Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dud Dudes Do It

Oh,, boy, here is one for the books.

Last week, the weather got much cooler.  Suddenly, our hot water did not heat itself anymore, as it does all summer (solar heating is VERY cool - well, hot, well you know what I mean).  So we started to switch on the dud (pronounced "dood") shemesh (solar water heater people, keep up) about 20 minutes before we wanted to shower.

The first time we did this was last Friday.  Our showers were, um, not hot, let's just say that. Hmmm, we figured, our dud shemesh is broken, we have to get it fixed.

So we called the dud company on Sunday, and, of course, they said they'd come on Wednesday.  We got them to come on Tuesday.  Monday they called and said they'd arrive between 10 and 2.  They came at 3:30.  Early!

First, they had to figure out how to open the combination lock that secures the door that goes to the roof.  This was a problem.  Apparently children in this country do not grow up using combination locks on their school lockers. Even with written instructions in Hebrew, this did not go well.  They looked at the paper, only saw the numbers, and rotated the heck out of that dial. After 4 tries, we convinced them to actually read the entire list of instructions, which tells you what direction to turn the little dial in.  Voila!  It worked.  Up they go to the roof to inspect the dud.

After a few minutes guy #2 (I'm calling the guy on the roof guy #1) comes down and asks me to turn on the water and turn the handle to the hottest possible.  I do.  Then he tells me to turn it off.  I do.  So far, I am doing great.

They he asks me where the switch to turn the dud is - I show him the switch we use near our master bathroom.  There is also a switch near the guest bathroom.  Here is where the story gets extremely embarrassing for us.

When he turns on the switch, the guy on the roof says nothing is happening.  This goes on for a few minutes with a lot of conversation in Arabic.  I think I learned the word "no" in Arabic very well.  Then I had an idea - "Look," I said, "there's another switch near the other bathroom."  He looked at me kinda funny.  Another switch?  So I show it to him.

Then he looks at me funny again.  "THIS is the dud switch," he says, pointing to the switch we kind of ignore, "and THIS is the switch to turn on the bathroom heater," and he points to the other switch.

Oh.  Um.  OK.

So apparently we have been using the wrong switch this whole time, and just lucking out that the water was hot enough on its own.  We have never actually turned on the dud, it turns out. 

Yes, we are idiots.

But then...guy #1 comes down from the roof with a part in his hand.  He has replaced the thermostat.  He shows it to us.  He says some words.  The words probably mean, "We brought this old thermostat in with us to make you believe that we changed the thermostat, but actually we just carry it around and show it to people."

So wait - they replaced a part, but really the problem was that we were using the wrong switch.  So ...oh, forget it, by this time they are leaving and speaking quickly in Hebrew or Arabic or Swahili and we are flustered.

After we closed the door, we burst out laughing - idiots!  We were pushing the wrong switch for 10 months. 

That's it for now.  More embarrassing stories to come, I'm certain of it.


1 comment:

  1. Well, now you know that you don't need to turn on the dud when it's sunny, right? I just started turning mine on last week. Did not need it at all since April/May.