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We are now into the second day of Operation Replacement Boiler
We have no heating, except for a rather good electric heater Ina picked up yesterday, which is being used to make the living room acceptable, and no hot water. Having washed all over in ice cold water this morning, I do that feel there is not much to recommend it. We also have a resident heating engineer knocking holes in walls and floors. The old boiler has been removed and the new bigger and more powerful condensing boiler has been attached to our new utility room wall, had a flue fitted, and very smart copper pipework run to the service shaft, but the hot water tank and shower pump are still to do, as is the replacement radiator in the small bedroom, that started to leak in the summer. Then, of course, we will find out whether it works!

Brian just poked his head in to announce he is cutting off the gas. It'll be takeaway toning.

I am halfway through the recently received draft novel from one of my flist (she knows who she is) for a does-it-make-sense final read from members of the Milford crit group, and, despite not enjoying reading on the computer, I am having a great time. Yes, it does make sense so far, though I am having to concentrate. My own writing has come to a halt due to the need to make inroads into the cleaning-up and throwing away. I know what I have to do, and will be looking for first draft readers some time in the New Year.

It is very quiet without the LLD, though the cats have done more damage in their 15 year depredations. We keep discovering more. *sigh*

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Our boiler decided to give up the ghost during the Arctic Conditions last year. No heating for 48 hours. Ah, well, I thought, Mr S and I are at work, R and M are at school, it's only one evening... Of course M chose that day to get ill so I was there trying to insulate the living room so that the single gas fire would be enough... as it turned out the external pipe had frozen so Mr S and I spent three hours pouring hot water over it.

All good fun and games. *rolls eyes*

Our boiler has been in situ since 1967 when the house was built, and our heating engineer (who has put systems into two of our houses) opined that he wasn't going to be responsible if it killed us all in our beds.

Unfortunately, modern condensing boilers (and others) have to be fitted to an outside wall, and our town house is mainly window, with the current boiler operating up a flue from first floor kitchen to the roof.

His verdict actually galvanised us into converting the garage into a utility room, with the second stage to be a spit brand new boiler. This is a big job and is costing us about two thirds what the actual building conversion did. Next will be a jobbing builder to make good the mess that the heating engineers have, of necessity, made of bits of wall, to put in bannisters - which we don't have - and new doors.

All this is to make the house sellable - which it isn't currently.

Wish us luck for next spring...

We bought this house in 2002 when it had the original back boiler behind the nasty 1960s wall mounted gas fire. Six months after we moved in that boiler died a smoky and smelly death (*headdesk* conversation with patronising young boiler engineer

PYBE: Y'know what that is? (Indicating dark streaks on white wallpaper above fire)

Me: (absently) soot, I imagine.

PYBE: Nah. That's *carbon monoxide* that is. Could've been nasty.

Me: No, CO is a colourless, odourless gas. That's why it's dangerous. You're pointing to something black which is almost certainly a carbon product. That's usually called soot.

PYBE: ... you could have had a nasty accident.

Me: This is a three bedroom semi with ancient drafty double glazing and two air bricks in every room. This is the living room, the door of which is never shut, which leads to a large hall, open stairs and open kitchen. Upstairs the bedroom windows are always open at least half an inch, usually more because we are Fresh Air Fiends. I'm not too worried.

He didn't like it...:-)

The new boiler we had installed was a modern condensing model which we had installed on the upper floor on an inner wall and flued through the ceiling and out through the roof. The condensing pipe travels along the hall, below the bathroom and out through the bathroom wall. This is the pipe that froze. The hot water method was my mother's advice which worked very well.

These things never happen at a good time but things are usually better for having them done.

Long, long ago I used to work for East Midlands Gas.

We had a maintenance man once who went looking for a leak with a lighter... Oddly enough, he lived.

Then there was the smell on someone's fire - fitter and householder could not figure it, fitter couldn't find anything wrong but, quite correctly, put a Do Not Use warning label on same.

Next day (female) householder rang. "I've taken that label off, love. You can cancel the job. I just spilled hairspray on it again and it smells just the same."

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