The furnace works now

I noticed it was a little cold when I came home Friday night and the furnace wasn’t putting out warm air even after I turned up the thermostat. In fact there wasn’t much air at all coming out even though we have the fan on continuously. Great. Another chore to do this weekend. Scratch the IPSC match on Sunday because Saturday was committed to visiting my parents and doing some construction and the final fall prep for the Taj Mahal.

Last night, hoping I could get the furnace going and have time for other things today I pulled the dirty air filter out, washed it, and put it back in and got decent air flow but there was still no heat.

So today I verified the pilot light (gas furnace) was on and the thermostat was set to “heat” rather than “cool” and the thermostat setting was for several degrees warmer than the room temperature. Still no flames in the burner. I then used a couple of small screw drivers to short across the terminal block for the thermostat, to simulate a thermostat closure, directly on the furnace controller. After a few seconds it was “flame on” with a puff of flame that came back out of the furnace–toward my hands:


Photo by Xenia

My back of my right hand now has stubble on it (the hair on my palm is just fine).

[Side note: Xenia thought it was gross and it took me a while to convince her to take a picture. I don’t understand her concept of “gross”. She intentionally got a hole punched in her face and a little singed hair is too gross to take a picture of?]

I removed the thermostat from the wall and did a similar trick from there and also got the furnace burner to start working. It must be the thermostat or the connection. I finally examined the batteries to the thermostat and discovered on of them had leaked and corroded the battery contacts. I removed the old batteries, cleaned the contacts, put in fresh batteries, and now the furnace works again. Now I can head back to the Seattle area tonight, then to Reno on Thursday and not worry too much about the Huffman-Scott compound (guarded by Caleb, Kim, and Xenia) freezing while I’m out of town.

Grumble… There are just too many things getting in the way of the things I want to do.