WHEN IN DOUBT…

…drop the F bomb. [Sorry, Grandmas.]

And trust us, we’ve dropped lots of them over the past two weeks. Let us tell you more.

It’s been a helluva week around here. It started last Tuesday when Laryssa and I came home to our house a little cooler than usual. We didn’t think much of it as we keep our house pretty cold year round, until we woke up the next morning – New Year’s Day – to this:

I mean we can handle the cold — we can get a bit bitchy when it gets too hot in the house –but 52°? Yikes. So we made our first of many calls to our heating and plumbing company. Little did we know…

So the heating guy came out, and basically found that somewhere along the way our boiler had been wired wrong, frying the control board. (And was producing one-foot flames INSIDE our boiler – he said we were lucky it never burnt the house down.) He ordered the new part, and came back the next morning to fix it. Boom, heat was back and running! We bummed around most of the day, went out to dinner, and came back around 11:00 p.m.

And when we walked in our kitchen, our entire basement and main floor smelled like natural gas. Cue the first of many F bombs. So Laryssa and I called Consumer’s Energy, who basically told us we need to evacuate the house immediately, but still be close enough to watch the house. We also weren’t suppose to start any of our vehicles (???). In addition to this, we were also watching not one, not two, but THREE dogs (plus our own) over Christmas break, so Laryssa and I tried our best to evacuate our house as quickly as possible with four dogs who were all barking like hell. (Did we mention that all four of them aren’t huge fans of car rides?). I’d imagine we looked something like the McCallister family when they all woke up late and almost miss their flights to Paris. We took our chances and started a vehicle. A big thanks to our neighbors Jo and Bruce for (unknowingly) hosting us in your driveway at 1:00 in the morning!

Consumer’s Energy sent out an emergency response technician, and track down the gas leak to not our boiler, but our hot water heater. F*!^. The technician shut off the gas valve, and cleared us to go back in the house as the gas smell had dissipated. The next morning, we called our plumbing/heating guys again. They found the spot where the gas was leaking and repaired it. Everything was alive and well for the moment, but oh boy, just hold on.

We went about our day – enjoying our hot water and heat – it seemed like it had been a while since we’ve enjoyed both at the same time. To celebrate, we went out to dinner and a movie with Laryssa’s family, and returned again to the smell of natural gas. Damnit. And on top of that, our dog along with one that we were watching broke into their treat box and ate, well, a solid FOUR full bag of treats. So on top of dealing with a gas leak, we’re now worried about the two dogs who ate three months worth of treats in one sitting. (Will their stomaches turn? Will their hearts stop? Will they shit their brains out?) We’d kept them alive for two weeks at that point, why did this have to happen the night before their owners were coming to pick them up??? We turned off the gas to the hot water heater, shut off power to the boiler, packed up our shit and the four dogs, and headed to Laryssa’s parents for the night.

It’s now Saturday morning, and we made yet another call to our new best friends at Dyer Plumbing and Heating, and we told them what’s going on. They determined that it is indeed a gas leak, and that was coming from our hot water heater, but it was coming from the chimney of the heater, and the only realistic and the most affordable option was to replace the unit with an electric one on Monday. Not the greatest news, but we’d take it! We again spent the evening at Laryssa’s parent’s house, and come home to – again – no heat. Cue another F-bomb.

Fortunately, we called Dyer’s again on Sunday morning, and the owner talked us through completing a manual reset on the boiler. It was back up and running! We made a quick trip to Menard’s for a hot water heater and a few other things we needed. We came back home, crossed our fingers, opened the door, and no gas leak! AND HEAT!

And finally, this nightmare came to (hopefully) an end on Monday morning. I left for work pretty early, and Laryssa woke up a little bit later – again smelling gas. (Yes, another F-bomb). Fortunately, they were coming later that morning to install the water heater, so Laryssa just shut off the boiler again. Back to no heat.

They found that the pressure switch in the boiler needed to be replaced as well. The switch was constantly calling for gas when the boiler was on, even though it wasn’t igniting. Or some shit like that. They also installed the new hot water heater, and we’re now on Day 2 of hot water AND heat in our house! A big victory.

We have our fingers crossed that this is it for heating/hot water issues for a longgggggggg time. It’s amazing how much we don’t think about these things when we have them, and then cherish them when they’re finally back and running! Several times during this, we joked about putting our house up for sale, or going off the grid completely.

Cheers to home ownership! Hopefully soon we’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming!

A+L

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