Friday, April 20, 2007

The Furnace. Kaput.

I forgot to mention earlier in the week, but our furnace died the night before Laura left. I'm reasonably sure the thermocouple is toast. I haven't replaced it yet; it's only been below freezing two nights, and the weather has been warm enough in the daytime that it's not too cold in the house. I'm having some trouble locating the part, mostly because I don't know the model number, or even the manufacturer, for our furnace. It's got no identifying marks on it of any kind. The thermocouple's pretty easy to install, but you need exactly the right one for this furnace. So my best bet will be to take the offending part around to a few supply shops and see if some expert behind the counter recognizes it.

I could call the guy who originally installed it, but I don't think he's in business anymore. I'm basing that on our last experience with him. The furnace was apparently new shortly before we bought the house. We bought it in midwinter, so we didn't discover that the air conditioning didn't work until the next summer. We called the installer, and he came out and looked at it without actually figuring out what was wrong. We called him a few more times to see if we could get him to come out and fix it. He kept finding reasons to not come out; I think he didn't know what was wrong, and didn't know what to do next. We stopped trying to call him when we called and found that his business answering machine message had been changed to say, in a gruff voice, "I'm at mom's. Call me if you need me." Verbatim. So we assumed that he was no longer in business. I called a buddy at Love Heating, who came over and spent five minutes looking at it before he diagnosed the problem: the control wiring was incorrect. Ten more minutes to rewire it and test it. If it turns out to be a problem I can't fix, I'll probably call Love again; they're a good local company to work with. Still, I'm hoping I can deal with it myself and save some cash....

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