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Hot, and mildly amusing

posted Aug 17, 2008, 8:19 AM by Kevin Coughlin   [ updated Aug 17, 2008, 8:32 AM ]
I was turning the air conditioner in the apartment down on Friday night before going to bed. It was cool inside, and I saw no need for the thing to be running full blast. I set it so it JUST shut off the cooling part but left the fan running - so that if it got warm again (like in the morning) it would come on again.
The unit is basically a window A/C that is mounted in the side of the wall about a foot up from the ground, with the back side poking out into the patio balcony. I got a few steps away from it, and it cycled on - and shot sparks out around the knobs, and lit a small fire around the switches. Other than my first cry of "Whoa, what the hell!" when it first blew sparks I thought I handled it properly. I AM a highly trained firefighter, after all. I unplugged it, pulled off the front cover, and then blew out the small fire behind the switch plate.
Robin got hold of the apartment manager the next morning, who was properly appalled. It is her first week handling this complex, so she may have been a little overwhelmed. We have only been here 2 weeks ourselves - we already have a new dryer (the old one would get hot and steamy inside, but the switch that ran the timer never turned, so it could run for HOURS and the clothes would be very hot, but might still be a little damp). I figure just with maintenance hassles and the cost of replacement appliances the first month here is costing them more than we paid them.
I don't know if we will get a new unit this weekend, or if it will be Monday. It is going to be hot today, so we have a big fan blowing the current outside cool air into the apartment, so that we can rely on the heavy insulation in the afternoon to keep it from being hellish. I may also bring one of the little window units from the shop at the property and drop it in the patio doorway this evening if we don't get the big one replaced, just so that sleeping is not ugly for Rowan on the fold-a-bed couch in the living room. (I'm going to sleep out at the property, in the bus, with the BIG air conditioner going!).