16 June 2009

Ice Station Zebra

If at first you don't succeed, get drunk and blow it off for a day or two. Then sober up and try again.

My weekend company was incredibly forgiving about my inconsistent climate control. Friday evening saw eight or nine different people wandering through my house (not counting myself), and nary a complaint among them. At least, none that I could hear over the roar of my attic fan and ceiling fans. And guitar. And piano. And drums. And Hammond. And drinking. The roar of the drinking is always the loudest. It was almost pushing 80 degrees a few times.

Despite my late night liver abuse, I still managed to roll out of bed at a respectable 9 am on Saturday morning. After spending a half hour jawing with a neighbor I hadn't seen in three or four months, I set myself to the task of A/C repairman once again.

After brief breaks listen to my guest's piano playing and inhale some caffeine, we set off to get the CORRECT parts from the parts supplier. After a quick stop at the donut shop, my guest and I hit the parts store, and I asked the first person who offered to help me why they sold me the wrong motor earlier in the week. An employee took my old new motor away, and brought out the exact same model motor again.

"Um, I'm pretty sure I already tried this motor. It failed to hold up under even my most lackluster scrutiny."

"Sir, this is the replacement motor our computer recommends."

"This is a one-quarter horsepower motor."

"Yes sir."

"Just like the last one you sold me?"

"Yes sir."

"The one that failed."

"Uh huh."

"Even though my old General Electric motor was a one-fifth power motor?"

"Sir, that's what my computer tells me you need. Its actually a MORE powerful motor."

"Yes, I can 'do' math."

"Anything else I can help you with sir?"

"Hmm. Apparently not."

I didn't see the point of arguing that MORE power isn't necessarily always an improvement. The cooking directions call for 300° for sixty minutes. I'm going to try 3000° for six minutes. I'll bet my results will be just as good. Or even better, this Ferrari engine will make this go-kart haul some ass. But whatever. I'm no heat and air expert.

I went to another store to get a replacement capacitor, as my faith in the first place had spiralled out of existence. I asked what kind of replacement motor they recommended, and was shown the exact same overpowered motor I'd already seen twice. Fine. Maybe that is the replacement I need. Hmm. That meant the capacitor was probably bad, not the motor. Except I'm certain that the old motor was ruined. The bearings were shot. Which means that BOTH parts had failed originally, and I'd only changed out one. Which still meant that the motor I'd returned was probably fine. Which ultimately meant that I have no clue and therefore no business tinkering around inside my HVAC unit. Yay!

But now I had new replacements for both parts.

By one o'clock, I had replaced the fan and capacitor

By four that afternoon it was below 70 in my house.

By the following morning it was below 60.

My guest finally complained about the cold.
"Krëg, I'm afraid to stick my tongue to metal in your house!"
I just looked over and arched a brow.
"Well, now I'm even MORE afraid to stick my tongue to any metal in your house!"
"Why don't we go ahead and extend that fear to all of my property? Is there still some part of my house of which you remain unafraid to apply your tongue? I hope its not the bathroom or garage."
"I'm just saying its cold, man."
"Yeah, I sure did fix the ever-loving-fuck out of that air conditioner," I replied through chattering teeth.

Quoted cost of repairs = $400
Cost of parts = $115

Saving almost three hundred bucks made me feel even more manly. At least I think it did. Its difficult to tell through the hypothermia.


Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

And that picture of the dog? Priceless.

Bj in Dallas said...

i will buy you alot of beer if you come and fix mine....

actually, I JUST got off the phone with the home warranty people who I had never called.
I'll blog about this experience, I'm sure, if the AC is fixed for the $60 deductible.
That would be SWEET.

please let the dog out occasionally to thaw...