Apr 26, 2011 | 3 comments

The Culprit!

     “The old stove began to go on a Saturday morning late in April, 1886.  One of the screws in the oven door had rusted, and it fell out when Mama stooped down to fetch the hot biscuits for our breakfast.”
     So begins Patricia Beatty’s wonderful book, The Nickel-Plated Beauty.  It’s a children’s book – a sort of historical novel set in nearby Ocean Park, Washington Territory.  It’s one of my favorites and I recommend it to everyone, adults and children alike, if they spend any time here on our peninsula
     I also think about situations from the book more often than Mrs. Beatty could have imagined possible.  So often the characters in the stories met the same challenges that we, in real life, are dealing with 125 years later.  Take, for instance, the issue of rust.
     Our zillion-dollar heat pump went wonky last week so we switched it over to “auxiliary” which put it on the triple zillion dollar electricity-only mode.  Then we called the heater guy.  He came yesterday to see what he could do.  His name was James, he was youngish, chatty, and seemed to know his business.
     When I explained the problem he asked one question:  “Did it throw a breaker switch?”  Now that was one thing that hadn’t occurred to us, but sure enough.  Switch thrown.
     “Well, it could be the compressor,” he said.
     The way he said it prompted me to ask, “Is that going to cost me a lot of money.”
     “They can be spendy,” was the reply.  And coming from a heater guy, I knew we might be in for trouble.
     It didn’t take James long, though, to find the culprit:  two very rusted set screws and a rusted wire.  So far, so good on the compressors although I did learn that this model has two of them and that they typically last fifteen years.  Our heat pump is eleven years old.  There is no warranty available past ten years.
     And here I thought I was saving my money for a travel adventure…


  1. Pat Krager

    I had forgotten about the Nickle Plated Beauty…It has been such a long time ago that I read it…I really don’t remember any details…just how much I enjoyed reading it to students. I must read it to my grandchildren.

    • sydney

      Yes! A must! And you’ll love re-visiting the Kimball family and all their adventures!

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    I will track down the book for Gabriel! And I think your heat pump may be living on borrowed time.


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