6/1/12 12:23 am - The Story of the Brace
The floor-standing AC which sat in our bedroom started working Too Well recently (managing to pull a quart of water out of the air every two to three hours, and then not working until the tank was emptied--thus waking us up several times a night). So we needed to replace it. Our library AC had also gone south (ok, it got cracked when the firemen ripped it out of the wall during the fire last summer, and then it was damaged enough when I removed it so it wouldn't be a hole for the Hurricane to get in with that we threw it out right after), so I picked up a pair of them, actually, but that's not important, plus I haven't bothered to put the library AC in yet.
When I bought the ACs, they mentioned that I'd need a brace, as the city now requires it for all buildings larger than 6 stories. Our building is only 3 stories, so I pointed out that I actually didn't need one legally -- but as I'm not fond of ACs falling out of my window, I'd be happy to try the City Approved solution. Once I settled on an AC model, the salesman mentioned that as it was fairly narrow, I wouldn't need the big huge brace, but only the smaller one.
Now, the ACs, due to vacation and mild weather, sat for a week or so before I tried to put them in. But when I did, I was a bit frustrated. First, the braces had a lot of instructions -- not a huge deal, but annoying to follow, with lots of tiny adjustments that needed to be made.
Then, as I found that when I'd used a combination of instructions and know-how to put the brace together enough to figure out how I'd have to adjust it, it turned out that while the AC might be narrow enough to not need the extra large braces, our apartment walls are -far- too wide to accomodate such a tiny brace -- there was no way the tongue would be able to stay inside the apartment (as it's supposed to) while the outside bit was braced against the wall. Just no way.
I could, of course, have gone back to the store, and returned my too-small braces for larger ones. But I was impatient with the process, fairly confident of my skills (I -have- put in a lot of ACs over the years, with nary anything close to an accident) and anyway, as our apartment building is very small, I'm not -actually- required to use the City Approved Brace. (although having an AC fall out of my window would not be ideal)
So, having exhamined the AC and determined that it doesn't have an internal brace of any sort, I went looking for something that would serve as a spacer so the AC could rest flat (well, inclined in the usual "I want it to drain" way) and be very likely to not fall out of the window at any time -- not when I put it in, not when it was in there or during a storm, and not when I took it out during the fall. It was a bit of trouble, actually, to find something appropriate -- I did bring a bunch of wooden blooks I had as a kid when we moved in, but they've all found good homes, so there are none free to hold up an AC any more. And I tried a box, having used one to hold up my monitor at work for the last year or so, but the one I tried was just way too wide. Finally, my eye settled on the so unsuited for its sold purpose brace -- made of metal, durable, rectangular, and apparently about the right size to lie flat as a metal brick between the AC and the stonework of the window.
It fit perfectly.
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