My day began well enough, as most days do, with coffee mug in hand for the long commute down the stairs and across the family room to my office. I sat down looking forward to the day ahead, but just then the furnace blower made an awful racket. Just as I got to the machine I heard the unmistakable groan of a stalled rotor so I yanked the power cord out of the socket and said some stuff. Among the things Dinkytown ain’t got are electric motor shops or even appliance repair people, so I had to get a move on right quick in order to have heat for overnight. It’s forecast to stay above freezing, but I’d rather it be a bit better than that on the warm side of the wall.
Amethyst had driven the truck to work so my toolbox was downtown. At least it was a nice day for a walk.
Once I got the blower assembly out of the furnace and the motor out of the blower, I was ready to get on the phone. The ear hook on my high zoot douchetooth headset snapped in half. Of course.
The guy in one of our neighboring towns who advertises motor repair and parts doesn’t actually repair motors or stock parts. The shop a couple of towns beyond that one didn’t have the motor I need in stock. The shop in Grand Junction has the motor I need but I couldn’t get there before they closed. The shop in another neighboring town in another direction said they had the motor, and would be there even if I arrived a little after five o’clock so I dashed out the door and hit the road. And they were indeed there when I arrived at 5:03PM, and the receptionist had a new motor in an unopened box there waiting for me. We opened the box, and found a motor nothing like the one I need.
A couple of the HVAC techs took my old motor to see if they could find something suitable in the warehouse… but couldn’t. They did, though, shoot some lubricant onto the thing which magically freed the rotor. I drove an hour to get a spritz of penetrating oil and an hour back to my own damn garage where I keep my own damn penetrating oil.
That’s just how shit happens when you live in the sticks.
In reinstalling the reassembled blower assembly with the miracled motor inside, I found the exact worstest combination of body position and muscle strain to lay myself out. I really had no choice but to lay back on the floor and wait for the pain to subside, and then I found that I had to lay there some more to regain the ability to get my ass up off of the floor again. What a fine day, eh?
I did manage to get the furnace all put back together with only one missing lock washer that somehow went AWOL when I wasn’t looking. I’m not pointing a finger at Miss Awesome, but she does like to play with the pieces when she helps me fix things. And the darn thing ran, too, when I plugged it in. The blower, that is, not the cat. It knocks and rumbles, but the parts going round and round make the airs go up and out, so it’s good enough for tonight.
With the excitement over for the moment, I got to thinking that maybe I shouldn’t trust the word of the guy at the shop who didn’t have the motor in stock about how the thing was built. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use just cheap-ass bushings on a motor shaft that’s carrying a directly mounted squirrel cage, or that bushings would last 38 years in that misapplication. Hmmm. On Saturday I’m going to take that mofo back out and disassemble the motor, and unless my understanding of reality is wrong I’m going to find actual bearings inside that case. Bearings with part numbers on them. And, if some random guy on some random forum is still as right in my case as he was in a few others, then that part number will be one I found on fleabay for $4.28/pair. Now that I know how the thing comes apart and how to get it back together without hurting myself, I’ll be in and out in an hour.
And no, I don’t give a fuck if they’re cheap-ass bearings from China that will last only a few years. We’ve put more than enough time and money into maintaining this house, and though it is our agreement that we’ll do these things as they come up I wasn’t counting on the place having been neglected so much as it was. I understand how it came to be that way, but I didn’t know up-front just how bad it was. Isn’t that always how it is? Or is it just always that way for me?
Eh, no matter. ‘Tis what ’tis. And it’s not entirely bad spending a couple of hours driving through the mountains without insane tourists or suicidal big game critters to make things overly exciting. I shouldn’t bitch.
Never mind that I already have.