And here: here is household repair chore #2 for the week. Last week, we came home to the sound of our washing machine, a front-loader which sounds like a 747 engine when it’s on the spin cycle. Only, the washing machine wasn’t on. It was the furnace in the crawlspace. Going crazy with vibration. We had a good clue what might have caused this fan imbalance, because the night before, Maggie had declared, I removed the floor grate on the furnace air intake duct with my pawz, cuz I diagnose, der is a mowse in der! MaggieGrate

I will crawl in der and see if I can khil him and eat him. They makes good or derves.


Unfortunately, despite Maggie’s deep commitment to detecting, eradicating and eating mice that infiltrate our house, her writhing body could not make the hard corner in the duct to reach the mouse. She tried all night, anyway. And perhaps her dragon-like presence snorting and salivating at the mouth of the tunnel is what caused the little Frodo mouse to commit suicide by jumping into the blower housing, I don’t know.

We ignored the vibration for a week, hoping somehow the suspected mouse might fling free of the fan on its own and save us grief. But no such luck, and I feared that vibration would eventually rend the furnace to bits if we waited any longer. I contemplated calling a service person, but I just can’t stand the idea of paying somebody a lot of money for something that I know is trivial and I really should do myself.

So last night, I resolved to take the thing apart and locate the problem. There a lot of stuff behind  the furnace door, and it took me a few minutes of studying to see. The blower actually slides out like a drawer, after you unplug a few wiring harnesses to get them out of the way. It’s just held in place with two screws. Probably because people have to clean stuff out of the fan blades all the time. Duh, it’s a five minute job that requires only a screwdriver. And maybe some kitchen tongs.

This is where I get queasy though, I startle at dead things and unexpected critters- or even somewhat expected dead critters. There were a couple of desiccated mice already in the furnace duct, and every time I’d look in there I’d jump when I saw them, even though I already knew they were in there. So I recruited Kirk for the actual task of body removal. I am more patient with taking apart things that are inexplicably broken, he is more tolerant of handling gross things (with the exception of poop and barf, I have found). So our repair skills mesh well.

So I slid out the fan housing drawer and averted my gaze, while he peeked in and said something like, oh yeah, there he is.


And he extracted it with kitchen tongs. The favorite ones we use all the time. That are now going in the dishwasher. Problem solved.