Up a Particular Creek Without a Furnace

Okay, Friends. Get this …

Furnace doesn’t work. It’s getting down into the 30s at night. Although the space heater works fine for the inside, I want the furnace going because it keeps the pump and water lines and such warm too. The blower is fine, I hear the burner ignite, but the heat doesn’t stay on.

So, we call the amazing Hans. (This is a story in itself.) Hans and his wife recently opened a small RV sales center, store, and service center, Happy Camping RV, in Vermontville, right around the corner! Is that totally awesome?! No more fear of having to drive to Central New York or even Plattsburgh if we need something. Super nice folks too.

Hans came over this afternoon to take a look. During his visit, I remembered that I needed to empty the euphemistically-named blackwater tank. (If you’re not aware of what this tank holds, suffice it to say – it’s right underneath the bathroom.)

Emptying the tank is pretty darned civilized, frankly. I pull a lever, and the offending “blackwater” goes down a sewer pipe and into our local rivers and streams. Kidding. It goes into our septic tank. I do it once every few weeks.

So, Hans finishes checking things out, is going to investigate a few possibilities, and he’s pulling out of the driveway. I pull the lever to empty the tank. I hear the furnace click on. It stays on. No kidding. The second I empty the tank, the furnace works perfectly. I thought, “No way. That’s impossible.” I turn the furnace off, and try it again in ten minutes. Same result. Clean tank = working furnace. Weird. So, the furnace works, and I won’t let the tank fill up all the way. Hans is still going to try to figure out what’s going on, mostly because it’s so bizarre. There’s a theory about the sensors in the tank and voltage or something.

And now, a Tasteless Pun Alert. If you’re easily offended, don’t read the line below, in which I explain what I have learned during this whole furnace debacle.

*  *  *

What I have learned is this – Don’t sh*t where you heat.



Filed under adirondacks

6 responses to “Up a Particular Creek Without a Furnace

  1. Is the empying lever for a valve? Non-electric?

    Does the tank have to be absolutely empty? Or is there a “crap-window” where the furnace still functions?

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. It’s just a gate lever, standard on most RVs. You just pull it out, push it back in when your’re done. Doesn’t seem like it has to be absolutely empty. There are sensors in the tank that send a signal to a indicator panel that tells you how full it is. He suspects that something about the sensors is sending something to something and then something happens.

  3. Ah, the sensor. Not that it has any relation, but where do you keep that gauge? I’m imagining some kind of command-center where all the systems of your home are being monitored.

    Too bad that sensor can’t pull the lever, that would be so awesome.

  4. Yep, you’re right on. There’s a small panel on the kitchen wall that tells us the level of the blackwater tank, the freshwater tank, the battery level, galley drain tank level if you’re using it.

  5. This is so funny! Ah, the tasteless 9I hope) possibilities!

  6. sorry, Phill- I thought that was a totally crappy pun 😛

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