OK, so we bought this house. Alright, that’s not really news. I told you that months ago – around when we bought it. Did I mention that it has a boiler? Ha, I bet you didn’t know that. Alright, you probably figured out that it had a furnace or boiler or some other device for making the house warmer than 40 degrees. But did you know that said boiler is about as old as the house and as big as a fridge?
So, everybody that’s figured out where this is going, raise your hands. You must all be homeowners, too. No, I don’t think we’re looking at a getting a new furnace right now (even though ours uses as much gas just to turn on as modern ones use for an entire month of keeping a house toasty), but that doesn’t make us any warmer than we currently are. It really seems to be a much simpler problem – but then problems always seem much simpler, don’t they?
This past spring we had a new (to us) oven installed by PSE&G. Basically I’m willing to fiddle around with the electrical wiring around the house that could send me flying across a room or pissing sparks for a week, but things involving flammable subjects speak to the not-so-handyman in me and say “call an expert.” So the guy hooked up the newish oven and offered to look at ol’ Bessy down in the basement (that’s my nickname for it – at least in this sentence). I should have known this was some sort of extortion racket going on once he immediately noticed that the low water shutoff valve wasn’t connected (alright, the fact that there were absolutely no wires coming out of it was probably a big hint). Regardless, he shut ‘er down and told us to have someone fix it before the cold weather creeps in months later…
Months later, the cold weather crept in (I really wanted to say creeped, but Firefox informs me that isn’t a word – unless I just add it to the dictionary. That feature certainly makes spell checking seem pointless.) and I found myself needing to get that little wiring problem fixed. Yes, I have comfortably sunk into my stereotypical husband lifestyle, complete with wife unit nagging me to fix all of the things that I assure her I will fix. So sue me.
A friend of Lisa’s came to look at the beast and assess the situation fir us. I will now add for insurance purposes that this “friend” is licensed to perform such tasks (assuming we were to move our house 50 miles north during the work). Of course, there now seems to be another problem with a broken valve or pipe or transmission or something – how the hell should I know? So I call up our home warranty hotline (I just love that concept – if your house breaks just send it in and will fix for you in 3-4 weeks), and they manage to get someone out relatively quickly (the delay was really my fault, so we’ll ignore that it happened). Of course this guy is saying that the shutoff valve problem is a pre-existing condition, just because it was like that before we bought it… Anywho, they might not cover the problem, and the day turned into a game of phone tag that I was not invited to participate in.
Now we’ve got a furnace/boiler/nuclear reactor in the basement that is turned off because it wasn’t designed to not burst into flames on it’s own, and can’t be turned on for one of two reasons – and the reason they’re going with is the one that they won’t pay for. Somehow I see this being resolved in late March. In the meantime I am building small fire pits in the middle of each room. I can only hope that our smoke detectors don’t work either.