Why Do I Have A Dead Bosch Water Heater On My Porch?

When we moved into this house, we decided that any time we would replace an appliance, we would get the most energy efficient appliance possible.

The refrigerator has LED lights on the front.
The bathroom mirror has dimmable CFL lighting.
The post light in front of the house has a very bright CFL in it.
The washer is low water use and front loading.

And then there’s this monstrosity.

Yes, the Bosch AG 250 SX LP water heater.  The bane of my showers.   This was a mistake from Day One.

We never were able to use a low flow shower head with this beast because it required a much too high a flow of water to keep the thing running.  That was always a thorn in my side.  It effected how we would do laundry and dishes as a result since it required a lot of water flowing through the heater element to keep it running according to programming.

At one point we were so frustrated that we contacted Bosch for relief and they sent us a completely new computer for the inside to go from “Rev 4” to “Rev 14” or something like that.   It only made it a little better.  The person at their helpdesk was very helpful but said it was “a problem with this model” and made happy noises.

When the freak storm came through two months ago, it rained down the chimney and flooded the unit.  Rather than being disappointed, I saw it as an opportunity to get rid of this beast and get something that actually WORKED!

We limped through a week of cold showers and other annoyances until the new tankless water heater was installed.

It is a Rinnai.  Much more efficient since the water flow to trigger the heater is somewhere around 4/10 gallon a minute, it will use much less propane.   At 95 percent efficiency, the Rinnai RU98 actually uses a piece of PVC pipe for a chimney.  It also has a very low current draw to the unit so if we were out of power, I could rig up a 12V battery with a car inverter and power it long enough to get work done.

That sort of thing is important for storm prone South Florida.

So frankly I am completely put off of Bosch appliances.  I will not have another once the washer and dryer die.  I will not recommend them to anyone else as a result.  It may be my own personal opinion but it reflects the frustration that we had with that horrendous water heater.

If you have one of these monstrosities, my condolences are offered.   Get a Rinnai.  I can turn the shower down to a near trickle and still get hot water.  They seem to be the water heater of choice in South Florida.

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How to Clean A Pillow, The Hard Way

Back when I was up North, I had this jacket.  It was warm, slightly puffy but not like a Hand Grenade, and very comfortable.  The shell was a cream synthetic that was smooth and silky.  A very light jacket and a joy to wear. 

In the cooler seasons, you would wear your jackets from October through April, sometimes into May.  They would get dirty, especially when they were lighter colors. 

So the brain storm hit!

Why not toss the thing into the washer?  It was a large capacity washer, lets see what happens!

Not so good an idea.  It made it through and the synthetic fill now was packed down to these bumpy little mats.  It was run through the dryer, but it was never the same. 

Poor lamented jacket was retired.  Progressing onto leather jackets of the same “weather band” that were easier to care for, after all Black Leather Jackets were worn by bikers for a reason.

This thursday, after replacing the pillow on the bed, it was time to see if it could be washed.  After all, the cover had turned from white to eggshell through the years and it was a wonder how many societies of “things” were living in that pillow.

Wonderful thing though, the pillow originally was an expensive polyester fill that was supposed to feel like a down pillow.  Easily the most comfortable bed pillow I had ever had the pleasure to use.

And Use…
And Use…
And Use…

There was a trip to the local big box store and a replacement pillow that was “Firm for Side Sleepers” bought for a fraction of the price.  It’s so firm that it may work as a fill for the hole in the fence, but that’s a different story.

After all, who doesn’t sleep with their neck bent at a 45 degree angle and walk all day wondering why their shoulders hurt?

Into the washer it goes! 
Extra large capacity, Check!
Super-duper XXSanitary Cycle, Check!
Water Heater Turned up to 140F, Check!

We were going to boil that pillow and any little societies that would crawl up into the ears overnight “back to the stone ages”!

The replacement was already bought so if the pillow survived without feeling like it was full of Pea Gravel, no problem, if not… It was broken already!

The washer was loaded with soap, and the button was started to send its load to the Spa. 

Over the next hour, in the living room, you could hear the Jet Engine noises from the strange front loader that sometimes actually gets the clothes clean.  “Sometimes” because if you use the recommended amount of soap, it cheerfully doubles the cycle to get that soap out of the clothes. 

Onward into Hour Two of the spa date with destiny for the pillows, spinning through the spin dry cycle at 1200 RPM.

Finally it stopped.  The beeper sounded after the door on the front snapped it’s relays and it was begging for attention.

BeepBeepBeepBeepBeep!
BeepBeepBeepBeepBeep!

Hauling myself into the tiny laundry room, the door was opened and the pillows were inspected.  There was so much water inside the poly-pile that a second spin dry cycle happened.

So much for that water huh? That will show you… er, me!

Didn’t help at all!  Man against machine against pillow, just close the door and send it through for a third spin dry!

The problem was that the outer shell of that pillow was a miracle fabric.  It swelled up and formed an almost water tight seal against the outside world.  This was one for the books!

Pulling the pillow out, there was more than one gallon of water still inside of that shell. 

Being helped by my dog, Lettie, was not the best time as I pulled the first pillow out, and held it high above her saying “Back, Girl!” and “I need to go to the bathroom with this!”.

Here was where having a McNab Dog helped – she backed herself up, turned around, and went out into the house where she waited outside the bathroom door for me.

I followed her with the strangely not dripping, heavy, and newly white pillow.  Having its payload of water inside, I flattened it out as best I could, and begun to wring the thing out.  There was a river’s worth of water in that case!

I managed to wring most of the water out of the pillow, and repeated the action, complete with Dog’s Help, with the other pillow.   Did you know that a gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds?  Wringing what had to be 30 pounds of water out of two pillows, my 48 inch chest is now sore from the effort.  Sitting down at the keyboard with a sigh of relief, there has to be room on The Fitness Channel for this… “The Wash Your Pillow Workout!”

Since the action was repeated, it also repeated the condition of the long gone jacket where I now had small clumps of poly-fill inside of a wet pillow case.

So the end result is you can wash a pillow but you’ll end up with a lumpy face when it finally dries – and that will take all day with wringing and tumble drying, and even with the assistance of a helpful Mc Nab Dog, you won’t end up with perfect.

It will be clean though!

So now with both of those pillows dried and lumpy, the fill will join the third pillow.   There are some zipper linings for bed pillows in the house which will be filled, a bit at a time, with the poly-fill from the other three pillows.   Make two out of three, and shred the stuff as time goes on.

Welcome to the new hobby!  Fiber Shredding!  A game the whole family can play!  Sit in front of the TV with your lumpy pillows and shred fiber for fun and profit! 

Just a Normal Hectic Morning

Yesterday was busy, why should today be different?

Today, getting up before 6am, there was a flurry of activity.

The Linens were put into the washer, and true to form it took longer than expected.  It’s a Bosch Washer, so while it gets the clothes clean, it has a problem figuring out how much soap actually needs to be in the water.   Add too little and you notice things aren’t quite right. Add the soap manufacturer’s recommended amount and the idiot washing machine decides it needs another cycle saying “Extra Rinse Foam” and delays another 30 minutes.

The morning mile and a quarter dog walk was done, we walked into the kitchen and begun the morning meal.  At the same time there was a long list of food and drink being prepared.

Coffee, Tea for Iced Tea, two bowls of Oatmeal all received boiling water and were steeping and soaking.

There was a batch of Decaf being roasted at the same time.

An English Muffin had just come out of the microwave, and into the toaster.

The Chicken Patty was dusted with Curry Powder and then warmed in the microwave.

Yes, all of this was breakfast.

When things settled after the coffee was roasted and cooling for later grinding, it was time to further complicate matters.  Banana Bread had to be made.  The bananas were not all black, but picking one up and you realized that they weren’t exactly holding up well. 

Ever have a limp banana?

(No, not that kind, a real Cavendish Banana and overripe at that so get your mind out of the gutter!)

Walking to the front room, the laptop was started, the recipe found, and the banana bread was prepared as above.  While all of this happened, the laptop was going to windows update and getting all the latest updates. 

Everything except Silverlight.  This laptop HATES Silverlight.  Silverlight is something even Microsoft has decided should die because they are no longer actively pushing it to people.  It is a “Flash Replacement” that does the same things Flash does but does not actually do Flash animations.  Yet another layer of software that you really don’t need.   It uninstalled from all my windows 7 computers since it slows the world … to … a … crawl.

The bread was placed in the oven and timer set for 30 minutes, which gave a nice breather to begin to eat some of that feast.  While it was only 600 calories, it is a lot of volume. 

The bread began to warm the house with Home and Hearth types of smells, and it rose beautifully to a proper density.

Pulling the bread out of the oven, the results were quite fine.  Thin crust of tasty creamy goodness.

It was time to let it cool, go into the front room and begin the morning Job Search.  170 Web Pages of work goodness.  Dice.com, Monster.com, and Careerbuilder.com all done in rapid succession.

Here is where it got … weird.

The search was going fine, but there were signs of strangeness coming from the laptop.  The poor little thing needs attention.  There is something not quite right with the software and nobody will be able to fix it but me.  There’s a driver that crashes when I shut the thing down so it never gets powered off cleanly.  When a disc check is scheduled on the boot drive, it never happens because there was not a clean shut down, so it simply restarts.

Add to it that those two pictures above were not available because for some reason the poor little HP decided it would take a vacation and not read the USB Drive.   Not good, there are pictures on there that are needed for the projects that are outstanding!

Fine, shut down the laptop, then it decided that it wasn’t shut down, the driver was still crashing, so it would restart.   This Time However it now is going to do that check.  Here we are an hour and a half later and it is still scanning its hard drive – no errors so far.

Time to get out the blog posting though, so walking over to the Video Editing Laptop, it was time to start doing some work. 

No problem, it is marginally faster than the little HP, and there are some Powerpoint animations that need to be made for New Divine Mercy so they can be married to the videos on the video page on their website.

Yes, that is me, Videographer as well as a Photographer, baker and all around Project Manager good guy.

Need help? I’ll give you a good rate.

Need proof that a guy can Multitask?  Join me in the kitchen, we’ll make coffee and another Banana Bread.  There is this pile of bananas that aren’t getting any younger.  

So shall we make it plain? 

Nuts?  You’d better believe it!

That bread by the way… it was underdone inside.  That is what you get when you think you know your oven!

Why I Will Not Buy Another Bosch Product

Water Heaters are a conceptually simple device. 

Bring water into an area, add heat, and bring it out once it has gotten “hot enough”.

We have been building these things for centuries.   First it was called a kettle or cauldron and sat upon a fire in a hearth.  Then someone got the bright idea to containerize the lot and you have the familiar tank that sits in many homes as a result.  They don’t necessarily need electricity, but they do need a source of something to produce heat. 

When I moved into this house it had an ancient washing machine, creaky dryer, and a frightening water heater.

The Water Heater used no electricity at all.  I am in a hurricane zone and this would have allowed hot water and comfortable showers assuming that there were actually water being pumped into the house – which I understand is not a given.   It also was rusty and looked as if it would die at “any second”.

What went first was the Washing Machine.  This threw a coupling and could be fixed at a cost greater than a new washer.   All the mechanicals were broken as a result of the coupling breaking and left the carpet in the laundry covered by some rather soapy water.

We went out and bought a Bosch front loading washing machine.  The idea was that we’d get the most water and energy efficient machine we could find and save on water and electricity despite the greater cost. 

There was a problem.  Bosch in their wisdom went with a computer controlled washer.  Their programming was typically German Precise.  Perhaps a bit too precise as if you put too much soap into the machine, it will happily rinse out the extra soap for you.  It will do so by running an intermediate rinse – over and again until it determines that the soap is all washed out.  IT also requires this “HE Detergent” which has the benefit of being in big bright colored containers and costs more. 

Once the clothes have been washed, then spun at 1200 RPM and sounding like a distant Jet Engine threatening to fly them off to Boschland or where every flying washing machines go, it leaves them glued to the inside of the drum to be pealed off and put into the dryer.

The dryer seems to work well if you like to come back to a giant ball of clothes that is an illustration of how not to dry clothes.  Dry on the outside you reach the damp or wet center and put them back in.

This is particularly evident on Thursday Mornings.  I should say Afternoons as last week I pulled the bed apart and started the laundry at 6AM.  XXSanitary mode meant it was run through the hottest water I could provide, then heated electrically to something nearer steam, then washed thoroughly.  Over and Over until it is spun down to give me a wet ball of blanket, sheets, and pillowcase.

Needless to say this wretched machine needed a number of extra spin cycles and didn’t finish until 12:30 PM.

6 and one half hours of laundry for “one load” of linens.

Then onto the dryer which knowing that it has a penchant for turning things into a progression chart of wet, I put half the linens into then pressed the button.

The Dryer has a helpful time display of 1 hour and 8 minutes allowing me to count down the time until I have to unroll the ball and put them back in for another cycle.

The bed was finally made at 2:30 in the afternoon.  8 and a half hours for one load – two sheets, a pillow case, a light blanket all washed after being “Extra Rinse Foam”ed and spun until a wet sodden blob.

Once those two pieces were replaced we then bought a Bosch AquaStar Water Heater.  Tankless thing, I have a laptop brief case that is smaller than the heater.  Model number ag 250 sx lp

My contempt for this Water Heater knows no bounds.  AVOID this Water Heater!

It saves Propane by turning itself off with a helpful “E0” error code.   We really are not sure what that means, nor is the internet since the going wisdom is to turn it off then back on to reset the code.

I’m hoping for when the Washer launches to BoschLand it takes that bloody tankless water heater with it.  Right out of the wall and off to what ever dump it ends up in.

You see, while it uses on the order of a quarter of the Propane that the old beast of a water tank used, it doesn’t stay on when you need it.  Run the dish washer (thankfully a KitchenAid and very dependable and NOT a Bosch Product) and the water heater model ag 250 sx lp turns itself off.  There’s that E0 code.

Go take a shower.  It’s a crap shoot whether you will complete it without taking a cold shower as it will turn itself off at least twice a week.   So two in every seven showers are a rude surprise.

Today, it was more cantankerous than usual.   Today this beast of a water heater turned off five times in a rushed 10 minute shower.  It took two people to perform the shower.  When the water ran cold, reset the water heater, then jump back in washing what ever body part is needed and quickly because it would run cold again.

E0 anyone?

So my bottom line recommendation is to avoid Bosch Products.  When these go, I will NOT be replacing them with another Bosch Product.  German Precision aside, these things are not “Suitable for Purpose” as we learned.  The Water Heater came with a 12 year warranty which is a good thing since it hasn’t worked right since day one.

Kevin is now saying that they have some sort of fix that he can perform with a voltage meter himself.   This should be entertaining, and at least I Know CPR.