by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Have you ever diapered a heat pump? My aging heat pump/air conditioning unit decided to die on Friday. At about 101 degrees outside. I knew this because the house got warm and there was water/fluid leaking from the furnace. The unit had been limping the last two hot weekends, but in the full August heat wave it decided to officially croak.
This was not my first rodeo with this piece of equipment. Over the years my “unit” has done such fun things as ice up and sound like a Huey helicopter landing in my bedroom and pee through my kitchen ceiling into the silverware holder in the sink.
I’ve hooked up a gravity drain using aquarium tubing and a bucket to catch water from the heat pump that would have impressed NASA.
One winter weekend the drain pipe froze so I had to switch to emergency heat for two days, which caused my electric bill to surpass the national debt.
Since the unit had been limping along, luckily I’d made an appointment with heat pump fix-it guy for Friday morning. He showed up and gave me one last possibility to cure the aging unit’s peeing problems. Most folks had a 75 percent success rate with the fix.
“You’ll know right away,” he assured me. Yup. Saturday morning the diaper (towel) was wet. My unit was a 25 percenter. Heat pump guy told me to “shut it down” if that happened, because I didn’t need to be breathing chemical laden air. Sigh.
This all happened because the “unit” overhead me talking about replacing it. I’m positive. Its lasted longer than most of the ones in my complex, but its been a challenging relationship.
After the first two leaking through the kitchen ceiling episodes, the HVAC wizards were sure they’d fixed it. I had the ceiling repaired and repainted.
The “unit” then decided to freeze the drain line again and once again water poured from my kitchen ceiling. So I left the three foot long opening the width of drywall seam tape, complete with the fancy sagging of the textured ceiling plaster.
Entertained the idea of using white duct tape to cover the gap, but most visitors don’t notice it since no one looks up. It’s my own personal art installation.
So now I have appointments with the ductless guys and the electric furnace guys. We shall see who wins my favor. I long for the days of working air conditioning, cozy heat and a fixed kitchen ceiling and no heat pump diapers.
A girl can dream can’t she?
P.S. In the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. My heart goes out to the people in Louisiana who would love to have just a leak in their ceiling. Let’s hope for a much better September for all those deserving folks.