The View From 32


JULY 1, 2007   

Welcome home.

Sad to say, this big pile of mail is what's left after Joanne took out hers and threw away the most obvious junk and after I took the bills, statements, etc. out of their envelopes. Yikes!

Dealing with this mail backup is one of the things I hate about being away from home for any length of time. I quickly scanned a couple of the less-important magazines and sent them to the recycling bin along with the remaining junk mail, then set aside a couple others for a more serious look later.

Two surprises: a speeding ticket from one of Cleveland's infamous automated cameras, and information on a class-action lawsuit against Whirlpool for defective water heaters.

About this time last year my water heater was shutting itself off every couple of days for no apparent reason (mine wasn't the only one). When I finally called Customer Service in desperation, the cheerful representative told me that this was normal behavior caused by a build-up of dirt under the burner. She told me I should clean it monthly, a job that requires taking apart the burner assembly, no simple task. She also suggested I buy a new thermocouple*, since she was pretty sure that would go bad soon, too.

Not surprisingly, one part of the lawsuit settlement is reimbursement for any thermocouples you had to buy, up to three of them!

* See an update—Nov. 24, 2007—on repairing the water heater from hell. Coincidentally, you'll find suggestions on how to reduce your junk mail on the same day.


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