Thursday, February 28, 2008


A few hours ago I was walking through the kitchen and felt a cold draft. The furnace was blowing cold air. Upon investigation I found that the blower was going like mad but the gas wasn't on and the electric ignition wasn't even trying. I removed the filter, played with the thermostat, checked the gas in the house, toggled some switches, noticed a red status LED blinking in patterns of four, and threw the breakers a few times. Once I ripped the furnace open far enough I finally found a brand name to feed Google.

Google gave me one other reference to a similar problem. Four blinks means the limit circuit is open. This means that one of four switches must have been thrown. Of course none of them were. After talking to a guy in California, since all the furnace repairmen in the more local time zones had closed, I got my multimeter and checked to see that the switches were still good. They were. So just for giggles I shorted past all the switches with an LED. It lit up. I threw the breaker just for fun. The status light continued it's blinking. Blowing, no heat.

9:00 pm and the indoor temperature was down to 58°F and 30°F outside. It's supposed to get down to 23°F out there. I fobbed off the parrot on a neighbor since she can't cope with the cold as well as I can.

But that's the question. How do I plan to cope? I was gonna pop a pizza in the oven but I'm out. I tried to order a pizza but yet another pizza place has stopped delivering to this area. I'll try boiling something up later. Eventually I'll have to retreat back to the attic since it's the highest and will stay the warmest the longest. Do I stay awake and try to keep warm or hunker down and cocoon myself?

Tomorrow I'll call a repairman and probably have to take a half day. So long as the pipes don't burst first.

The next morning...

Luckily the temperature didn't drop below 50°F indoors last night. Only 10° below where I kept the house at the beginning of the winter. I coped by wrapping myself up in five layers of the warmest blankets I could find. Dad suggested electric blankets. The controls for them showed up a few days ago but the blankets themselves are still in the steamer trunk which I probably won't get to unearth for another couple of weeks.

I just got off the phone with some furnace techs. They were impressed with how much I was able to tell them about the problem. As well they should be I think. They're gonna call me back to tell me when, and if, someone can come by today.

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