The Really Big Mean Dog School of Mechanics Presents: What To Do When You Run Out of Oil And Have To Restart Your Furnace.

January 3, 2015

Really universe? Just trying to keep me on my toes?  It worked-My basement

Hai Everybody.  First.  If I have not replied to your comments, it is because I had a slight disaster this morning and I am just getting things back to normal now.  I sincerely apologize. Could not be avoided.  Second. I am the only one on the blog with moderation powers.  If you make a comment and it doesn’t get approved right away it is because I have been doing something else and couldn’t get to it.  Please relax and I promise to get to it just as soon as I can.  Third. I had a very shit day. It is better now, but that does not change the fact that I had a very shit day.

We have hit an extremely wicked cold spell in my part of Ontario.  Well, Ontario in general judging by what I have been reading.  I went to bed last night and everything was fine.  I woke up this morning and the first thing I saw was my breath.  The second thing I saw was a guinea pig that looked for all intents like he was dead.  Now, my upstairs is exceptionally cold even on good days, but not that cold.  I went downstairs and as soon as I put my foot on the linoleum floor I knew.  I had run out of furnace oil.  I looked at the thermometer and it was 32 degrees in the house.  I don’t know what that translates to in Celsius because we changed from standard to metric when I was 9 and I have always just used standard.  32 degrees Fahrenheit is the freezing point of water, which I know is 0 degrees Celsius.  So, I had to go and get diesel(out in public in my pajamas because I was not about to change clothes in the freezing cold.) There is an Agoraphobes idea of a good time right there.   I put a space heater in the kitchen before I left and put my guinea pig Taco by it so he would warm up.  I prayed and cried all the way to the reserve that he would be okay when I got back.  Guinea pigs HATE the cold. I got 10 Gallons of Diesel and came back and dumped it. I checked Taco who seemed to be perking up a bit and went back for more Diesel.  Now I had 20 gallons.  I went 2 more times for a total of 40 gallons of Diesel all together.  My hydro bill is going to be short, but needed that much to make sure I had enough weight in the tank.  Turned the heat on and…NOTHING.

I  skyped several heating and cooling places and got zero help what so ever.  If I wanted to pay 150 dollars somebody would come and fix it for me.  I told them it might as well be 1500 dollars, but they didn’t seem to care.  They would not tell me how to do it over the phone because of liability.  I told them it would be pretty damn hard to complain if I blew myself up, but they didn’t seem to care.  Fuck em, I thought.  How hard can this be, it’s a diesel engine plain and simple. I had one more idea and thought I would try that first.

Now, a furnace engine is just a weird Diesel engine and if anything runs on gas I can fix it.  I am a very multi facetted Queen/Law Professor/ Dean of Fuckery/Mechanic.  So, I approached it like I would a regular diesel engine.  I thought I would share what I did because at some point something like this might happen to one of you and now you will be prepared.  Diesel engines need to be bled when they run out of fuel because they get a vapor lock.  No biggie, I just had to find the bleeder screws and do exactly what you would do in that situation.  The problem with this theory is that the bleeder screws are not located where they would be on a normal diesel engine so I had to find them.  I eventually did.

I will now walk you through the steps necessary to restart an oil furnace if you ever run out of fuel.

1-put in enough diesel so the weight will help push the liquid through the lines.

2-gather all the tools you will need before you begin to do anything. You will need a 3/8 (in 99 percent of cases) open ended wrench.  A 3/8 socket will not work, but channel lock pliers will work in a pinch.  An empty container that will at least hold one gallon.  Make sure the container is something you don’t want to ever use again.

3-some form of clear tubing preferably 1/4 inch. You can use bigger but it makes things more difficult.

4-some kind of throw away rag or paper towel to place underneath the bleeder screw.

5-attached the 1/4 inch line to the bleeder screw (it looks exactly like a brake bleeder)

6-Turned the nut on the bleeder counter clockwise half way so I was ready to go when I did the next thing.

7-said a really long prayer about not blowing up

8-hit the switch to turn the pump on and call for oil (scariest moment I have had in a while)

9-cracked the bleeder wide opened. and watched as first there was just air, and then bubbly diesel, and then until in ran in a clear stream and the bubbles were completely gone.

10-hit the furnace switch and simultaneously closed the bleeder.

11–waited to see if it worked.

It did, but unfortunately, I forgot about the hot water tank and had to go do all the same steps on the hot water tank about an hour later. So, I once again have heat and hot water. Perhaps more than anything, I have proven to myself once again that I can do anything that needs to be done. Pissed me off to the point where I threw a pen across the room, but I got it done and I am truthfully pretty proud of myself.

I have not had a happy day. I can’t get the smell of diesel fuel off of me, I have a tension headache that would kill a small animal I am pretty sure, and I am fairly disheartened by it all. The only shining spot is that I did it all by myself. Well that and I managed to not blow myself to the next lifetime.

So there you have my day in a nutshell. What did you all do today?

have a great night everybody.

RBMD peacing the fuck out!!


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