Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh the trials of a heating contractor!
After 4 days of no heat we finally got our furnace fixed today. I am basking in warm. I am not wearing sweats and three pairs of socks to bed. I am not standing 2 feet in front of one of our space heaters because that's about as far as the heat goes. I am not one with the hot water bottle, electric blanket, or heating pad.

Happy, happy day.

Mr. Grumpyheat, however, had a bad day. The guy we called to fix our heater was apparently disappointed to find that it didn't work and that we expected him to fix it. I honestly think we were putting him out somehow.

First off, our heater is under the house. It's in a moderately sized crawl space with a dirt-lined floor. I've been down there. The PG&E guy spent 20 minutes there and came out smiling and chatting about the Giants. Mr. Grumpyheat looked into the crawl space as if it were lined with the bodies of lepers. Personally I thought those Dickie coveralls were there to get dirty, but I guess they're just there to impress the ladies. Meanwhile, this lady was wearing two sweatshirts in the house because it was 49 degrees this morning. I was not impressed by the coveralls. I was impressed that he had the magic bits to turn cold into heat.

Except he didn't. After moaning and sighing his way back to the heater, crawling over those lepers, he banged for a bit. Said one or two bad words under his breath, and then made the same death trek out to say he didn't have the right part. Wow...this is the company that put this furnace in 4 years ago, I had described the symptoms, you think they might just throw a few possible parts onto the truck in the morning. But, no, he had to go back to the office for the part. So off Mr. Crumpyheat goes leaving me hugging the space heater and putting on another pair of socks.

The return of Mr. Grumpyheater was heralded by much subterranean banging, which terrified Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) who was already skittish because the space heater apparently hums in a way that disturbed her greatly.

And then it's done. He clomps up the porch and hands me a clipboard and says 'it's done." don't mind if I turn the heater on and actually see if heat comes out, do you? So while he's filling out the paperwork I'm crouched down over a vent, fingers crossed, nose nicely icicled. And....oh the bliss.....

On the paperwork he lists the job: Check frangometer. Change whopflange. Replace sleemvalve. And then it says, on the paperwork: Furnace is under house with dirt-lined crawl space. Like we had him working in the La Brea Tar Pits. Hey, you're a heating contractor, do you expect the heater to be next to the hot tub in the conservatory? Maybe in modern homes the comfort of repairmen is given the apparent consideration they deserve and all bit of mechanicals are easily accessible in warm, sunny place with posters of naked women and either coffee or Slurpee machines, depending upon the weather. But in earlier homes (ours was built in the late 1940s) things like a furnace was put under the house. I'd think having to do things like routinely crawl under houses was part of the job but Mr. Grumpyheater acted like I'd provided him with substandard dirt in substandard conditions and would, if ever called out on a job again, expect us to sweep the dirt and provide him with a nice carpet for him to crawl along. And, of course, get rid of the damned lepers.

Oh screw him, we've got heat!!!!


FinnyKnits said...

How dare you ask an HVAC contractor to *GASP* attend to the H in his title by crawling under your house where it exists!

Perhaps he should file a grievance with his co. and request that they begin to place all their heating units "next to the hot tub in the conservatory".


Lucas said...

Wow, I'm all over these kitty photo shoots!