i have become a convert. i have become a loyal disciple of the gospel according to mark.
no. not that mark—the mark that is my girlfriend’s brother-in-law. his message is simple: if something is broken, i will not immediately pick up the yellow pages. i will, to the best of my abilities, attempt to diagnose the problem. if necessary, i will read up on the type of problem i have. only then will i proceed. i will show no fear in my attempt in trying to fix it. if i succeed, i have learned another skill. if i mess it up more, then i call someone. always try, you might surprise yourself.
applying the gospel of mark to my own situation, i fixed my furnace yesterday.
leading up to that, i gave myself a crash course on furnaces. for three days, whenever i had a spare moment (if you know me, you know that those spare moments are extremely spare) i would read up on furnaces… gas pressure, burn temps, ignitor coils, watchsafe modes… all that.
granted, a lot of it went right through me. metal tolerances, torque ratios…not something i ever thought i would be reading about.
my furnace wouldn’t stay lit. it would kick on, the gas would burn, but then it would shut itself off for an hour. my first response was to clean it. with old toothbrush and t-shirt, i sat in front of the beast and gave it a much needed sponge bath. cover back on, start… boom. heat.
for a day. then that same problem again.
clean it again. start. boom. heat. then nothing.
i was defeated. i did what i could, but it wasn’t enough. with yellow pages in hand, i made the call. thank you for your time. um…for the amount of money i need to pay to have a skilled technician come to my house and knock on my door… whoa. if i got that every time i drew a squirrel…i’d be a very wealthy squirrel drawer.
so, i gave it another shot. reading up, i saw talk of a part that is hard to get to, but easy to clean. if i can clean that part, i might fix the problem. if i break something along the way, then so be it.
i’ve gained a whole new respect for the engineering that goes into a typical home furnace. much of the engineering actually protects idiots like me from blowing themselves and/or their homes into smithereens. if there are any furnace engineers reading this… thanks.
i got the part out. the way in which it was extracted wasn’t graceful, but i got it out. i gently cleaned it off with some steel wool. put it back in, tighten the screws, replace the cover, turn the gas back on. boom. heat.
then again. heat. then again, and again and again.
for $4 worth of steel wool, a little time and some trial and error, i saved myself $200. that may not be good for the greater economy, but it bodes well for my economy. and, i learned something…all because of the gospel according to mark.
but even MORE important, i didn’t blow myself up.