Posts Tagged ‘Summer Apartment’

May 13, 2011

Saga of the Heater

This is the harrowing tale that so ends the saga of the heater. At least I hope so. Heat has once again been restored, and all is happy. I got home from work this afternoon to find a nice note that the heater has been replaced. Turned on the heater and basked in the warmth. For about three minutes. Is that a smokey smell? Then next thing I know, the fire alarm went off. I quickly turned off the heater, threw open a window and fanned the air away from the smoke alarm. Lather, rinse, repeat. When the smoke alarm went off again for the second time, I called the building maintenance. This time, the maintenance man was close by and had an idea what the problem was. The smoke detector had an old battery, and apparently one of the signs of an ageing battery is an extremely sensitive alarm. Sensitive enough to be triggered by a new heater turning on for the very first time. A new battery, heater on, and all was good.

I took advantage of the fact that I had the maintenance man in my apartment (he always comes during the day when I am out) to bring up all the issues I have been having. Turns out they had had some layover in terms of management as well as maintenance personal, and in particular the last guy took a “what ever makes the problem go away” kind of approach which led to a lot of band aid solutions that didn’t really fix the problems. My previous heater that was reinstalled just 5 weeks ago was installed facing the wall, ie backwards. Rather than blow air into the apartment, it was trying to blow air into the wall.

I’ll digress from the story for just a moment to talk about one of my housemates from freshman year at college. She had called me into her dorm, panicked because her printer wouldn’t work and her essay was due. After poking around for a few minutes, I found she had plugged the printer in upside down. Printer cables in those days had male and female connectors.

Male connectors have little spokes, where female connectors have little holes that the plugs fit nicely into. These devices are usually just slightly not symmetrical by design. That way the wide part of the male plug fits the wide part of the female plug to prevent these kinds of silly mistakes. It turns out with enough force you can jam the things together.

That’s effectively what the previous maintenance man had done, chipping away the drywall to make a big enough opening for a device in that was never supposed to fit that way. The fan that circulates the air and keeps the unit from over heating kept hitting the drywall, and eventually wore out. As a result the unit burned out and here we are.

All’s well that ends well. The heater is fixed and I find myself enjoying a toasty apartment once again. Just in time to make the jump to summer!

I called in my second emergency repair request in as many months for my apartment. The heater stopped working Monday when I cam home from work. Since it’s now almost mid may, I’ve been hoping the weather will warm up and I could just ignore the problem, but after a cold night, and the resulting sleeplessness, I decided I needed to take action. After leaving a non urgent request this morning and getting no response, I called the 24 hour number. We decided to give it one more day (the maintenance staff had apparently already gone home for the night) with the assurance that everything would be fixed by Friday afternoon.

Fingers crossed.

April 10, 2011

Total Lemon

My apartment is a lemon. I’m currently living in short term furnished apartment. I’ve been here 9 days (5 work days) and a maintenance man has been here 4 of them.

When I arrived a week ago Saturday, the cable wasn’t working in the bedroom. The technician was in the middle of fixing it when I entered my apartment, which cause total confusion. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be startled by a random stranger standing in her apartment when she was just given the keys for the first time! He left, saying it would be fixed Monday. No big deal, I thought, since there was a TV with working cable in the living room. Ha! How little I knew.

The TV in the living room died Sunday night. I could hear the cable, but had lost picture. I tried changing input to the DVD player, but nothing would displayed. A quick search on the internet revealed the problem was likely a short inside the TV box (apparently this particular model is prone to it), and that the TV needed to be replaced.

Remember the heater died something last Saturday night? I reported it via email on Sunday afternoon. By the time monday morning rolled around it was cold. So cold in fact that I had a headache and couldn’t wait to be out of the morning. I called in a maintenance “emergency” in the morning. The apartment was truly unlivable. I was told it may be 48 hours until the problem was fixed. I asked for a space heater if indeed the heater could not be fixed by the time I returned from work Monday. Fortunately, the heater was fixed, however, it was left off. I cranked it up as high as I can, hoping to have a livable apartment soon. The cable in the bedroom was still not fixed, nor the TV in the living room.

I decided to bake some chicken for dinner. I was figuring out the controls on the stove when suddenly the oven door Would.Not.Open. The stove had a “lock” feature – I kid you not – which had gotten stuck. Another internet search to find the manual for the particular stove. Apparently that particular stove would occasionally get stuck in “lock” mode if you accidentally hit the clean button, and then the cancel button before it had a chance to finish it’s clean cycle. The manual had the “reset” sequence which unlocked the stove. At least I didn’t have to ask maintenance for help.

By Tuesday morning the heater had finally had a chance to warm the place. I left again for work. When I came home, someone had left a space heater in the middle of the living room. Cable was still not working in the bedroom, the TV had no picture in the living room. I was talking with my husband when all of a sudden a load pop emanated from the TV which I thought was off. I nearly jumped off the couch. Something was definitely wrong with the TV. I sent an email to the maintenance people, reminding them of the TV/cable problems and letting them know my heater was fixed so I didn’t need the space heater. Maybe someone was confused as to which problems were resolved and which ones weren’t.

Wednesday, the cable in the bedroom is working. It’s a step in the right direction! Only it’s not cable, but some sort of Satellite and doesn’t appear to get many channels. I also found a random sweet and low packet of sugar on the bedroom floor. I know that the maintenance guy was in my apartment – he had fixed the cable – but it really weirded me out.

Nothing appears different on Thursday. I realize the reason the heater took so long to warm the whole apartment is it is only designed to work in the living room. There’s another one in the bedroom that isn’t working. Turns out there was a reason for the space heater, afterall.

Friday I get a note saying they had to replace the TV in the living room, but it is now working. Yay! Although, I still have the space heater, and the bedroom heater isn’t working. Whatever, I can deal.

Which brings us to today. Apparently the washing machine isn’t working. I can here it straining when it is on, but it has no water. I leave it on for a few minutes just to be sure. I give up. My apartment is a lemon.