For about an hour this morning, I thought we were going to be separated from a couple hundred dollars of our money to get the furnace fixed. It wasn’t running when the alarm woke me up this morning, but it should have been. I felt a little silly going down to the basement to see what was wrong, because what the hell do I know about furnaces? Unless it was doing something really dramatic like shooting sparks from all its openings, I was pretty sure I’d never be able to tell.

Not so. First thing I noticed was a pool of water on the top panel. Only one place it could’ve come from: the humidifier. Next thing I noticed was that the pipe which the humidifier drains into was out of alignment with the drain in the bottom of the humidifier. So the last time the furnace ran last night and the humidifier kicked in, water ran out of the drain, missed the pipe, trickled down the exhaust stack and all over the furnace.

The furnace is not watertight, because why would it be? When I popped the front panel off, I could see & feel water all inside it. I sopped up what I could, then cycled power on the furnace (it works on computers). The burners fired up but wouldn’t stay lit; don’t know why, but at least the blower ran for about five minutes. Fifteen minutes later I cycled power again, with about the same results. Fifteen minutes after that, same thing.

The last time I cycled power, the furnace had dried out enough from the previous power cycles that the burners lit up and stayed lit. And then the furnace ran steadily for about two hours because the house was damn cold.

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