Latest Roaster Saga

I had a gig down in Rochester on Monday of last week so I didn't make it in to work. On Tuesday morning I fired up the roaster, waited an appropriate amount of time and went to check on the pre-heating process only to find that the temperature was holding at 350 degrees. I need between 415-450 to roast beans so I had to figure out what was wrong.

Looking at the burners I saw that several of them weren't firing at all, so I cleaned them all off with a wire brush and tried again. No dice.

I started thinking that maybe the thermometer was wrong, since it was cracked (has been for some time) and a little bent. It hadn't been wrong in the past, but I wanted to make sure so I ordered a new one. It came on Wednesday, I installed it, preheated the roaster and got 350 degrees again. I tired contacting Probat, but no one called me back.

Thursday I called them again and they suggested that maybe there were some gas valves that were acting up, which happens sometimes to a roaster with as many hours on it as mine. So I order the two they suggested, one was $18, the other was $130. I didn't want to pay a ridiculous amount for over night shipping, but I asked them to send it the next fastest way.

Friday I knew I wouldn't see them. Monday I expected them, but they never showed. A call to Probat for a tracking number was met by a voice mailbox and no returned call.

Tuesday I sat around until 11:30 and called them again, got the voice mailbox again. I called again an hour later and was told that everyone was out to lunch, but that the guy who I had been leaving messages for would call me back when he got back. At 2:10 my parts showed up. At 2:35 the guy called and told me that the package had been delivered and signed for. Fucking jerk.

Wednesday the plumber came and installed the one of the new valves (the expensive one), he looked at the other and said it was fine. When we fired the roaster up again we had the same problem and that's when we determined that the gas jets were clogged.

It took a little doing, but we were able to remove the entire burner assembly. I took it apart and brought it to Ickler Co., a local machine shop that does incredible work, and they said they could clean them up no problem.

So another Thursday came and I got the parts back. They were beautiful! I had no idea they were made of anodized zinc and were gold in color, they'd always been black to me. I put the burner back together and with the help of the plumber (AAA rocks!) re-installed it. When we fired up the roaster it came back to life like it was ready to work hard. The flame was good, clean and strong and -- most importantly -- adjustable.

I was able to catch up with all my roasting and I'm back running at 100%, in fact the roaster is behaving better than it has in years!

It figures that the $50 fix would be the one to do it after I'd already spend hundreds on other things.


Ms O said…
Life lessons suck, but they do make good stories! :D

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