Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Furnace of the Damned

My furnace is out. Of course, this never happens except when my husband is out of town. I knew enough to tell that the pilot light wasn't lit. So, I did what any woman would do - I called the professionals.

Basically, the conversations I had with about 5 or 6 companies can be blended into this sample conversation:

Me: My pilot light is out. When can you come over and light it?

Him(it's always a him): Oh, honey, I'll bet it's more than that. Probably something's wrong with your thermocoupler or igniter. (Imagine him patting me on the head through the phone line)

Me: Maybe, but I need my pilot light lit.

Him: Well, we can take a look at it, then tell you what your problem is. But my guess is it's more than just the pilot being out.

Me: Okay, but I still need my pilot light lit. It's cold. I'm wearing a parka.

Him: I'd guess it's your thermocoupler. Or maybe your igniter. (apparently, he's convinced that throwing such big words around will impress me to do...what, exactly? Pay him now for a phone diagnosis?)

Me: When can you come out? That's what I need. Someone to come out. When? (hoping this will break his damned obsession with deducing the problem over the phone)

Him: Oh, it'll be a week or two. We're booked up.

Me: What? Your ad says 24-7, and full emergency services anytime!

Him: Yup. That's right. And it'll be a week or two until we can send someone out.

At this point I called my husband for other suggestions. Here's what he said - I kid you not:

Husband: Why don't I just talk you through it over the phone?

Me: You're joking. I've never done that before. The only thing I know about lighting a furnace's pilot light is that it is very dangerous and the house can blow up.

Husband: Only if the gas is on. Just shut off the gas and I'll talk you through it.

Me: I don't know how to shut off the gas.

Husband: We can figure that out.

Me: I don't want to "figure it out." It's dangerous and I'm not doing it.

Husband: Just put the kids outside if you're worried.

Me: And leave them motherless when I blow myself up? I don't think so.

Husband: I can talk you through it. Trust me.

Me: Have you ever lit the pilot on this particular furnace?

Husband: No.

Me: Do you know where I'm supposed to light it?

Husband: Not really - but they're all the same.

Me: So let me get this straight - you want to "talk" me through doing something you've never done before - and you don't know anything about this furnace. Is that right?

Husband: Sure.

My husband has now been home for three days and the pilot light is still out. He leaves tomorrow. So tonight I will hand him a box of matches and take the kids out for dinner. We'll see if the house is still standing when we get back.

The Assassin


Hellie Sinclair said...

*ROTFLMAO* I won't light the pilot on our water heater...let alone a furnace. And I get the "they're all the same, I'll talk you through it" crap all the time.

No, YOU do it. I'll go wait safely out of detonation reach, okay? Great.

Christie Craig said...

LOL. Oh,goodness, Leslie. Thanks for the laugh. And I do hope you get it lit and still have a husband and house to come home to.

Crime Scene Christie

blessedheart said...

ROFL! This was hysterical, leslie! You sound just ike me. I'm not messing with anything that has to do with gas, and I'm not touching the wall outlet while the electricity's still on! LOL!

Rhonda :0)

Gemma Halliday said...

Wait - were your husband and Christie’s husband separated at birth? Lol!
Let us know how it turn out.


Leslie Langtry said...

It'll happen if I have to hold a gun to his head. Although, if a gun goes off and the gas is on - that might trigger an explosion. I guess I'll just have to use my bow instead.

I'll definately let you know. Right now I'm wearing two sweaters.


Estella said...

WTG Leslie!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Okay, your signature on that post was the funniest bit. The Assassin indeed!

My husband is the opposite. I call him "Mr. Safety". We have a gas stove for the first time ever and my husband is *very wary* of it - he's convinced if he doesn't turn it off at the safety valve every time we'll all die in our sleep. No way would I get him monkeying around with a furnace!!

Anonymous said...

LOL! There's a lot to be said for all electric homes. *g*

Lucy said...

I have to agree with Tori! Yeah for all electric houses.

Nathalie said...

I am sure your family is happy for eating out tonight! but I wonder if they will it for two weeks :P

Lily said...

So funny and I totally understand!
My father has a PhD in engineering... electric, please and each time a fuse just dies out... we have to call the electrician because he is too afraid to just open the wall outlet!!

Shel said...

Leslie -
Hilarious! The first time I lit the pilot light I was 12 and it was my dad doing the "I'll talk you through it" bit.

My dad and his best friend doing home repairs was a major form of entertainment for us growing up, so I must have been just young and stupid enough to do it!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Leslie!!!! OMG, your husband is so in the doghouse but that's is toooo funny.

I hope you get heat soon!

catslady said...

After I finished laughing because that so would be me, I asked my husband. He's very handy thank goodness. His answer is now adays on most furnaces you don't have a pilot light that can be relit. These guys you called should have explained it to you. Chances are there is something wrong with that igniter they mentioned. If you turn your furnace on and then go and listen and there isn't any clicking noise - that should probably mena something is wrong with it. The thermocoupler has to do with the temperature. Hope this helps!

Stacy S said...

That's funny! Hope it all turns out okay.

Leslie Langtry said...

We have heat! Actually, after an hour and my husband's three calls to his father (we bought the house they built) but we have heat! Of course, it's really hot in here now because we're afraid to turn it off. Oh well. Clothes are soooo overrated! ;)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Glad you have heat again!

I thought of you this morning as I reached in to light my gas oven :)