a homeowner's tale
Then one day she didn't have hot water. So she called the oil company to deliver more fuel for the boiler.
The oil delivery guy came, filled up the tank with a hundred new gallons (273 American dollars), and then watched flames shoot out into the basement. We jumped back.
He looked at the furnace, then at me, then at the furnace and said after three beats:
"You're going to need to get this cleaned."
So the girl called the service people, who came to clean the dirty furnace (119 American dollars) so to not blow up the little white farmhouse. Alas, he discovered a broken ventilation system. I could have hot water again, but would not be alive to use it since the house would fill up with carbon monoxide.
He looked at the vents, then at me, then at the vents and said after three beats:
"You're going to need to get this vent repaired."
So the girl called the service center, and another man came to test the fan motor. He discovered the broken circuit board (175 American dollars) but said he could not repair it. The house's ventilation system was not up to code. The house would need to have that replaced and up to federal standards before they could fix the vents.
So the girl called the service people once again, and they showed her the system she would need to take hot showers as a living human being, and it required a brand new ventilation system that rose 2 feet above ground level! (2,000 American dollars) or a new masoned natural draft chimney (3,000 - 4,500 American dollars).
At this point God laughed, and the home owner cried. She just wanted hot water. She did not realize she was breaking the law. She does not have 2,000 dollars.
So the girl called the home inspector, who should have seen this issue and arrangements could have been made to get the vents up to code before she and Chase bank bought the farmhouse.
The inspector offered to pay for the new ventilation system, because if people found out there was a body count in his home inspection process, it would be bad for business.
At this point the home owner smiled. Small victories get her through the day.
The hot water will be back in a week and the house will refrain from being an outlaw.