Friday, February 17, 2017

What Does That Switch Do?

A post also known as, "I guess our whirlpool tub does work."

I know, you have been missing my little "this could only happen to me" posts. I haven't done one in a long time. Things happen, I just haven't written about them. But this one is a classic, although it doesn't involve rivers of water or clogged toilets. It involves our whirlpool tub.

I have a love hate relationship with whirlpool tubs. I am not, but nature, a bath person. I am a shower person. I am a short and efficient shower person. You can thank my dad for that as I wasn't always such. I was a typical teenager who took her water resistant transistor radio (if you don't know what that is look it up) into the shower so that I could sing along on the AM station with the top hits of 1975. That is I WAS that typical teenager until I routinely would use all the hot water in the tank. Then I was no longer that typical teenager because my dad said, "You can take as many showers as you want...but they can be no more than 5 minutes long. We all need hot water in the morning."  

OK then, short showers it was.

We had a whirlpool tub at OCK, it came as a part of the custom house package. It was one of the few things that I didn't really make a decision on. It was there in the plans. It got put it. And in the 13 years that we lived there I used it less than 10 times. We had a well. Wells are tricky things. That tub used as much water as it would take to solve the California drought. Every time I filled up that tub I could hear my well gasping with distress. I will say that it is nice to get into a whirlpool tub after a long day of yard work...but still....the well guilt was strong.

And then we moved to Chez Knit. And there was another whirlpool tub. When we had Chez Knit inspected before the purchase, the inspector could not get the buttons on the tub to work. We just added it to the list of things that we would eventually fix. It wasn't a priority because there was also a shower (and remember, I am a shower girl.) In the mean time the tub was just the place that we draped wet towels and wet tee-shirts and a ledge to put things on and.....

You get the picture.

I occasionally used it just to soak in the tub with some epsom salts. I will admit that it is a good way to relieve some stress. And add a glass of wine and a good book. I am OK with this.

And then on Wednesday that all changed with one little question. HHBL walked into the bathroom, looked at this innocuous little timer switch on the wall by my sink area and asked, "Hey, what does this switch do?"

I am going to admit that I had never really investigated the switch. It looks just like one of those timer switches that you see in hotel bathrooms that turn on the "heater lamp" so you can be all toasty warm and live out your fantasies about being a rotisserie chicken.

What? No one else has that fantasy? Moving on.

I told him that I wasn't really sure, that I hadn't seen any kind of warming light in the ceiling and had dismissed the switch and moved on. So he turned the dial.

And the tub made a gosh awful noise. 

Wait a minute! The timer switch is at the opposite end of the bathroom from the tub. They can't be connected!  

Oh yes......they can.

We quickly surmised that if you turned the dial on the wall that the jets in the tub turned on, or at least we thought that was what was happening. There was no water in the tub to verify our tentative findings. But I knew the way to find out. It was too late to run a tub full of water on a Wednesday night so I had to wait until Thursday to put the tub jets to the test.

I filled the tub with deliciously hot water (a watched tub spout fills very slowly). I added my lilac scented epsom salts. I walked over and turned the dial for the tub jets....

Eureka! The jets bubbled the water with the same force that Old Faithful does.......I was all ready to get into the tub.....and then I realized that the jets hadn't been used in a LONG time and when they had been turned on they had spewed into my lovely bath water all the gunk that had built up in the them for however many years.

I was not going to get into the water that had black particles floating throughout it. 


So, I emptied the tub of my lovely hot water. I scrubbed the tub. Started the water again to refill and went off to do something else so that I wasn't standing there watching the tub fill. All filled finally.....and it wasn't all that hot water....because if you fill up the whirlpool tub twice in the space of an hour you will drain the water heater just a bit. But the water was warm enough. I was not going to be denied. I turned on the timer.

Whirlpool!!!! I didn't care if the water was lukewarm. I got in there and enjoyed the heck out of this gift that we didn't even know we had.

I am ridiculously excited about this folks. But I don't think our water bill (or the water heater) can stand nightly filling of the Bubbling Behemoth. But once a week seems feasible.

Oh yes. Once a week seems very feasible.