Saturday, December 27, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours.

Christmas Day the driveway was covered with about 5" of ice and snow. The day after Christmas the temperatures started to rise and all the ice started melting, creating a surface that is slippier than any I have ever known. Then the fog rolled in, followed by horrendous downpours during some pretty strong thunderstorms.

This is DECEMBER! In Illinois, south of Chicago, where we should be in the 20's and snowy. We were subzero then snow, then sleet and ice, then rain and storms. So this week we experienced all four seasons...kind of.

The rain seemed never-ending. Not only does it cause all the snow to dissolve and create puddles and massive flooding in some areas, it fills up my duct work. Our house is on a floating slab and the heating ducts are under the house, in the ground. This was the way they did it in the 60's when the house was built. So seepage fills the duct work, and then when the furnace kicks on, it causes the water to slosh and roll around, at times splashing out of the vents and onto the floor.

This is what woke me up at 3am, so I turned the thermostat down in the hopes it would shut the furnace off and give me peace and quiet so I could sleep. Didn't happen; the furnace didn't shut off. Seemed odd since it was about 55 outside at the time and it was quite warm in the house. So, I woke my husband up and asked him to check it out. He had to shut the furnace off completely.

Later this morning, after we were finally able to get some sleep, what with the rumbling in the floor from water sloshing in the duct work and the rumbles outside from the thunderstorm, my son checked the furnace and discovered that the hot surface ignitor was malfunctioning. That explained why the furnace wouldn't shut down last night and why the blower was at such a high speed and caused the water to really slosh around.

So, we spent all morning and part of the afternoon trying to find someplace that had the part for the furnace. The problem we had was that it's an American Standard furnace and they are proprietary and not many supply houses (that are open on Saturday) carry the part we needed. Finally, after a dozen or so phone calls, and running to 4 different supply houses in 3 different towns, we found the one we needed. Then it was back home and put it in. Just in time too, since they are calling for colder weather tomorrow.

We were lucky on several counts with this. First of all, the temperature today was close to 65 and second, a friend of my husband was finally able to locate the part for us. It was either a coincidence or pure luck that this friend also called my husband for help with a refrigeration job that he was on at the same time we were looking for this part. That was when he asked him if he knew anyone that might have it. Either way, everything worked out for everyone.


  1. Although I checked funny, it really wasn't. That is so bad, that you had that problem, but glad you could get it fixed.

  2. In a way it was funny. Seems lately that every Friday I have some type of technology failure, but usually at work. I'm lucky my husband and son are in HVAC. It would have cost me upwards of $200 for a service call by a repair company. As it was, it only cost me about $45 for the part and another $20 for lunch LOL