Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

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Fondly Fahrenheit

Annual inspection of the apartment complex, including my apartment, did happen as scheduled last week. Sometime later today (after 10 am) I'm getting a little visit to get things fixed. I'm optimistic about the shower, because that looks like a simple bad hookup. (Sort of like the dishwasher.) I'm still holding out hope over the thermostat, but that may well wind up being a battle royal of some sort.

Not sure what sort. I know the maintenance witch is generally sensible, but the part may just not be in the budget, which would fucking suck. I am prepared to become firm, even stubborn, on the issue. After all, there is a very real problem inherent in the setup, something that could be actively dangerous to an elderly, young, or other temperature-sensitive person.

As it stands, the cooling system thinks it is heating. The unit is a chiller -- squirrelcage blower running air past pipes of a certain temperature, pipes which circulate throughout the apartment complex. In the summer, cold water runs through the pipes. In the winter, hot water runs through the pipes.

Since the unit is wired to think it is heating when it is in fact cooling, one twists the thermostat to a temperature higher than the current ambient temperature to make the thermostat think it is too cold, and the "heater" must activate. The "heater" blows air as long as the temperature is below the setting on the thermostat -- when blowing cold air, this is indefinite. When one becomes cool enough, or too cold, one twists the thermostat back to something below the current ambient temperature, so the thermostat thinks that it is already warm enough in the room, and it does not need to blow "hot air" any more. When the temperature creeps up again over the comfort level, one has to go and turn the thermostat to activate the "hot air" to cool down the room.

The dangerous part is this: the thermostat has a limited range of settings. It ranges from around 40°F to 90°F. This is Phoenix, Arizona, in the height of summer. Outside temperatures have been reaching respectably over 110°F. It would not be hard for an inside temperature to reach well over 90°F. And what is the procedure to turn on the chiller? Ah, yes, move the thermostat to a setting over the ambient temperature. So until the room cools off on its own to a temperature that's on the thermostat, the chiller unit remains off.

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