Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The thermostat that started my crying jag

I'm well known for my attempts at home repair (that are usually unsucessful). I'll get a wild hair to fix something and I can't be stopped! I can go for a long time with things that need fixing and then one day I'll snap and go on a repair rampage. That's exactly what happened recently.

It all started with a garage door opener keypad. For reasons unknown to me, that dang thing just quit working. I replaced the battery and tried to program in a new code but it just wouldn't respond. The stupid thing stayed "broken" for at least 6 months until the day I snapped and decided to do whatever it took to make it work again. I tried inserting another new battery and the keypad wouldn't work. I tried entering the password and the keypad wouldn't work. I tried ripping the damned thing off the wall and the keypad wouldn't work. So I finally got smart and got on the interwebs to look up how to program the dang thing. I was super pleased to find a woman in a youtube video demonstrating how easy it was to program the same kind of keypad that I had. It seems that I had missed one crucial step and once I took that step, the programming went off without a hitch. It worked!!!!!

Feeling victorious, I decided to try and figure out why my air conditioner wasn't working. The compressor worked and the blower fan worked when I put the switch in the "on" position but nothing worked when I set the thermostat to "auto." I was totally stumped. Mr. Man looked at it when he got home and he was stumped, too. He even went so far as to buy a new thermostat and install it and the problem was still there. I was getting pretty frustrated over all of it.

So I did what any good fixanista would do...I started another repair project. My front door deadbolt would not unlock with the key. I could unlock it using the handy dandy knob inside of the house but the key from the outside provided no results. My kidlet was having to climb out of her bedroom window when she left the house! I drug out screwdrivers and proceeded to remove the lock from the door. I tried the key again and again, but the bolt would not turn. So I left the lock on the kitchen table so Manchild could figure out what was wrong.

While he was trying to fix the lock, I decided to replace the thingy that keeps the storm door from slamming. It squeaked a lot and did not have smooth movements. I had oiled it until it dripped and it was still squeaky. I had an extra closer thing so I went about removing the old one from the door. I managed to get some of the screws out of the assembly but there was one screw that would not come out no matter how much I turned it. I had worked on the thing a good 30 minutes before I realized that it wasn't a screw - it was a pin. All I had to do was lift it out! That was the beginning of my meltdown. I was minding my own business, trying with all of my might to get the new door closer thing on when my beloved happened to walk by and heard me cursing. All he did was ask me to hand him the screwdriver and he had it installed in about 5 minutes.

I was slowly sinking into a pit of despair because I was such a failure at fixing things. I had enjoyed a moment of victory when I reprogrammed the garage door opener keypad and then I crashed and burned with all of the rest of my repairs. I couldn't figure out the thermostat/AC problem, it had taken me an hour to remove one stupid door slammer thingy and I had dismantled the deadbolt with no hopes of fixing it.

To make matters worse, when Manchild decided that he couldn't fix the deadbolt, we were going to reinstall it until a new lock could be purchased. I went to  pick up the screw that held the lock in the door and I accidentally kicked it and it went under the moulding along the floor. No matter how hard I looked, and no matter how much I jammed my magnetic screwdriver under the moulding, the bolt was nowhere to be found. My house with it's shitty, shifting foundation had swallowed my bolt. I was left with a broken deadlock that was 1/2 installed. That's when the tears started flowing.

Now, Manchild had the unfortunate pleasure of watching me melt down just weeks before because I was mourning another repair job that went south. And there I was, crying again because I had lost the bolt. He was kind to me and said nice things in an attempt to get me to stop crying but the damage was done. He got to listen to me rant about how everything in the whole damn house was broken and how sick I was of not having a fully functional home. I threatened to dip into my savings account and hire an handyman to fix all the stuff I couldn't. That is blasphemy in my husband's mind. He will go to the ends of the earth to fix stuff before he'll hire someone else to do it. So he put together all of the things that I had dismantled that day and he walked the house with me to fix little things that were getting on my nerves.

He worked on the flourescent lights in the kitchen (bad bulb), he removed a light fixture in my bedroom that did not belong (hidden removeable panel that I didn't notice, so taking it down was actually very easy), he reconnected the thermostat, he finished off the anti-slammer door thingy and jimmy-rigged the broken deadbolt. He did all of these things in the span of about an hour. An hour for Pete's sake! I had spent the last 4 hours trying to do these things with no repairs and he buttoned up everything and then some in an hour! Do you see now why I cried?????

The following day I took the broken lock to a locksmith who reworked and fixed it within 30 minutes. I told him that I loved him and offered to bear him 27 children. Then I went home and installed the lock (minus 1 bolt). A friend at work who just happens to be the A.C. guru for the building, got wind of my cooling system woes and offered up his suggestion as to what might be the problem. I went home and looked at the part on the unit, got a part number and started searching for a place that might have one in stock. The initial quote was a little over $600.00. The hubster asked a guy he worked with (who just so happens to do A.C. repairs on the side) about the part and that guy offered to call in and order the part and hopefully get it for a lot cheaper. We called the place that had quoted the $600 price tag originally and this time they quoted a $350+ price. Then, the co-worker called and he was quoted a price of $135. That was the winning bid! Manchild drove over to the parts place and got the part, came back to the house and installed it in record time and we had cool air blowing again! (I think it was my threat of dipping into my savings account and paying an A.C guy to come fix it that got him moving on the run.)

Anyway, things are working for now. Until I find something else to fix. I don't see any crying jags in the foreseeable future so that's good. I know my man will appreciate that.

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