Friday, November 20, 2009


From this morning and early afternoon:

11:23 AM

The furnace repair guy (different one from the other day) is downstairs working, even as I write.

I got a call from the dispatcher at 8:50 to tell me he was on his way over. Yes, yes, I was still in bed. Got up, figuring I had a half hour or so to get washed and dressed and take care of the animals. But no, the doorbell rang when I still had cleanser on my face. Seems he'd been trying to call for quite awhile but kept getting a message saying my number was out of service. Wonder what that was all about? It was the correct number, too.

Happily, he'd called his office and had the dispatcher call me. Would’ve been awkward if I had to take off from work again next week and didn’t get the furnace fixed today after all.

The heat exchanger turns out to be a humongous thing; the guts of the furnace, in fact. The crack was way at the back of one of the tall narrow cells, so no wonder my eyes couldn’t detect it on Monday. It was clear enough from the other side, once the unit was out and sitting on the floor. The split's about 3/4" long.

11:54 AM

Few minutes ago, Rufus* the repairman came to the foot of the 1st floor stairs to give me the news: He was about to fire up the furnace. There'd be a smell of smoke, he warned. The lubricating oil and so on burning off? Yeah.

He adjusted the hallway thermostat upwards, then I accompanied him back down the basement to witness the ceremony. Power back on at the mains, then a short wait for the gas to flow to the ignition.

But what’s this? Instead of a nice steady blue flame in the burners, we had yellow flares bursting out from under the new heat exchanger, so that Rufus had to move back lest he be hit.

Okay! Not what’s wanted, obviously. He’s down there now trying to figure out what the problem is. I’m going on the assumption it can be fixed, and fixed today. I have a replacement clause in my AHS policy, but I’d rather avoid the disruption and hassle.

12:22 PM

Up here in the study I smell something-- not exactly burning, more like a preheating frying pan-- so this could be good news.

12:50 PM

Victoire! Rufus tells me the flaring problem was just due to a dirty burner. Like when I get crud in the burners of my gas stove? Yep. It's all cleaned and safe now, the furnace is adjusted, and should now operate at 90% of its capability. Given that my TempStar dates from 1987, that's nothing to schmooze Al Gore with, but I'll take it. Better than it was.

After I paid the home warranty service fee and the repairman left, I-- well, what do you think I did? Turn up the thermostat and bask in all the nice clean heat?

No, I'm still cheap. I turned the heat off. 57° downstairs means a tolerable 61° or so up in the study, and with a cat in my lap I can take after my parsimonious father awhile longer this waning year.


Elaine said...

Cheap schmeap. You're smart. Kitties are nature's best lap warmer!

Sandy said...

Kittehs are also good blankets! I am glad you got your furnace fixed and didn't have to replace it. Al Gore will just have to get over it.