Never a Dull Moment

There’s never a dull moment when one owns a house. Actually, that’s not true. There are a lot of dull moments, but the not-so-dull moments quickly remove any complacency that might arise during the dull times when nothing goes wrong.

Today was one of complacency-breaking times. I went down to the basement to change the air filter on my furnace/air conditioner. I’ve done this many times in the past couple of years, so I didn’t expect a problem, but problems are what I got.

When I pulled the handle to remove the old filter, the handle came away and left the filter in place. This has happened before, and all I did was use my fingers to get it out. This time, however, instead of pulling it out, I somehow managed to push it to the side. The more I worked on it to try to get it out, the more recessed it became. Which is silly. Why wasn’t there some sort of framework to hold the filter in place and keep that from happening?

I finally gave up and send a frantic message to my contractor asking him if there was anything he could do. He responded saying that he was sending a man right out. The worker was there almost immediately. He couldn’t dig out the filter, either, so he removed the entire connecting piece between the vertical air duct and the furnace. (The thin black rectangular space between the connecting piece and the furnace on the picture is where the filter goes.)

A little later the worker came to find me and said the furnace had shocked him. He’d taken the panels off the front of the furnace looking for a tool (they had the impression I’d dropped a tool into the space when I tried to get the filter out) and when he put the panels back, the middle panel shocked him and shorted out the furnace. Apparently this had happened to previous owners because there were several black spots on the panel where it had previously made contact with the prongs of some sort of switch. He fixed panel to make sure it couldn’t short out again, but when he reinserted the panel, the air conditioner wouldn’t go on. He checked one of my circuit breaker panels and I checked the other (weird, huh? I have two, one inside and one outside), but none of the circuits had been tripped.

He took the switch to a furnace guy he knew to see if he could get a new one, but the furnace person said the switch was good, that he must have burned out the fuse. The fuse? Apparently, there is a separate fuse, the pre-circuit box kind, inside the furnace.

He replaced the fuse, so now I have a working air conditioner, an extra fuse (they came in a package of two) and a new filter.


People often wonder why I stick with this contractor, and this filter situation is a good example of why I do. He might be slow getting things done around here because he always has way too many jobs to juggle, but in an emergency, he (or one of his guys) is always right here. And if they make a mistake or cause any damage, they go out of their way to fix it.

That, to me, is priceless, and helps me greet any of these not-so-dull moments with an equanimity I might not otherwise be able to summon.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.