Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Apparently, there is a point.

I've always liked it cooler in a given room than most. Hell on earth for me as a kid was to go to the elderly relatives' houses, packed in too tight, with the heat turned up to about 90, over the holidays.

So when the cooler days came this autumn, it didn't bother much that the heater never seemed to kick on. Hey, it's old. It could use a rest. And isn't it nice not to have to fight through the dog days of summer? I didn't fuss. I like to sleep under blankets, and 68 degrees is perfect for that.

As the autumn wore on, the average house temperature, bolstered in the evenings by our body heat and cooking, began to drop. Today my living room was 59 degrees at half past noon.

As it was 28 degrees last night, I suspect that the living room was somewhat cooler than 59 degrees, earlier in the morning.

And that, my friends, apparently is the point at which I decide enough is enough. Well? Everyone has one. Mine just seemed to be a bit lower than others'.

I first called another furnace man, and left a message. I say "another," because a contractor that we had used here had installed the thermostat. That man was HVAC certified, and said he knew installation of digital thermostats. Rather than root through the instructions to perform a job for the first and possibly last time, I deferred to his superior abilities and experience, and let him install the device. Back in May. We never used the heater in the interim. The heater which the thermostat wouldn't turn on this morning.

I got on the Rite Temp website, and looked up the installation specs for their model 6020 digital thermostat, and found the correct wiring diagram for a four-wire installation of a gas heater/AC system. I compared it to the extant wiring on the wall. I walked back and forth. Hallway, computer screen. With some trepidation, I moved the red wire one slot to the left. Of COURSE I worked hot.

Behind me, I heard a quiet "foom."

I checked the inside of the furnace, and saw that the valve had suddenly opened, allowing the flames to correctly begin warming the inside. I closed it. 90 seconds later, the fan kicked on, and heat, glorious heat, began flowing through the house.

20 minutes later, my living room is at 62 degrees and climbing.

Stupy "HVAC" contractor man.

Gotta make a cancellation call, now.

* * *

In other news, I've decided to rethink the whole "store your wrapping paper in the utility closet" concept. With a gas water heater kicking on and off, and a gas heater kicking on and off, there's a lot of flame and spark in that little closet. Wispy crepe paper and tissue paper sticking out of a big cardboard box with two dozen rolls of paper wrapped around vertical cardboard boxes strikes me as resembling tinder a bit too well. What's next? Keeping the jug of lawnmower gas in there? That big box has now been relegated to the linen closet, which will irritate my wife, but will make me feel better.

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At Thursday, December 03, 2009 4:06:00 PM, Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

If I recall correctly, thermostat wiring is 12VDC, so it's not as though you were going to shock your shoes off.

At Thursday, December 03, 2009 6:59:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Ah yes... the old RTFM :-) Good move with the wrapping paper, that has caused more fires than you think over the years. The biggest problem will be people putting 'stuff' in the closet when you're not looking.

At Thursday, December 03, 2009 8:13:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Yeah, you're almost always going to be dealing with control-level voltage, not the full house current. I've replaced four thermostats for myself and friends, and never even thought to turn off the power.

Speaking of which, the task you previously thought to be too difficult to handle without professional help (which screwed it up, apparently) is now something you can do. Next time someone has thermostat troubles, you should offer to help. :)

At Thursday, December 03, 2009 9:34:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Paul it wasn't that I didn't think I couldn't install a thermostat-- I knew better than that. But I had a thermostat, and I had a certified HVAC contractor in the house that was doing other work for me, and he was on my clock anyway, and... hey, why not? He had installed them before, after all.

The reason that I had called an HVAC man today was that I genuinely didn't know that the problem lay with the controller. I just wanted to get my call in, and use his experience at troubleshooting. I trust this second guy that I called, and know that if he said "It's the furnace; you need a new one," that he wouldn't be lying, and I would get warm faster. As it was, I was glad when I spoke to him later, so that I could say, "Hey! You ever going to bill me for fixing my A/C this August, or what?"

At Friday, December 04, 2009 1:09:00 PM, Anonymous HankH said...

Sounds like you might have a bright future in heating/cooling if this law enforcement thing doesn't work out ;)


At Saturday, December 05, 2009 8:04:00 PM, Anonymous Dave said...

Just finished reading your archives - good stuff, thanks for sharing.


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