March 31, 2006

Spring Break, Day 6

..or, Furnace Follies, Episode III.

Basically, the people who put in the furnace were suicidal cheap stupid
idiots; happily, they did not kill us.

(Time out while Ginger has a nervous breakdown, contemplating the
possibilities.)

On the upside, I'm pretty sure we've finally isolated the problem! The
furnace stopped, just as before; we called the same folks, who had last
been here exactly two weeks ago. The regular repair guy was out, so
they sent the manager. He fiddled with it, did some tests, and decided
that the same device--that detects overheating--had been tripped again.
So the magic button was pushed again, etc.

Matt came up to report, and I said, "So, basically, it IS overheating.
Why? Is there a blockage somewhere?" Meanwhile, the furnace guy was
downstairs, thinking pretty much the same thing. So they undid the
pipe that leads to the chimney, which previous owners had insulated--in
all likelihood, because they realized it was getting kind of warm.
That would be because it was getting kind of blocked!

(Another pause while I hyperventilate. O.K. I'm alright now.)

When they took the pipe off, it revealed a HUGE blockage. The idiot
who put the furnace in used galvanized steel duct pipe up the chimney,
which had corroded over the years. Gravity being what it is, all that
yuck had settled at the bottom of the pipe, at the bottom of the
chimney, where the pipe connects to the furnace exhaust duct. So the
blockage was mostly rust, but was quite effective at keeping the
exhaust in, thus heating up the pipe, thus tripping the furnace's
safety mechanism (thank GOD!). Matt got the ShopVac, the blockage is
now all cleared, and this summer we'll get a chimney liner installed,
which is what should have been there in the first place--something that
will a) not corrode and b) not constrict the outward and upward air
flow.

(Roll credits. But not *ours*.)

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