Thursday, November 20, 2008

So I have been vindicated part two

In a nutshell here is my Heater and Air Conditioner Repairman Conspiracy Theory:

They break your heat when they come to fix the air and then they break the air when they come to fix the heat.

On November 10th I called a repairman to fix our heat.  Before he arrived I posted my theory. Big mistake.  They must have seen my post because they sent over a repairman who reminds me of my Papaw (God rest his soul).  How could I possibly not trust my Papaw?  This is how they get you!  I have fallen right into their trap.

So Papaw reports that he cannot duplicate the problem I am describing (this is repairman for "you are an idiot").  He believes that it must be the control panel which will cost $250 plus labor and tax.  I am cold.  I say "fine".

Then the heat stops working again.  Conveniently on a Friday night so we have to go all weekend without heat.  I decide the heat & a/c mob is more pissed off than I originally thought. I resolve to be more wary of Papaw this time.

Crap!  He is super nice and apologetic and returns my check for $306 to me un-cashed so I can void it.  I decide my theory might have been wrong.  Such a sweet old guy!

Papaw tries another part, but it is not quite the right part for my heater model.  He says that he "shoehorned" in a pressure switch and if it works consistently he will order the correct one.

The heater works fine for many days.  I decide I really was wrong.  I almost post a retraction.

Papaw returns today to remove the "shoehorned" in part and install the correct part.  I happily write him a check for $196.  I am HAPPY to spend $196 because it is significantly less than $306. That should have set off some warning bells for me, but I was trusting Papaw.

About 4 hours after Papaw leaves with my $196.... the heat stops working. I am kicking myself. Why did I not question the un-cashed check?  Its like it was planned!  Should I call some people to report my schedule for the next couple of days in case I turn up missing?

When I call the repair place they say that they don't have any experienced guys available currently.  Because my "problem has been ongoing" I am given the option to wait for Papaw to come tomorrow or I can have a less experienced guy right now.  I am not really trusting Papaw or his kind so I take the newbie.

Newbie shows up 20 minutes later (some sort of repairman record I am certain).  He has a pierced lip and visible tats.  It is 38 degrees so visible tats in that temp means in the summer he probably looks like a piece of scratch paper after a budget meeting.  I am comforted by his appearance after being burned by Papaw.

So I explain the entire saga to Newbie as matter of fact as I can.  I certainly don't want to tip him off that I am onto the game.  He says there is a rod that sometimes acts up in the cold weather when you have a digital thermometer.  I am glad to hear he has a theory.  I love a good theory.

Ten minute after he ascends to my attic, the heat kicks on.  Ten minutes after that he pops down and gives me a full report.

He says that the rod was fine and at first he was not sure what the problem could be but then he poked farther into the machine and noticed...........................wait for it........................................ 



He explained there was a wire that someone had pulled loose and then stabilized back with tape and a twist tie rather than really repair it.  It was not always connecting properly, hence the occasional working heat.  He said that he properly repaired it and that should do the trick. I went so far as to confirm that there were no pieces of twine, bread ties, electrical tape or chunks of chewing gum acting as parts in my heater.  He gave me an eyebrow raise, but he answered the question with "No, not to my knowledge."  In my head I am screaming I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

He assured me that he would clarify in his report that the new pressure switch for $196 was probably not necessary.  I guess I will be hosting a final visit from a repairman to remove the new pressure switch and put the old one back on.  I pray they send Newbie back because he apparently has not been inducted into the repairman secret society yet. 

Maybe I should ask him to take a look at the a/c while he is up there.


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