Thursday, August 25, 2011

"The Dangling Conversation"

It's been an interesting week. 

The final (I hope) installer/repairman is in the process of leaving.  I think that means that our new AC is finally finished, installed, complete, and up and running, without being jerry-rigged.  It appears to be putting out cold air.  They started on Saturday and today is what.....Thursday?

To be fair, we have had cold air, but the only way it could work was to have an industrial strength extension cord snaking it's way from the unit in the attic, dangling down to the nearest electrical outlet in the hallway outside my bedroom.  Very attractive.  

Well, the cord is gone so that's a big step in the right direction. 

Maybe I should start from the beginning.

Saturday morning:

Two young men arrived at 8:30 am, with the brand new unit.  Because they  had to shut off the AC completely, by 9:30 the house was pretty hot, so I packed up a couple of books, a big bottle of iced tea, and departed to spend a few hours ensconced in my mobile cool refuge, commonly known as my car.  They told us the whole process would take about 6-8 hours.  After periodic updates throughout the day from the Big Guy (who had to remain behind in what was his version of Hell), I ran out of places to go and went home.  It was almost 8:30 pm, 12 hours later!  They were still there. They hadn't even stopped for lunch, so I went to get them some sub sandwiches.  By the time I returned they were starting to get things cleaned up and packed up and we had a big ol' extension cord dangling from the ceiling.  Thus began "The Dangling Conversation".

According to what I learned, there was some problem with the 220v line in the attic, thus the cord to the working outlet downstairs.  It was ok though, we had cold air, and they said that they would have an electrician come out on Sunday to repair the problem.  OK, we were cooling off, so we could live with it overnight, right?

About 10:30pm the temperature had dropped to 79F inside and we were feeling comfortable again.  By 11:30 the temperature had climbed back up to 84F!!  What the......????  The brand new AC unit conked out!  We had nothing but fans again.  There wasn't anything we could do about it, except call the AC place (they have a 24 "hot line") to report the failure.  Of course, by that time, there wasn't anything that could be done about it until the next day.  So we went off to bed for another too warm night.


The repair guy finally showed up around 1:30 pm.  In a repeat of the day before, I grabbed a couple of different books and more tea and abandoned ship.  Surprisingly, it was only about an hour later that the Big Guy called to let me know it was "fixed",  I gave it another hour or so to let the house cool down again and then went home.  (I was pretty sick of my car by that point.)

When I got home, the first thing I saw was the dangling extension cord!  Arrrggghh! It was still there!   I thought it was fixed!!  Turns out that the reason it shut down was that there was a short caused by a twisted wire and that had been repaired, but there was still a problem with the 220v line and the repairman who fixed the twisted wire was not an electrician and he couldn't do anything about the 220 problem.  An electrician would come out the next day to fix it.  He didn't.


No progress on the AC.  It was cool, which was good, but we saw no electrician, no repairman, no anybody and we still had the dangling conversation!  We also still had most of the mess, because:

A)  There was no point in cleaning everything up, until all the things were done and we would have no more visitors to our unbearable attic!

B)  It had been too warm in the house to do anything as sweat-producing as cleaning and putting things back to rights. 

C)  I was pretty much distracted by the next problem to crop up in our never-ending cycle of mini-disasters that plague us.

The Big Guy had gone off to work as usual and a little later, I was ready to leave the house on my standard errands and such.  Got into my car, turned the key, and got......a fluttery clicking noise that did nothing to actually start the car!!! 

I hate the feeling of being trapped and without a functioning car I was trapped in my house.  It sort of feels like claustrophobia and it makes me very anxious.  Obviously I wasn't really trapped, I could leave the house to be outside, but it was 103F and the idea of walking anywhere made me twitch! 

Called Mikey.  Called AAA.  Called Kia to alert them I might have to be towed in for repair.  Called Enterprise to arrange for a possible rental car.  Waited in the hot garage to flag the tow truck when it arrived.   All of which happened in good time.  AAA came and got the car started but their little computer said the battery was barely functional.  Time to get a new battery.  In the meantime I could drive as long as I didn't shut off the engine!     Oh wonderful, more time spent in my car to go to places that had drive-thrus where I could at least accomplish a few things....that limited me to Walgreens and McDonalds.  What fun....


The Big Guy couldn't get my car started even though it had a charger on it all night, so he had to remove the battery, and take it to be replaced (under warranty supposedly).  When he got home he was livid.  The place that sold him the original (now non-functioning battery) would not honor the warranty until they tested the battery and tried to recharge it.  They pretty much didn't believe that it had been on a charger all night and that Mikey knew anything about anything.  So he was forced to buy a new battery, because they couldn't (read, wouldn't) go against their policy!

AC still working, cord still dangling, no electrician in sight....


Sales guy from AC company came out to "inspect" the installation.  He was up there about 3 minutes.  Came back down and told us everything looked fine.  Well, except for the cord dangling from the attic, of course.  Still no electrician!  Evidently Austin only has ONE electrician and he was busy!   Right. 

Phone call that afternoon.  Electrician coming at 8:00 am Thursday morning.  Again, with the early morning visits!! 


I was awakened at 10:00 a.m. by hammering.  A lot of very loud and nearby hammering!!  There had better be an electrician out there making that noise or I was going to have a full-fledged meltdown.
Mikey told me it was, in fact, the electrician (who arrived at 9:30!), there to sort out the 110v/220v situation. He was up there for not quite an hour.  When he came down, he told us he couldn't find any problem with the 220 line!!  He rerouted something just in case that was a problem, but basically all was what it should be!  SO WHY HAVE I HAD A DANGLING CONVERSATION OUTSIDE MY DOOR FOR THE LAST F0UR DAYS???  Answer?  Unknown.

But it was done.  The house was cool, the repairmen were gone, everything was back up and running, we were finished with AC people climbing around.  It was OVE.... (What?)  Excuse me, folks, the Big Guy is trying to tell me something.......(What? Tomorrow??? What are you....)   [.....whimpering.....]

Well, I was wrong.  It appears that we are NOT done. 

It seems that when the installers were up there (way back on Saturday), they discovered that the heat/cool register in Mikey's office had no duct work connected to the furnace.  We've lived here 10 years and Mikey never noticed that this was a totally non-functioning register!  So they agreed to come back and install the required duct work.  And guess when they are coming!  Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.!!!   ARRRGGGGHHHHHH!  Will this never end?


If the installers actually arrive and actually get it done today (and I won't believe it till it happens) that will mean that getting a new air conditioner takes:

2 Installers
3 Sales Presentations
2 Repairmen
1 Salesman/Inspector
1 Electrician
1-2 Duct Work Installers
6 visits to our house
5 1/2 days of Dangling extension cords
10,000 pieces of insulation floating around
1 Week (7 full days)

Sheesh!  Remind me never to ask this crowd to change a lightbulb!

And we are now up to 71 consecutive days of temperatures over 100F.  Like I said, it's been an interesting week.

Oh, by the way, we finally heard back from the battery place.  After attempting to recharge it for over 48 hours, they have found that the battery is no good.  No Shit, Sherlock!  That's what Mikey TOLD you!  They will be giving us a refund.    Maybe we'll use the money for a trip to the south of France!  HAH!

1 comment:

  1. WOW...just saw this. What a hassle!! I'm glad it's finally fixed but I bet it was an EXHAUSTING week!!


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