Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Furnace

Lisa loves to see how late in the year we can go before we need to turn on the furnace. When we first moved her it was pretty much Christmas time before she would break down. As we have become softer the day of the furnace has moved earlier and earlier. I've been begging for heat for several weeks now but it was last week before I finally insisted that we had a furnace for a reason and I was turning it on. Imagine my dismay when nothing happened. 

I went out and checked out the furnace but I couldn't see anything wrong so I grabbed a flash light and noticed that the heat exchanger was full of dog food. There was also a good amount of mouse droppings around so it was no mystery how the dog food got into the heat exchanger. The mystery was where did the dog food come from? Bridget hasn't been with us for two years now and we did use the furnace all last winter. 

The problem now was that to clean that stuff out of the furnace was going to take longer more time than I have after I get home from work so it was going to have to be a Saturday job. Unfortunately last Saturday we went to Texas so there we were watching TV in our coats and blankets. Until this Saturday when I could tear my furnace apart. 

This morning I got up bright and early and headed out into the garage bound and determined to work until we had warmth in our house. Even though the heat exchanger was full of dog food I was a bit curious as to why the igniter didn't work. The furnace should at least try and start even if it was full of dog food. The mystery was solved when I pulled the cover off the furnace and saw that two bundles of wire had been chewed completely apart. Those stupid mice had eaten my wires. As angry as that made me I was somewhat relieved because that is an easy fix. 

It took me several hours and a trip to Home Depot before I finally got the furnace all cleaned out and reassembled. I took a five gallon bucket and a shop vac full of dog food, bow tie macaroni and mouse droppings out of that furnace. Gross, I really hope I don't come down with that Haunta Virus. Once it was all together I plugged in the furnace and turned on the the thermostat and anxiously awaited the "click, click, click" that tells me the furnace is trying to light. Sadly all I could hear was a soft hum. What a let down.

After several minutes of trying not to electrocute myself I tracked the hum down to the fan motor. I dug around the fan motor for a while and saw that those #%*&$@*$#@ mice had chewed through the wires that connected the condenser to the fan motor. this was not going to be as easy of a fix as the thermostat wires were. 

After disassembling all of the work I had just done I finally had the fan and motor out onto the floor. That is when I was able to tell that the wires had been chewed off right where they came out of the motor. I now had two problems. First of all, I couldn't get the fan off of the motor so it was impossible to get to the area where I needed to work and second, even if I were able to get the fan off I'm not sure I could connect to the little stubs of wires that were left. It looks like I am now to the point where I'm going to have to spend money. I hate that. After making many phone calls I realized that the only HVAC people who answer their phones on a Saturday are the ones who are willing to send an emergency repairman out to your house but not sell you spare parts. The fan/motor is now by my front door ready to go to work with me on Monday. I guess I can't put the coat away just yet. I better have this fixed before Thanksgiving or our company may suggest that we go to their house.

The output of the United States exceeds the output of the entire remaining world combined.


Lisa said...

I hate mice! Always have and always will now I hate them more!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Dude... the dog food... that is pretty creepy! hahaha Hope you get it all fixed soon with no more headaches!

Peter and Mandy said...

That's pretty nasty. Was it Bridget's dog food? I'd check your food storage too.

Kira said...

did you ever figure out where the dog food came from?

Lynn said...


This just totally creeps me out. How BIG are those mice down there if there is DOG food the size of rocks in your furnace? *shudder". I am picturing rat size. Are they actually in your house? I am with Peter and Mandy....I would check on the food storage.

Hope you can get the furnace up and running soon. Make sure to update this story. I am SO curious about those mice.

Dennis Cannon said...

Yikes! It seems that those pesky mice have been using your furnace as a storage area. It must’ve been a hassle to get that all cleaned up. Too bad that you weren’t able to fix it on the same day. They’ve really done a number on those wires. I just hope you got it working soon after you got the parts you needed. Maybe next time, it would be best to check it out before winter sets in, so that you’re sure that it would work when it finally gives in. Take care!

Dennis @ Laird and Son

Imran qureshi said...
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