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Your Hot Water Heater Could Be At Risk

Mary Martin / KVKI

Christmas Day can bring about happy memories, but in our house it brought a miserable week filled with cold showers and cold dish washing.

I hope this post will help you if your hot water heater goes on the fritz, before you spend time and money getting it fixed.Sometime during the wee hours of Christmas Day, when Santa is at his busiest we lost our power, but only for a moment. We didn’t even notice it except our clocks were blinking 12:00. We didn’t feel the full effects of the power failure until Monday evening when we noticed that our water heater would have worked better as a boat anchor.

We have a home warranty, so we immediately called to get a plumber to come and fix our water heater. The soonest they could come out was Thursday morning of last week. All we could do then was wait and take showers at our families’ houses. I’m not brave enough to take a cold shower in the middle of winter.

Thursday FINALLY came and I waited in dreamy anticipation for my first hot bath in my own house in almost four days. I already had my bubble bath, bath salts, and book ready to go. Unfortunately, my hot bath was still hours away. The plumber could find nothing wrong with our water heater. He directed my attention to the culprit, an Electric Water Heater Peak Demand Management Device installed by Swepco when our house was first built in the early 90′s.

This device was offered to home owners or contractors to be installed in homes, to help cut down on power failures during peak hours of electricity usage. Swepco even offered $100 or $200 for having the unit installed in the home. Basically, it  was pre-programmed to shut off the water heater for only an hour during peak hours.

Apparently, during  our power failure our device short circuited and cut off the power to our water heater. The plumber told me we had to have an electrician come out to bypass the device. Great…here comes another call to our home warranty and another $60.00 for the electrician. But, at that point I was willing to pay $120.00 to have a hot bath.

Luckily, an electrician was available to come out that same day. Unfortunately, when that electrician came out he told me that there was NOTHING he could do since the device was installed by Swepco. Someone from Swepco would have to come out to fix it. Can we say seeing red at this point?

Finally, I get a hold  of  Swepco, and the lady on the phone HAS NO CLUE about the device. After spending 20 minutes on hold they finally got someone on the phone that knew what it was.

I have to give it up to the gentleman with Swepco. He called electricians until 8pm Thursday, until he finally got one to come to my house to bypass the device. Plus, Swepco will reimburse us for the $120.00 we spent getting our water heater checked out.

Sorry for the long post, but as you could tell I was still holding back a little. Even after calling the lady at Swepco a communist.

If you have not already gotten your Electric Water Heater Peak Demand Management Device disconnected, call Swepco at 1-888-216-3523 (East TX, LA, AR) or 1-800-723-7430 (North TX – Panhandle) and ask to speak with someone in the Marketing Department. They will schedule an electrician to disconnect the device and pay them for the work.

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