Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Primrose Polish Repair

When my 19 year old air conditioner died in September  2013 it was of course 99 effing degrees. In October I managed to replace it with a heat pump so it would not only cool the RV but heat it up in the winter too.

Like many caravans, mine is installed on the ceiling. If I stand on my tiptoes I can reach the knobs. They had a teeny tiny itty bitty white pinhead sized dot on them to indicate what it was pointing to. Numerous times I have misunderstood which way the flat knob was pointing.

For instance I was having a raw fever that would burn me up then later I would be shivering with chills. One morning I turned off the AC opened all the windows to get fresh air then walked the doggy because he has to go do his business no matter how rotten I may feel.

I came home burning up. Closing the windows I thought I had set the teeny tiny dot on the overhead unit to maximum cool. I laid back down in bed with rivers of sweat pouring off me. As time tick tocked I laid there getting hotter and hotter. I thought oh dear me, this is pretty dreadful.
Maybe I need help. Maybe this fever is worse than I thought.  Stumbling to the galley for water, I double checked the AC with a magnifying glass. I had the tiny dot pointing to the low heat which is directly opposite the high cool function.

That minuscule dot had fooled me again. I was relieved to reset the unit to high cool.

Recently in a fit of sweaty exasperated anger at performing this gaff again, I began looking for a solution. I tossed it around in my brain over and over, tiny dot that requires magnifying glass to even see was tricking my mind. I was setting the flat knob sometimes correctly and sometimes misunderstanding which end that tiny dot was on, I was setting it 180 degrees wrong.

Nail polish to the rescue! I had some cheap iridescent pink nail polish in my drawer. I painted a thin coat on the knobs. Then every half hour or so I added another thin coat. As a bonus, even in low lighting the iridescent color would catch the light and bounce. It's super easy to see it at night.

Now I have no trouble at all correctly setting my AC or HEAT. I don't need to flail around for a magnifying glass to see the tiny pinhead dot the manufacturer included. My finger nail polish shows up beautifully.

It's a shame I didn't have screaming red on hand, but what the heck, primrose got the job done.


These days and times it seems attention to detail is of no concern to many manufacturers. You can see in this picture that my left knob appears to be way off center for the hole cut for it. That's how they made it. Off center, yet the right hand knob is a little closer to being centered.

While the Fan and Heat function offer Low and High fan setting, curiously the Cool function offers Med and High. But it's really the same Low and High.

By the way, if  you are an RV-er and currently only have the AC option in your RV, it's very often possible to add a Heat Strip Kit without buying a new unit.

The heat strip kit will add electric heat to your current AC unit. Prices are from $36 and up. If you are handy, you can install it yourself with the included directions.

At the time I was getting my unit, I asked for an AC with a heat strip kit added. The installer claimed if I went with a heat pump instead of the kit, my electric bills would be lower. Whether he was right or wrong, I have no idea.

Recently while in the mountains hiding from hurricane Irma temperatures plummeted to below 50F degrees. I used the heat one night to take the chill out of the air before going to bed. Then the outer bands of Irma hit us bringing heavy rains. Trees fell knocking out the power. 

Life is goof. 



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