So today our heater broke down. We have a boiler system which pumps hot water through pipes and into low wall-mounted radiators (although they don’t call them that). At about 6:00 pm the Cosmic Wife came in and said “It’s cold, I think somethings wrong with the heater.”

Sure ’nuff, there was. I went out to the garage and it was shut down, the electronic ignition system had a flashing red light on it. After calmly commenting on the inconvenience of the situation, I called a 24×7 repair place and they were nice enough to tell me over the phone what to try to see if I could get it working again. Basically there is a heat/flame sensor in the thing that had gotten fouled with a buildup of white ash, something that he said was pretty common with old furnaces or boilers. He told me to take it out and sand it down, then clean it off as much as I could with my fingers and put it back in. I did all that and it still struggles to start, but it’s back up and running. I told the heater repair dude to come on out Monday and see if they could get it working properly. Plus, I just don’t trust my own work on this, the thing I had to sand was about half an inch from another piece (the filament that sparks the fire) that he said “DO NOT TOUCH” and I’m sure I managed to touch it a few times…..

Anyway… heat back on, boiler functioning but sort of limping. We have the wood stove as backup if we need it.