My beautiful, wonderful bedroom heater, love of my life…

…has been an undependable pain in my ass all winter long, and night before last it stopped working entirely.

It’s been temperamental since the beginning of the season – not always lighting right away when the thermostat cued it, occasionally not lighting at all and sending me down diagnostic blind alleys only to irrationally start working fine again for no apparent reason. One other time I thought there was a bubble in the line, which has happened before, bled the line and got the heater to immediately start working again – so I tried that yesterday after the woodstove fire went out even though there was no logical reason for a line bubble. Didn’t help.

Needless to say I won’t die without the bedroom heater…

…it’s not the main source of cabin heat. But it sure is nice: So nice that after it came online in the winter of 2017-2018 I immediately abandoned my pledge to only use it during emergency cold nights. It was nice having every morning NOT be a test of character until the woodstove got effective.

Plus, the timing really sucked. My daughter and granddaughter are scheduled to come visit at the end of next week, and it’s just not a great time for one of the Lair’s principal comfort features to go on strike.

But this is the world I live in. Uncle Murphy always gets a vote, and since I have no idea how I’d get an HVAC technician out here the bedroom heater had apparently declared itself a wall ornament.

This morning I woke up with a thought. It wasn’t a very logical thought…

As far as I can tell, the thermostat has been working perfectly through all this. But what if it wasn’t? I do have a spare.

After breakfast and the long morning walkie I took it off the wall, checked the wires to the heater – fine – and put it back on. The batteries – AAA, of course – are newly replaced and anyway you know when they fail. I put it back on its bracket – lined up the connectors – it seemed to be fully in place but I gave it one last push just to be sure – and it clicked into place with an air of finality.

Is it possible I just didn’t seat the thing right when I changed the batteries in the autumn? That all this time I’ve been dealing with an intermittent connection? Because that would be dumb. And also great.

I switched the thermostat to heat. Nothing happened – of course not, Joel, it’s set to 55 and now reads 59. I reset it to above 60 … and the heater immediately lit with no slightest drama or hesitation.

Are. You. F’ing. KIDDING me.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My beautiful, wonderful bedroom heater, love of my life…

  1. jed says:

    Don’t feel too badly, Joel. Sometimes, the obvious thing is just out of reach. My landlord was having trouble with his generator – idled fine, but bogged down under load. He even asked me, and I couldn’t think of anything, like a dirty air cleaner. Don’t know what the repair shop charged him for that.

  2. beaner49 says:

    Had a similar brain fart concerning the garbage disposal.
    Wouldn’t start, hit the reset bottom on the bottom, no luck,
    Spent 39 minutes locating a hex key to ensure the unit would turn, no problem there.
    Ok it is dead , run to the hardware store for a replacement , spend 1.5 hours swapping old unit for new unit , remembering to knock out the internal dishwasher plug thank god, and fire it up…
    No go still dead…
    Much thinking followed.
    Could it be it wasn’t getting any juice ,,, went to the breaker box and sure enough the circuit breaker had tripped., Reset it and it fired right up.
    Anybody need a used garbage disposal?

  3. Goober says:

    The secret to life is to be thankful that it was something simple and stupid, not angry because it was simple and stupid.

    I’ll take simple and stupid over complex and expensive all day, every day.

  4. Mike says:

    I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had an experience like this. The only difference between you and everyone else, is that you are not ashamed to share them.

    I’m glad that everything turned out OK.

  5. Joel says:

    Well, I’m not solidly convinced that ‘everything turned out OK.’ It has suddenly decided to work before, only to disappoint me later. Right now everything’s great though.

    It does make sense that this could have caused the problem: The thermostat is mounted on a relatively flimsy wall, open at the top, between the bedroom and the closet. The wall gets bumped by the headboard every morning when I make the bed. An intermittent connection would have been getting bounced on a regular basis. So I have hope that it’s fixed – but I’ll be convinced when it’s still working sometime in February.

  6. Zendo Deb says:

    You clearly never worked in customer support. I always assume User Error, even when I am the user in question

  7. Mike says:

    Joel, in the immortal words of the character Oddball from the movie Kelly’s Heroes…

    “Always with the negative waves, Moriarty, always with the negative waves.”


  8. Tree Mike says:

    WARM and sheepish, I’d be fine with that. Murphy…”Try some more trouble shooting.”

  9. Derrrr Tree Mike, yeah that's it says:

    Oh yeah! (I’m socially retarded) Happy Merry! and Christmas too!

  10. RCPete says:

    My dumb one was putting a really cold propane tank (overnight, it had gone to -10F) but the connector was in a sun-warmed cabinet. The connection was hard to do, but I usually don’t use that tank in that cabinet.

    A few days later, I noticed a bit of a propane stink. Opened the cabinet and tried the wrench on that tank–spun pretty freely. Several wrench turns later, OK, and I didn’t loose that much propane. I *think* the temp mismatch made the connector too tight a fit; I don’t think I galled the threads. Note to self; let the temps equalize in winter…

To the stake with the heretic!