Howard Industries

Howard Industries, Culver City. June 2014

Howard is a huge HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) supplier. They also have innumerable replacement parts, tools, and supplies for that industry. I was there getting a new thermocouple for our 30 year-old gas wall heater. The thermocouple, also called a pilot generator, is a little gizmo that sits in the flame of the pilot light in your furnace or heater and tells the main valve it is okay to open. If the pilot goes out, the main valve won’t open so you don’t die of asphyxiation or your house doesn’t accidentally blow up. Ours goes bad every 6 or 7 years and the pilot won’t stay lit. I have to trek to Culver City and take my place on one of these stools while I wait for my number to be called.

Our heaters are so old that they no longer manufacture the size of generator I need, but Howard, having been in business for so long, has a box full of the correct ones buried in the dim reaches of their warehouse. The last time I was there, I bought three of them just in case. Cheaper than having to replace the entire heater.