Thinking back on it, the symptoms were all there: It started a week or so ago when I noticed the dishes weren’t getting dry. We have a Bosch dishwasher, which is very energy-efficient, cleans amazingly, and does not use a heated-dry cycle. (I researched dishwashers and posted the results here, about two years ago.)
But the dishes started coming out … damp.
And then I only halfway noticed that I had to have the shower valve quite a bit farther over toward ‘hot’. But still it didn’t set any flags (because I only halfway noticed).
But yesterday, my wife went to take a shower, and she said it was “cold”. I checked, and the water was only tepid. All the way over on ‘hot’. So I called the guys who put our new water heater in, some 13 years ago. The original one had failed, and we had finally finished our big remodel project and having a big party to celebrate. But wouldn’t you know it, the original water heater chose right then to fail. I called these guys, and they literally came right out. Within three hours, we had a new water heater and we had hot water again. And the party was a success.
So I called the same guys again. Turned out that they were just finishing breakfast, and didn’t yet have any calls for the day. So again, they were right out.
We were lucky this time: only a pair of dud thermostats, the elements all checked good. Within an hour the water heater was running again, and within an hour and a half (since it was dead cold), we had hot water.
Maybe I’m off work for a reason.