It's never good to pull up to the house and see a line of water trickling out of the garage door! Turns out that regular flushing of the hot water heater and replacing the sacrificial anode since we moved in neither dislodged years of compacted sediment, nor saved us from the effect of the prior homeowner neither knowing nor caring about the concept of preventative maintenance. (There were 14 burned-out lightbulbs in the attic by one single light socket that he'd never bothered to bring down with him. 14. Enough said.)
Thanks to OldNFO, we already knew a good plumber, and he'd been out a few months earlier to give us an estimate on installing a drip tray, leak alarm, and whole-house water filter. We'd been saving up to do it once and do it right... and now here was our opportunity to do it all at once while also replacing the hot water heater. Yay?
As the hot water heater was disconnected, the plumber said "What is this extra line here? It's not house supply?"
"Oh!" I said, "That's probably the geothermal unit."
Peter and I looked at each other, and Peter pulled out his cell phone. "I'll give them a call!"
Turns out that when your geothermal is plumbed into your house water supply, it's a very wise idea to get the geothermal pump turned off when there's no water in one of the lines. The geothermal guys were very happy we called instead of waiting until the pump burned out.(So was our pocketbook.)
So now, I have some brand new PEX plumbing, and a whole-house water filter that's upstream of the hot water heater. (It's going to take a lot less flushing if the sediment doesn't reach it! And showers will smell and taste better even when the lake turns over!) Interestingly enough, the water coming out of the tap is now on par with bottled water - as in, I can't tell the difference. This is amazing!
I'm going to count my blessings instead of counting the pain in the pocketbook, and just be glad we upgraded more house infrastructure ahead of schedule. While drinking tea that lacks the Red River's, ah, terroir.