Let’s say your husband emails you the gas/electric bill…again…and you want to make a difference so you go out and buy a programmable thermostat. Let’s say you want to surprise your husband with your frugality and ecofriendliness all in one big surprise so you decide to install it yourself. Yep most of you are already thinking “bad idea”. But the box boasted “5 Minute Installation” (I’m not that gullible, I didn’t fall for the 3-step roof installation advertised last spring, STEP 1: remove shingles, STEP 2: install new shingles, STEP 3: Sit back and enjoy your new roof). But I’m handy, I’ve fixed toilets, lawn mowers, water softeners, Ken dolls, you name it, so I thought I could do it. Here’s how it went down:
1. I waited until 4:00 to install it (the help-line closes at 5)
2. I asked Lexi to stand-by with the phone to call 911 if I got zapped (she strangely got a kick out of that job)
3. Our old thermostat is from 1954…literally
4. The new directions included phrases like (“the color of the wire does not necessarily correspond with the color of the terminal”) that makes a lot of sense, so the blue wire doesn’t go in the blue “clippy thing”?
5. When I had it all connected (I didn’t get zapped) I turned it on (23 minutes later) and PRESTO…nothing
6. I called the help-line, was put on hold for 20 minutes, finally gave up (had things like dinner to make and oh, look we’re short one kid, better go pick him up from school)
7. When husband got home proudly showed off our new cost-saving device, told him we’d really be saving money that night because we wouldn’t be using any heat at all
8. Wake up to a balmy 57 degrees. Hear how cold it is from the lovely inhabitants of our home.
9. Husband and I work together to try to fix it. Husband has to go to work.
10. Email our old contractor for a referral for a HVAC person.
11. Call the help-line again.
12. After being on hold for 15 minutes get a live person.
13. As soon as I start talking, one of the children walks in and begins to prepare his lunch. Just as I begin to explain the problem said child takes out the big bag of chips and crumples and uncrumples it OVER AND OVER. I give him “the look”…he doesn’t get the message.
14. With one frozen hand covering the receiver I “calmly” ask said child to leave the room.
15. “Who me?” he asks.
16. Eye’s bug out of my head
17. Child leaves, I continue troubleshooting conversation with thermostat lady on the phone. I find out the blue wire doesn’t go in the blue terminal. In fact she doesn’t know what the blue wire is for, but if I would like I could call Honeywell to find out.
18. Follow the directions, flip on the power and PRESTO…yes, we have heat!
19. Call husband to receive accolades on my wonderful accomplishment
20. Instead receive teasing, “You know, maybe people install thermostats in the spring, or fall, you know, when it’s not so cold.” Suddenly get a bad connection on my phone.
21. Decide to go out to lunch with the money I saved on the install, (I’ll let you know how much I collect from my false advertising suit…anyone know a good lawyer?)