drag soggy self to van. take out notepad. make 2 notes to self "never touch plastic water heater valves" and "don't go back to this guys house"