The water heater business turned into an extremely unpleasant experience.
I had a replacement policy for the unit, which was fortunate. Yet nothing is as simple as it seems. The new water heater, which meets the energy efficiency standards established last year, is three inches wider than the old one. Which means it wouldn't fit through the space between the furnace and the wall of my office.
Despite an initial protest ("I don't do demolition work"), the plumber and I pulled out an extraneous two by four, allowing the tank to be squeezed into position.
Next, I was informed that I needed a thermal expansion tank, something not covered by the water heater coverage. Since my house has a pressure reducing valve/backflow preventer on the main coming in to the residence, the system is "closed" and subject to potential damage from expanding hot water. Never needed one before, but I was informed the current plumbing code requires a thermal expansion tank be installed if a water heater is replaced, and the plumber wouldn't put in the water heater without the tank. My "free" water heater replacement now cost $195.
Next crisis: parts of the carpeting in my office were completely soaked. The location of a half-ton workstation unit prevented ripping up the old carpet, so remediation was in order: several days of fan drying, as well as moving electrical and communications cables off the floor. This required undoing half of the rewiring I had completed, but there was no alternative.
The rug was shampooed and treated with a mildew preventative.
I would have preferred to have professionals handle it, but current financial considerations made that path impossible.
So, current status: waiting for rug to dry so I can complete rewiring and reorganizing the office. Also dealing with a peculiar bug that caused me to sleep about 20 hours between Friday and Saturday night, throwing everything back an additional day.
I've learned never to ask 'what else can go wrong?' I think I'm going to spend the night upstairs watching bad television, go to bed at a decent hour, and start afresh tomorrow.
I really am getting too old for this stuff...