Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Adventure of the New Boiler



It’s common knowledge that we’ve been having problems with our heating boiler. If you didn’t know, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention.
The boiler began rumbling back in April. At the last count, a dozen engineers had been to it and each had a different solution. It’s the burner, it’s flue, it’s the condensation pipe. One even suggested it wasn’t the boiler, but the wall on which it was hung, and he sent a builder along to shore up the wall. It didn’t make a ha’porth of difference. The boiler carried on rumbling and grumbling. Her Indoors said it reminded her of me.
Then last week it kept knocking itself off. It wouldn’t work for longer than fifteen minutes without packing in. Her Indoors said it still reminded her of me.
So the local authority, who own both the house and the boiler, sent their chief bod out, and he declared it an official no-go area. “We’ll put a new boiler in,” he told me.
“Suit yourself,” I replied. “It’s your boiler, and I’ll just keep moaning at you.”
“Yes,” he said, “We’ve noticed you’re quite skilled at moaning.”
“You try waking up to no heating and no hot water,” I suggested. “I meanersay, its only June. You can’t expect hot weather, can you?”
Anyway, the engineer arrived yesterday complete with boiler and bits, most of which he left cluttering up the front yard while he proceeded to install it.

The poor sod was working on his own, too. I watched him struggle down the stairs with the old boiler and Her Indoors said, “Why don’t you help him?”
So I did. I held the door open while he carried it out to his van. I also made him endless cups of tea during the day.
Scaffolders arrived at lunchtime so he could get on the roof for the new flue, and I made them cups of tea, too. An electrician turned up about two o’clock, but he didn’t want a cup of tea. He just wanted to install the new thermostat and timer controls, and be on his way.
One of the major problems with the job was the lavatory. Not that he was working there, but it was right next to where he was working on the landing, and there was no running water. Hence, when Her Indoors needed to go to the smallest room, life got a bit awkward. He turned the water back on shortly after that. He also turned on the bathroom extractor fan. It’s something I do regularly when I have to follow her into the bathroom. I’m surprised the poor bugger didn’t walk out on strike.
Sat at the rear of the room about three o’clock in the afternoon, wrapped up in a cardigan and coat, I noticed something odd. Heat coming from the radiators. Yes. We had central heating. It didn’t last long. He was only testing it.
Twenty minutes later, however, we were up and running, and after showing me how to use the boiler, he left. Sadly, I didn’t have my hearing aids in, and I only caught one word in fifty. I did, however, hear him say, “Whatever you do, don’t…” but I didn’t learn what it was I’m not supposed to do.
Luckily he left us a full instruction manual. I say manual, it reminds me more of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But at least I have some reading matter which I can enjoy in the comfort and warmth of active central heating.


1 comment:

Maureen said...

I feel your pain. I was without heating for 12 minutes last Thursday (I'd forgotten to switch it on) and I nearly froze to death.