Sorry but I need to vent a little. I've put all the venting behind a cut so feel free to ignore this post. No. Seriously. Ignore it.


So I'm at the one and only religious thing I attend every year - Solstice with some good friends - and about 4 am Sunday I get a text from my wife saying the furnace has gone out. I walk her through some thermostat diagnostics and then try to walk her though lighting a fire in the fireplace. She just couldn't get it to light properly.

So after being up all night guarding the fire I got in my car then drove home. This was not a simple exercise because this was yesterday early in the morning after the freezing rain and before the plows were out. In a 1998 Dodge Neon.

So I manage to not kill myself and get home at around 6:30 am or so in the morning. Get under the house where the furnace is and find that the vacuum pressure switch is working but not to spec. I can generate a vacuum manually that will trigger the switch but it won't work with the draft inducer. Fine. By this time it's early in the morning but late enough I can get a hold of my brother in law. He tells me that there's nobody open on a Sunday that would have the part except maybe someone might have it on one of their vans and that would be uber expensive. I thank him then do some fiddling. Manged to get the furnace running by rapidly cycling the switch to free it up a bit and orient it at a certain angle.

I then slept for about 5 hours. Then promptly did nothing the rest of Sunday except finish the first season of Arrow on Netflix.

So this morning I go to the furnace supply place to get the part. The one guy at the counter gives me a complete runaround on how do I know it's the switch and it could be my heat exchanger and am I a heating contractor. He also tells me he doesn't have any parts for my brand furnace. I hate to admit it but I gave him shit back. I even broke out "It's Christmas and you're trying to send me to a contractor!". The second guy there asked me what the rating on the switch was. (-0.60) He said he didn't have that but he did have a -0.55 and I told him that would work. It'll just trigger a little sooner.

So as I expected they marked up the price (a $20 part became a $35 part) and told me that I couldn't return it. I was fine with that.

I haven't installed the switch yet but man this whole cycle has been such a pain. I'll get into the crawlspace shortly and install it. Thankfully it's a simple install.

In closing if you've waded through all this muck I apologize and hope that the rest of this holiday season goes better for both you and me. :-)
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Mike Hebel

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