|A third lid design using a shaped knob and rough sawn oak.|
The failed system was sent back to the manufacturer, who at first claimed there was nothing wrong with it... It took months of testing before they finally admitted its faults.
Now with this severe cold, the system has given up the ghost. It has been out of commission for a week while we are waiting for a delicate pressure sensor to arrive (next week), and be stuck into a slot, and for the system to kick in and warm this end of our house to a habitable condition.
Thankfully, our home is of a passive solar design. We get lots of sun to warm things during the day, and I bought a small electric heater to cut some of the chill.
Here are a few of the things we're learning about technology if we're paying attention. If things can go wrong they will. Complex systems are unmanageable in the long term. Greater complexity increases the unmanageability quotient. Even people who work with complex systems all the time may not have the capacity to fix things without adequate tech support, and it is virtually impossible to develop adequate tech support without putting those folks who are expected to provide such into the field where they encounter real problems and are expected to solve them through critical and creative thinking skills. Engineering guides and trouble shooting guides are written by engineers, not craftsmen, and the general inclination of engineers is to complicate to the fullest extent of their technological ability not to simplify so that things actually work and are manageable without engineering expertise.
It used to be that folks talked about appropriate technology. It was about DIY, and the ways that technology could reinforce the abilities of real people. And here I am, waiting. The system went out on Saturday. The service man came on Sunday and ordered the part on Monday. Given the holiday, perhaps it will arrive today. Of course complex heating systems fail when it gets cold. All this makes me long for a technology I could manage for myself and rely upon... a fire in the wood stove.
Make, fix and create...