Saturday, September 29, 2007

Murphy Strikes Again!

The Engineer went out of town this weekend. Poor fellow has to go to a Houston Astros game and sit in a corporate box. He's been getting a chuckle out of his ticket which specifies his seat as "barstool." And, of course, the box has its own private waiter to pour the beer and serve the food. Don't we feel sooooo sorry for him.

As soon as his plane took off it started to snow. First if was big globs of snow like loose snowballs going splat, splat, splat on my windshield, then it got down to business and snowed for real.

I had taken the frost blankets off the garden Monday, so I ran out and put them back on. It was lots of fun. I used an 8 foot garden stake as an arm extension to hook the fabric up and over the supporting poles and plants. It took me an hour working on my own and by the time I was done I was soaked and cold.

Since I'm a red head, I have no naturally visible eyebrows or eyelashes. Every morning, I goop myself up thoroughly with mascara to look like I have a face. Running around in soggy snow is not good for mascara. By the time I was finished with the plants, I looked like Alice Cooper.

I came in, pealed my dripping clothes off - amazing how hard it is to pull clothes off when they're that wet - and took a long, hot shower.


A couple hours later, I realized that the warm and toasty after shower feeling was wearing off way too quickly, so I went to bump up the thermostat. It said 63, so I pushed it up to 68. No heat. Pushed it up to 70. No heat. I went to the basement and stared at the big furnace box and the ductwork and pipes and had no idea what to do.

Evil Language!

Called the Engineer to see if he had any ideas.

He said to turn the thermostat up.

Well duh! Like that's not the first thing I tried.

He had no ideas beyond that and, besides, the waiter was serving his dinner.

I found the power switch for the furnace and decided, what the heck, if rebooting works for computers, maybe it will work for a furnace. I turned it off and listened to funny noises. I turned it back on and listened to more funny noises, including water gurgling.

Water gurgling?

So I called the heating and air company that had been out last week to install a whole house humidifier and had left the job half done because of a faulty motor on the unit. After about an hour, the on-call guy called me back and we went through a bunch of diagnostics. The water gurgling turned out to be the clue he needed to diagnose the problem over the phone. The condensate drain was plugged - which needed a part from Lennox to fix and Lennox isn't open until Monday...

He suggested I try to blow out the obstruction. I blew until my cheeks popped to no avail.

To heck with that! Let's go postal on it!

I got out my trusty keyhole saw and cut a hole in the condensate drain trap. Smart girl that I am, I had a bucket ready for the spurting water.

Heat's back on and I've put in an order for a new drain trap cap that's spring loaded for easy clean-out to be installed when the motor for the humidifier blower comes in.

The bucket will work until then.

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