Monday, September 11, 2006

Summer Heat

A fun, summer thing I like to do here in Texas is to go up in the attic for long periods of time. I tell you what there is nothing better. Our attic happens to be quite large and spacious so you can walked around up there. However there are several dangers in the attic....the most evil (aside from the insane heat) are the many exposed nails lining the ceiling.

Apparently the roofers used the longest nails they could find when nailing the cardboard thin shingles to the roof. One wrong turn in the attic and WHACK...nail in your head, eye, back. This of course adds to the fun, giving me something else to do while working, sweating and trying not to fall through the ceiling.

One day last summer we noticed that we had no hot water. So I determined that I needed to inspect the hot water heater...which is in the attic. After a brief inspection I notice that the pilot light was out; its a gas operated hot water heater.

So now step one is to try to relight the pilot which involves me laying on my stomach and sticking a lit match into the bottom of the 10 gallon heater; current temperature in attic 1000 degrees. At this point I was scared to death that I was going to do something wrong and blow up myself, the house and everything in a 5 mile radius.

Attic temperature + nervous me= heat index of 20000 degrees

First couple attempts didn't go well mostly because I had my eyes closed. By about the 7nth try I got the pilot lit....YAY...I did it and as a plus I didn't blow up....small victory! So now all I need to do is turn the heater on...switch it to on.......pilot goes out. Remember in Back to the Future at the end when Doc is dangling from the clocktower? He gets the cord off his pants cuff, stands in front of the clockface, positions himself to triumphantly connect both cords only to discover that they won't reach. It was that kind of moment.

I let out a big Darth Vader "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"

So now its back to trying to relight the pilot. This time I get it in 2 tries. Switch the heater to on....pilot.....goes out. Temperature in attic rises 100 degrees as I start getting angry. The goat sitting nearby encourages me to try again. Yes the heat was so bad I was halluncinating at the point.

"Stupid ****in pilot....***damn piece of ****" When I started I was scared to death to even light a match near the heater. Now I was striking these bad boys left and right......lit pilot...turn on...pilot goes out....repeat. This went on until I burned through the whole box of matches.

At this point the monkey that was drinking tea with the goat, suggested that the problem may require a technician. Since he was wearing a monocle I figured he was pretty wise. I called it a day.

While the heater remained broken I did overcome my fear of blowing myself up AND I did loose about 150 pounds from being in the heat of the attic. Also I am playing racket ball twice a week with the monkey and the there is a bright side.

1 comment:

tonymation said...

Who are the idiots that design houses with water heaters in the attic anyway? I can hear the meeting.

Boss: "You know, water heaters are just to dang accessible, and people don't spend enough money when they go out."
Employee: "I got it! Let's put them in the attic so when they bust, we ruin their ceilings, and floors."
Boss: "Genius! Draw up the new floorplans immediately."