It’s so cold, and my life revolves around heating repairs

Up to 71, fire goes out. Repeat. Shut off. Wait for service.

Up to 71, fire goes out. Repeat. Shut off. Wait for service.

My whole life revolves around heat this morning.

And I do not like it a bit.

With our Syracuse temperatures well under zero, I awoke with a chill under my chin, the thermostat reading 65 and cold air blowing out of the vents. This, mind you, from a new furnace my dear wife Karen and I had installed at the front end of this winter, Dec. 28 to be exact.

It’s been cranky a couple of mornings this week, but I’ve been able to get the electronic ignition to light the natural gas by rebooting via the electrical switch. I changed the filter, even though I figured there was the rest of this season remaining in the old one. I took off the front of the burner and tried to remove the firing pin, to clean it with steel wool. That trick used to work twice a winter on the old furnace.

Wily as the furnace makers are these days with the high efficient models, they’ve placed the screw that holds in the firing pin in a place and at an angle that I can’t successfully maneuver, even with the new offset ratchet screwdriver set I went out and bought special for the job.

This morning it was obvious I had to make the service call.

And I made the decision while a plumber from that division of my friendly neighborhood heating-and-plumbing company was investigating why our shower won’t stay hot.

I scheduled the visit earlier this week.

Karen and I were ready, we figured. We’d purchased at the big box store a complete set of tub-and-shower hardware.

The plumber looked at the box and then pointed at the living room side of the shared wall. He said he’d have to cut three or four holes into the drywall.

We thought it all just screwed in.


Please be fixable. I do not want a hole cut in the living room wall on the other side.

You now have a new part. Please stop dripping.

He just got back with one part for the water-control part of the assembly, which he’ll be able to replace on the bathroom side. He says it’s possible that will fix the problem. He would not venture over to probable, mind you.

It’s in. He’s running the water. Off, on. On, off. Long, short. Short, long. (Don’t you just love this real-time reporting?)

And verdict is:

“Good news and bad news,” says plumber Mark.

The water is staying hot. There’s a thin dribble from under the handle when the hot water is on.

That may stop when minerals build up, he says.

My ears are still tuned to “the water is staying hot.”


The furnace service will happen within two hours, the friendly customer service rep told me on the phone.

It’s getting colder in the house.

So, I give you here another post about the lack of warmth. Golf season coming. Baseball season coming. Furnace service coming. This week I keep singing the same song.

And I do not like it a bit.

28 thoughts on “It’s so cold, and my life revolves around heating repairs

  1. oh i am so sorry, i know how awful all of this is, and you are uncomfortable to boot. i recently had a long drawn out experience with an electrician, and just have mercy on us universe and bring spring soon )


  2. I know how you feel since I have stuff falling apart left and right. At least the furnace didn’t go out this year… it’s almost time to start worrying about the AC working again!


  3. My goodness Mark, when it rains it pours, cold rain at that. Why do hassles come in bunches? Anyway, here’s sending you prayers, hugs and praying all gets sorted! Stay warm! 🙂


  4. Oh Mark, you have my deepest sympathy! But I have to admit I loved your humor through the huge Syracuse winter challenge! But you had a great post. Did you type in gloves?


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