Here at Water Heaters Only, Inc. San Jose we take our hot water heater business seriously, but when we heard about the funny business going down in Kingston, Pennsylvania … we just had to share this gem!
The story goes that in 1984, Pennsylvania resident Tom Lahart asked his friend, who was also a plumber, John McGlynn to replace his broken water heater. When the new one was installed, Lahart refused payment until McGlynn hauled the old hot water heater away. McGlynn asked for a “dump fee” of $10 which Lahart refused to pay. McGlynn, eager to be paid and always up for a prank, decided to deposit the old hot water heater in the yard of “Duke” Grimes, who lived nearby.
Plumber McGlynn thought the episode was over. But Duke Grimes and Lahart decided it would be funny to decorate the water heater and give it back to McGlynn as a Christmas present.
They decorated it with Christmas lights and set it up on McGlynn’s front yard. A tradition was born! The three men found the idea so amusing they started passing the water heater on to friends every holiday season.
Every person who has gotten the water heater over the last 34 years has kept it up and lit through the holidays – though there is some dispute. Some of the newer members have come to believe Kevin Boylan, the second-ever recipient, was never allowed into the club because his wife kicked the water heater behind their home the morning it was put up in 1985.
The tradition came full circle Christmas of 2014 when Betty Lahart, the widow of the originator Tom Lahart, received the hot water heater just three weeks after Tom passed away at the age of 70.
The club lit it up with Christmas lights and surprised Betty with it in her front yard.
“I saw it and cried. All of the guys came over to offer their condolences,” Betty Lahart said. “He never had the water heater. This year, they thought he should have it.”
We hope you smiled as much as we did hearing this story. We hope to put more smiles on your face with our round-the-clock service. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to set up an appointment for one of our technicians to help with your water heater needs, Water Heaters Only, Inc. San Jose can be reached 24/7 365 days a year at (408) 279-8899 or toll free at 1-800-835-5946.