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If it’s not one thing, it’s another……

The good news is that the electrician came back in between the rain showers on Saturday and replaced one of my external PIR lights, so that now works. It makes a real difference now that it’s dark in the evenings to have a light come on automatically – I can see to find my way from the drive to the front door!

So on Saturday evening, when I got back from the theatre, I was thinking that I’d done enough house repairs and maintenance for this year, and it should be ok to get through the winter. Huh! I woke up on Sunday morning to a very cold house – the boiler had failed overnight, so no central heating or hot water! And I only had it serviced recently…… I was not happy.

Fortunately, it’s not a complete disaster. I have a hot-water tank with a back-up immersion heater, which doesn’t get the water quite as hot as the boiler does, but it’s usable. There’s an electric shower in the en suite, and I have a couple of portable electric heaters which I can use to get the most-used rooms up to a bearable temperature. And if all else fails, there is an open fire in my living room and a wood-pile in the garage. Christopher and I had to deal with quite a few boiler failures over the years, so there are well-established contingency plans.

In fact the worst thing about it was that it took me right back to when Christopher was ill, and the boiler failed during a very cold snap. That turned out to be due to the condensate pipe freezing solid where it discharged into the gutter, and I had a very vivid flash-back of Christopher standing on a ladder with a hairdryer to thaw it. In fact, it was such a strong feeling, I had to look out of the window to check there wasn’t snow on the ground! I’ve subsequently had that problem fixed at source, so I knew it couldn’t be that, and anyway although there was a heavy frost on the ground, it wasn’t that cold. But the vivid memory still shook me rather badly.

The heating maintenance engineer came yesterday morning to have a look, and diagnosed a failed oil pump. Unfortunately, the wholesalers didn’t have a replacement in stock, so he wasn’t able to replace it yesterday. So that was another evening spent wearing a fleece and fingerless gloves, wrapped in a shawl! The new part was ordered on overnight delivery, and I’m apparently “2nd call” this morning, so I’m waiting at home for the engineer to come back and hopefully leave me with a working boiler. It’s very annoying, as there’s yet another short turn-around bid landed on my desk, and it’s inconvenient having to take the time off. But I’m not prepared to go without heating for much longer!

{ 2 } Comments

  1. pauld | 13 November 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Gillian, whatever you do DONT EVER use ‘Hicks Heating’ from Tewkesbury, they claim to be a local company, the boiler man actually comes from south of stroud or dursley, thats if he turns up. First time he rang a few mins before due to turn up to say he couldnt make it and re-arranged date, second time he just didnt bother to turn up or ring. A really crap company who obviously couldnt give an arse about customers.

  2. Gillian | 13 November 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Paul. I’m duly warned! I’ve been using a local Malvern company, HMS, for the past fifteen years or so. They’re quite a small company, so don’t have a huge number of service engineers on call, but they will do their absolute utmost to keep their regular customers happy and squeeze emergency callouts into an already busy diary. I’ve been very happy with them.