Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas to all !

I remember the first Christmas at the ranch it was many years ago. My wife and I awoke  very early to a freezing cold house. IT was less than 30 deg. inside, the heater had stopped running during the night.

At that time we were using wood stove for primary heat and a propane furnace to backup the wood stove when it would burn out. The furnace sucked because it used way to much power for living off-grid, Like I have said before its all trial and error.

My first thought when I awoke to the cold was that we had lost power. I checked the voltage display it was ok The inverter was still showing a green light. I immediately started the generator, just because I wanted to insure I had full power to trouble shoot the problem.This day it was below zero, likely very below, I don't recall the exact degree.When its this cold out you need to get some heat fast, inside temps plummet quickly.

The wife was starting a fire but after the house gets as cold as it was, it would take half the day to get the temp near comfortable. I opened the furnace door and removed the inspection cover, An indicator light was flashing. I checked the diagram it listed a flash code sequence and definition. I counted the flashes, the code indicated the vent safety switch had failed. This had shut the blower down. From the diagram I located the switch, confirmed this was the correct safety switch, by looking at the wire numbers going to the switch they matched the numbers on the diagram.

The diagram showed the symbol for a normally closed position on the switch. Meaning the switch should have electrical continuity in operation. Basically this means it connects the wires internally. Like I said it was Christmas I didn't want to make a day long project out of it. I walked down the hall to my office grabbed a paper clip pulled the connector of the switch and used the paperclip to connect the terminals together. I turned the control unit on after the it completed its self check it signaled ok. Then the heater started.

With both heaters the house heated quickly, then we proceeded with our very Merry Christmas!

Then we had to go the in-laws for dinner, but the food was good, Their ok too but I'm more comfortable in the company of rednecks. For example; I just recently attended a family funeral after several hours of drinking the night ended with two other brothers fighting in the street. That's my kinda funeral!

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