Monday, April 5, 2010
ALWAYS IN THREES
Over the years, I have always found the old saying to be correct - things always come in threes. I have had my share of threes, but the most recent left me laughing and crying at the same time.
A couple months ago when it was so very cold, I learned the hard way that there was no vent cover on the garage side of my house. The one in back and bedroom side were also missing. Those 3 vents allow air to circulate in the crawl space under the house in the summer (they are to be closed in winter). The house was built in 1968 and there are no basements in this neighborhood. The cold wind was whipping around one day as I tried to do laundry. No water would come out of the pipe, just a humming sound when I turned the washer on. I patiently waited until the next day to try again. Same humming. I knew it was not my washer, so I reluctantly called a plumber. He went into the crawl space and thawed a pipe under the floor in the laundry room. When that didn't totally correct the water flow, he tore the lower part of my wall apart behind my washer. He cut away the panelling, took his fist to the plaster, and I had a big ugly hole in the wall. But he got the pipes thawed out and water again flowed into the washer. He collected his fee and left. I had to repair the wall. I purchased pipe insulation, a piece of wall insulation, and a can of spray foam insulation to fill up the hole. My son moved the washer back out of the way and between us, we filled and patched the hole. A workman next door cut a scrap of wood for that vent so I would not get a refreeze. The other 2 vents are still left uncovered (need to get 2 more cut now). Number one had struck, what would come next?
About two weeks ago, I walked into the kitchen and thought I heard a water sound. I have an ice maker and the old refrigerator does make water noises now and then. I also have the door water and ice dispenser. As I went to wipe my hands on a towel on my counter, I notice the towel was soaking wet. After taking almost everything off that small side of the counter the water began to gush and continue to flow onto the countertop as I watched. I immediately knew what to do - turn off the water. I found the valve to the line that fills the reservoir in the freezer and turned it off. It's attached to the regular water line under the sink, so it did not affect my faucet. When my son came over a few days later, he pulled the refrigerator out and found the plastic tubing that carries water up from the reservoir to the ice maker was sheared off, broke, not just unplugged. No glueing that back together. So I have no ice maker anymore. I'll have to live with plastic ice trays now! Number two...what could come next?
It was such a nice warm day out last week, and the next day was even hotter. I got out my jean shorts (I'm a jeans type person) and turned off the heat feature on my thermostat. Why have the heat on when it was so nice out? However, the fan kept running, and running, and running. After two days of hearing that fan run and run, I tried to flip the thermostat a few times, with no luck. So again, with great realization that number THREE might be staring me in the face, I called my friend, the heating/ac man. He's so great, he was there within the hour. He took the furnace cover off and adjusted the silver dial and the fan quit blowing. Of course, because I always want to know more, I asked him why, etc. Being very knowledgeable, he gave me the complete workings of that "gizmo" that makes the fan come on to cool the inside of the heater when the pilot is on. After a short discussion, and realization that Spring was right around the corner, we made the decision to turn off the pilot light and save me the extra cost of gas during the warm months. I don't turn my heat on until it gets really cold, about November, because of the high cost of gas. And I never run my air conditioning until the temperature gets above 85 or 90 outside. I just use a fan to circulate the air (that's what fixed income will do to you!). Born and raised in Ohio, but I never liked snow all that much. I guess living in the south for 23 years spoiled me to warm weather. The repairman also said that the "gizmo" needs more adjustment as it gets older and wears out. Therefore, we have put it on our calendar for late October for him to come back, replace the old part, and relight my pilot light for winter. Afterall, it's the original furnace from 1968, but works darn good for its age - like me.
Let's hope my THREES have come and gone and I can relax for a while. Even though I have a GREAT plumber, and heating repairman, I can't afford to keep them on staff! But, I CAN afford a few new ice trays at the dollar store!!!