My Exciting Life

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I just called the gas department to send someone out because some idiot (me) accidentally dropped a letter opener down the floor furnace. They responded (after the usual being on hold for approximately ten years) to the effect that they don't send their guys out to do that sort of thing and to get someone else to do it (they're probably still laughing). So, I contacted my landlord to send out his handyman to do it. He can do some other stuff while he's here, too.

You'd think the gas department would be more interested in not having Regular People fooling around with furnaces, in the interest of, you know, not blowing up an entire block of houses or something.

I'll bet Theodore Beza didn't have problems like this (or have to put up with whatever passed for the gas department in his time).

Sheesh.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Do you mean the floor register? (The vent that comes up through the floor). If so, that wouldn't do anything except maybe gather dust bunnies.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, this is getting complicated. I contacted my landlord after the gas company bailed and talked to him about the problem. He told me he'd contact his insurance company and get back to me, which he did. He told me that the insurance company told him, in effect, that if the handyman wants to take a look, then go ahead. But any costs to extract the letter opener would have to be borne by me, not the landlord's insurance company.

So, the handyman is supposed to be here tomorrow afternoon. We'll see.

(Moral: never talk to an insurance company.)
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Depending on what you're describing... if the vent has a couple of screws on it, it would seem safe to me to unscrew that vent, remove it, peer down with a flashlight, and see if you can either get at that letter opener yourself or confirm that it isn't harming anything. Might save a pricey visit from the handyman.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Depending on what you're describing... if the vent has a couple of screws on it, it would seem safe to me to unscrew that vent, remove it, peer down with a flashlight, and see if you can either get at that letter opener yourself or confirm that it isn't harming anything. Might save a pricey visit from the handyman.

Thanks, Jack. The furnace, like the house, is 70 years old this year. I'll try to cajole the handyman into taking a look tomorrow.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, things are complicated in your exciting life.

You could always just abandon the letter opener. My guess is it will be happy where it will be happy where it is for another 70 years.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Wow, things are complicated in your exciting life.

You could always just abandon the letter opener. My guess is it will be happy where it will be happy where it is for another 70 years.

My (perhaps irrational) fear is that, if I turn the furnace on this winter, the letter opener could heat up (it's metal) and start a fire. I think the landlord would be miffed at me if I burned his house down.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
My (perhaps irrational) fear is that, if I turn the furnace on this winter, the letter opener could heat up (it's metal) and start a fire. I think the landlord would be miffed at me if I burned his house down.
…but it would be exciting!
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
My (perhaps irrational) fear is that, if I turn the furnace on this winter, the letter opener could heat up (it's metal) and start a fire. I think the landlord would be miffed at me if I burned his house down.
Your furnace is also metal. I think it'll be alright down there.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Dump a few gallons of gas down there and then throw in a match and your lost letter will be gone in an instant. No more worries.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Dump a few gallons of gas down there and then throw in a match and your lost letter will be gone in an instant. No more worries.

Pergie. Pergie, Pergie. Pergie, Pergie, Pergie. Pergie, Pergie, Pergie, Pergie. (Whispers to himself: "I can't decide if he should start drinking or stop drinking.")
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
My (perhaps irrational) fear is that, if I turn the furnace on this winter, the letter opener could heat up (it's metal) and start a fire. I think the landlord would be miffed at me if I burned his house down.
As Charles said, your ducts are sheet metal. Furnace air is around 140-170F, which won’t set anything on fire. Your letter opener would probably face higher temps in a dishwasher dry cycle.

But, I get it, you live for excitement. ;)
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
As Charles said, your ducts are sheet metal. Furnace air is around 140-170F, which won’t set anything on fire. Your letter opener would probably face higher temps in a dishwasher dry cycle.

But, I get it, you live for excitement. ;)

I wonder how hard it is for a sheet-metal duct to fly?
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
I overheard a friend saying it's almost the end of duct season. If you're planning to get into the duct blind this year you better do it soon.
Depending where you are sometimes there is a special duct season. You really have to check your local schedule.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, success.

The handyman showed up yesterday (Thursday) and fished around down in the floor furnace and retrieved my letter opener. He also found two small blocks of wood, two straws, and a miniature toy car! Plus many handfuls of dust.

He said he also heard a couple of ducts quacking, but couldn't actually see them.

Now, I'll have to turn on the heater to make sure he didn't inadvertently snuff out the pilot light!

Many thanks for all the help, folks. Once again, there's always someone here on the Puritan Board who knows something about nearly every subject.
 
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