I like the whole DIY approach. As a kid watching my dad replace the family cars brake shoes I asked, “How do you know how to do that?” He answered, “If some guy put this together, it should be able to be taken apart and put back together again. If you have too you can read about how it’s done.” Dad was an airline mechanic, He liked reading instructions, manuals, and that one insight gave me the confidence to take apart car engines and then reassemble them. I would go the the library and check out a Motors Manual for the vehicle I was working on, and “Get ‘er done.” I wonder what dad would think of the internet online manuals?
Each spring I shut down our radiant heat boiler and fire it up in the fall. This fall it did not fire up. Bummer. The pilot light would not stay lit. Past experience told me the thermal couple was bad. So for $6.50 I bought another one and installed it along with cleaning the firebox, heat tubes, and flue.
Earlier in the year I had heard a scratching noise in the exhaust flue, I waited till now to inspect it. I was expecting a dead squirrel, but found some twigs instead. I suspect a bird tried making a nest in the flue. It had to have been difficult flying 6 feet in and out of a 5 inch tube. The bird must have eventually given up and flew away. Good plan, poor execution.
After 90 minutes of DYI we had a working pilot light, clean boiler, and a clear flue. Thanks dad.