… And That Would Be Three

Superstition holds that bad (or unlucky) things always come in threes.

First, my desk chair broke on the day our kitchen pipes froze.  I had to order a new chair.  Which, by the way, I love.

Then, my computer began exhibiting death throes, and I had to buy a new one.  We were hit by a blizzard at the same time, but there was a lull late on Thursday afternoon so I could drive over to the big box store and pick up my new computer.   The roads were icy, visibility was near zero due to blowing snow, and even my all-wheel-drive SUV did some sliding.  I didn’t venture out again, but I did have my new computer.

Which is still sitting in the box today (Saturday) because there was a third event which took priority …

Our furnace died.  Yesterday, hubby got up for work and I got up to go to my Remicade infusion, and realized the house was unusually cold.  Sure it was below zero (Fahrenheit) outside, but still.

The thermostat read 61 F.

We had recently had the thermostat installed; thus, hubby figured it was a programming problem.  But he couldn’t get the heat to kick on no matter what buttons he pushed.  We called the company who installed the thermostat (and the furnace), and they couldn’t even give us an estimated time to come over.  Nor, could they (or would they) put hubby on the phone with a tech who could walk him through the programming.  The customer service rep merely said they would try to call us “sometime today.”  Really?  We had no heat, and the thermostat was now down to 60 F.

We assumed it wasn’t the furnace because that same company  had come out in October, checked everything, and said the furnace was fine.

It wasn’t.

Frustrated, my husband called our favorite contractor, Roy’s Plumbing & Heating, which has done extensive plumbing for us.  They said they would come between noon and 2.  This, despite the high volume of calls they were receiving due to the blizzard and extreme cold.  Of course, we are preferred customers due to the amount of business we’ve given them over the past few years – remember? – they even sent me gourmet cookies after our last humungous job!

I love Roy’s.  The town building inspector loves Roy’s (because they do everything by the book).  But there’s only so much that can be done late on a Friday afternoon after a blizzard and during extreme cold.


I went to my infusion, hubby stayed home and met with the Roy’s tech.  Other patients in the infusion room were quite entertained by the stream of phone calls between hubby and me (what else can you find amusing after going through a 2-day blizzard and then having to undergo IV therapy?).

The furnace installed by the former owners was, in the opinion of the Roy’s tech (and in the opinion of a subsequent tech from a different company), an inferior model with design defects.  Yes, it could be repaired, but parts would have to be ordered.  The total cost for repairs would be around $2,000, and longevity could not be guaranteed.  (This was borne out by the second contractor we called.  We take no estimate at face value, even from contractors we’ve used before and trust.)

The guy in the chair next to me apparently knew everything about everything and jumped right in while I was on the phone with hubby.  He knew someone who could put a new furnace in for $1500.

No, I don’t trust total strangers, even if they suffer from the same condition I do, and his contact was someone who works off the books.  Thanks, but we need guarantees and licenses, and assurances that the proper building permits will be obtained.

Hubby asked the Roy’s tech to price a new furnace and was told the earliest they could get a salesperson out for an estimate would be Tuesday.

The house was now at 54 F and still dropping.

Hubby set up the appointment just to be safe in case we couldn’t reach anyone else late on a Friday afternoon.  Did I mention it was a blizzard and extreme cold?  HVAC contractors were all buried (pardon the pun).

To give Roy’s additional credit, the tech stayed and got the furnace working (more or less) and showed hubby how to keep it limping along until a new furnace could be installed.  He charged us only for the service call, and said that fee would be applied against a new furnace should we decide to go with Roy’s.

Which we would have done, except that we couldn’t wait until Tuesday to get just an estimate, with the install to follow sometime after that.

Did I mention that we had a furnace which kept dying and having to be re-set and could die permanently at any time?  It was zero degrees outside!

So, hubby called Emerald Heating, which had installed the furnace in our prior house.  The representative came out within the hour, and they can install the new furnace on Monday.  A good quality furnace at a price we can afford, and like Roy’s, they do everything by the book.

Additionally, it was mentioned that should our current furnace fail completely over the weekend, Emerald will bring heaters to us so we can stay in the house.  Which is good.  We really don’t want to take Puppy Cody to a motel.  She hates motels – and this is Superbowl Weekend (party time at motels).


We’re set up for 8:30 Monday morning.  I can hardly wait.  There will be no heat that day, but we can deal with that.

Of course, now there will be that extra expense to pay, but that’s life.  Welcome to working-class America, where the fun never ends!

(BTW, I am now going to disconnect this computer and set up my new one.  Leave comments if you wish, but don’t be concerned if I don’t respond immediately.)

Too cold to shovel any more. Let’s head back in.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com


Images by Cordelia’s Mom


This entry was posted in Household Items, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to … And That Would Be Three

  1. Know what you mean about boilers. We pushed for the house owners to get the boiler serviced before we signed anything, but they dithered and dallied. We wanted a quick move (needed actually) so took a chance, getting it serviced ourselves. Then we found we had no hot water unless the heating was running, so he came out early. Turned out one major part had failed and another was failing, cost about £800 plus labour and he couldn’t guarantee it would solve the problem, though his work would be guaranteed. We asked him for a quote for a new boiler, much to his surprise. We got a fair deal, a new boiler with a seven year guarantee and the work done the following week. Cost two grand, but it was a good decision.


  2. Jane says:

    Holy moly, what a week to have your furnace die. Sounds like you have a good company to fix it.. A couple of years ago we had our boiler serviced. We had the same guy for years, and then he was unable to come so the company sent someone else. This new guy was a complete jerk. My mother in law was in the hospital in hospice and he was taking over three hours to just do a routine maintenance. He had hoses out to the garage drain and …well, being upset with our Mom situation, we rushed whatever he was doing. Then, later because it got warm, the heat came on the first time. It sounded like the pipes broke and all this water was rushing out. But it was air in the pipes and the pressure was also off ( we found out later) I lived with it for two more weeks because Mom did pass and there was enough to deal with. Then, on the night before Thanksgiving, the temperature dropped drastically. The house as getting colder by the moment and the boiler was not kicking on it seemed. I called the company (Taylor Heating, never ever use them) and they said they only had one technician on and he was in east Jesus… and no one could come out. It was also raining turning into an ice storm. I called back and raised holy hell, saying I was going to call all sorts of media outlets and so forth. About an hour later, the VP of the company came out with two guys and were here until 1:30am bleeding the whole system. What a mess and issue. AND then they said it was our fault because the system did not have this particular bypass system and values and blah blah blah. They got it to work with out the noise and adjusted all the pressure after bleeding out the air and charged me $500. for the time spend even though their jerk added the air and changed the pressure when he drained the system. In the 16 years prior, I never had an issue. After bitching later to high heaven to the President of the company, I got their maintenance deal and it only ended up costing half and they were coming out for free for the next cleaning as part of the agreement. Fast forward to the next cleaning in fall. They sent a lovely older gentleman and I told him the story. I told him of all the work they wanted me to have done to prevent this ever happening again….. and he just hung his head. He said, :Lady, you have all that already on your system. It is required.” SOOOOOOO…. they have never been back in my house. And (knocking wood) the boiler has been fine. The new company I used said the system is in excellent shape.
    Sheesh. Here’s wishing you a lot of hot air!


    • Ugh, what a story! The company that original installed the furnace in our new home, and which came out in October to inspect and clean it, was Zenner & Ritter. I will never use them again. I’ve had a few other people tell me the same thing, that their customer service sucks and their techs aren’t very knowledgeable.


  3. Oh my! This totally beats my 5 day power outage with no heat. At least the outdoor temp was in the mid 40’s and I had a warm place to go. Hope your new furnace gets installed quickly! Anne



    • Thanks, Anne. At least I have a nice warm dog who enjoys all the extra hugs.
      PS – to continue the story, I tried to set up the new computer only to learn that the old monitor won’t fit, the connections have changed. I fooled fate this time – I already have a new monitor on order.


  4. ladyryl says:

    Stay warm and safe this weekend…
    May setting up the new computer be easy and the new furnace be installed quickly…


  5. simplywendi says:

    so sorry you have had so much going on………but you are so right, it is ALWAYS something and money doesn’t grow on trees! 🙂 at least not in my part of the world. hopefully things will settle down now for a while.


  6. joey says:

    It’s only a matter of time before we’ll have to get a new furnace. How many winters, I don’t know. We’ve been here five winters and three of them we’ve had to have parts or repair, one year both. This year, so far, just a cleaning. One year we had to wait for parts when temps were single digit. It was a cold weekend. Funny how 61 outside is not the same as 61 inside. Many mornings I have awakened to a thermostat in the 50s. Those are never good days.
    I am so pleased you won’t have to hotel with doggie. I’m sure your new furnace will provide wonderful reliable heat for years to come.


    • One of the things that helped our decision to purchase this house was the fact that it had a newer furnace (only 6 years old when we bought the house). We really thought it would last longer, but we had two different HVAC guys tell us it is an inferior, defective product. Figures. Everything the prior owners did was on the cheap. We’ve had to re-do almost everything, which we really weren’t expecting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tippy Gnu says:

    Oh man. Triple bummer. I can’t imagine how scary it must be to live in that climate and have your furnace go out. I hope you get a new one soon.


    • Not all that scary, but certainly frustrating. We could go to a nearby motel, or if really desperate, we have family we could bunk with. The only real concern if the heat were off for a period of time would be that all the pipes in the house would freeze, and that could be even more costly.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan Antion says:

    What a time to have the furnace break. I hope the repair holds and the replacement goes in smoothly.


  9. I live in terror of the death of our heating system. Genuine terror.


    • I understand that terror. I’m dealing with it this weekend, even though I know Monday will bring relief. Aside from the cost, which we hadn’t been prepared for, there’s the very real possibility that the furnace will die completely and we have to deal with extreme cold inside the house. I’m too old for that.


  10. So sorry! There nothing worse than a furnace dying in the winter. Ours did a few years ago, cost us 5,000 for a new one. And that’s enough to make anyone shiver!


    • Yep. The first estimate was around $5,000 for a new furnace, but the company we’re using came in at $3700 with a $500 rebate from the gas company. Considering the repairs on the old furnace would have been $2,000 or more, plus sales tax, and no real guarantee, I just feel better getting the new one. (There’s no sales tax on the new furnace because it’s considered a home improvement.)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Being without heat especially in storms is scary, CM. So glad to hear you found someone to get your house warm again. Hubby and I will be investing in a generator just in case the electricity goes out. The health of everyone in this house depends on it. As for that storm wasn’t it beautiful? LOVED your pictures, something I really didn’t do. Most of our snow fell during night hours.


    • We have a small generator, Amy, for when the power goes out. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help when it’s the furnace itself that dies. I do admit that the snow was gorgeous – but you may have noticed I took those photos from inside the house while hubby was outside doing the snowblowing and shoveling, bless his little heart. They took a tremendous amount of editing to make them presentable – originally you could barely see the house across the street due to the falling snow. I’m so glad you liked them!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Why I’m Not Absent Yet Even Though I Said I Would Be | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  13. Pingback: “If You Smell A Little Gas, It’s Ok” | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  14. Pingback: … And That Would Be Three (and a half) | Cordelia's Mom, Still

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.