Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blogs, boilers and Christmas

Sorry I've not been around the blogs properly lately, but I've had a few things going on, and also kept getting distracted by Christmas movies. I even found a couple I hadn't seen, which I'll post reviews for in the next few weeks. Well, I also watched a few of the Christmas movies from my DVD collection... "One Magic Christmas" and "Santa Claus - The Movie" followed by "The Grinch" and "Miracle On 34th Street"... Which I wont be reviewing since I'm sure I have reviewed them in the past since they are ones I watch regularly at Christmas. And I'm sure people can figure out that I like them, since I own them. Anyway, I'll get to your blogs when I get the time. Sorry if I don't get to them this side of Christmas. It's nothing personal, honest!

Anyway, I said I'd tell you about the boiler today, so...

The new boiler was fitted in early August (or was it the very end of July? One or the other). They then sent someone out in September to do the usual anual checks of the heating system that are done by the council to check all is working well before Winter comes. We were told it was in complete working order, and didn't question it since it was brand new and all that. Anywayy, for a couple of days the boiler had been slow to start up, but we weren't worried... Maybe it was cold too? Then, Saturday evening we discovered that not only was it not working, but water was coming out of the bottom of it. We turned the mains switch to it off, put towels under it to soak up the water, and called the emergency line (because it was out of hours). They said someone would come in the morning, because they didn't consider it enough of an emergancy to have someone out late at night. So, the temperatures are way below freezing, it's the middle of Winter, we have no heating or hot water with the boiler not working, but no, it's not important that people come out quickly... Of course it isn't! *Shaking head* Anyway, we said, OK, figuring it was just one night, so not a huge deal. About mid morning on Sunday someone came out and told us what had happened was that the pipe that leads outside (the one that water goes out of after it goes around the pipes in the house, I assume) had frozen, giving the water no escape and causing it to flow the only way it could... Back in to the boiler. This had then shorted out the fan that powers it, while at the same time the water - with nowhere to go - had found some way of leaking out of the bottom of the boiler. Of course, the guy had no spare fans, so said he would get one and be with us the following morning. So, Monday morning - after another night with no heat and no hot water - we waited, and waited, and... Eventually there was no morning left and it was lunch time. So, I called them. They said he'd picked up the new fan and would be with us any minute now. This was at noon, and he arrived around 1:15 pm. But he was here, and he had the fan. Unfortunately what he didn't have was instructions or knowledge about the new boiler. Luckily we'd been given a set of instructions for it, so we fetched them for him. First he had to defrost the pipe, which took him ages, then he replaced the fan. But it still wouldn't work. To cut a long story short, after having him here from around 1:15 pm until a couple of minutes before 4:00 pm, it was discovered that the reason for the slowness of the boiler starting up recently was that the ignition for it was damaged, and the part that filters the gas in to it to power it was also damaged. I'd have wondered if he was pulling a fast one if it wasn't for the fact that: 1. Kelly was shown the damaged parts and could see they were damaged. 2. we know he was genuinely struggling to get it to work again. And, 3. since we live in council property he couldn't have been after money from us... The council pay for maintanence on their properties, and things like boiler repair come in to that. Something I'm extremely pleased about due to the replacement of three items and the close to 3 hours he spent here working on fixing it. So, we spent almost 48 hours with no heating and no hot water. Man were we pleased to have that boiler fixed again! I'm sure the boys were pleased to have heat too! They have to come back though... They didn't put a new pipe on outside after removing the frozen pipe (which, if I'm not mistaken, got damaged while being defrosted).

I thought we also had a broken washing machine, only it turned out I'd caught one of the other buttons on it, and it wouldn't work because of that. Because whatever I'd done had made all the lights start flashing at us we weren't sure what was going on. Mam and Dad were both on standby for laundry pick up. Only I decided if it was flashing it was probably trying to tell us something, and if I was wrong and it was broken then surely pressing stuff wouldn't make any difference... Right? So I decided to press the buttons on it and hope for the best. I spent over 24 hours randomly pressing buttons at random intervals, then - yesterday - it started working and has worked fine since. That's why I'm thinking I caught a wrong button, because it had to be me who did it, since I had washed a load just before it appeared to have died, and nobody else had touched it since then. We only have so much washing to do because of all the towels from trying to stop the leaky boiler flooding the kitchen or I wouldn't have even touched it after grabbing the clothes out of it from that first load. I am glad it was just a button being pressed and not the washing machine breaking though. I mean, things like washing machines being fixed or replaced come out of our pocket after all. ;)


Christmas is just two days away! Are you ready? Or are you one of those people who leaves preporations and any shopping til the last minute? I did go with Mam while she got some last minute bits today, but we managed to finish our shopping on Tuesday (once the roads were clear enough for cabs to be running again, so Kelly didn't have to walk home with several bags of stuff). We have all our Christmas dinner food, the stuff for Boxing Day when my family are here for a buffet and present exchanging, the present we were missing for Kero, and a whole bunch of stuff we didn't need, but we like, and... Well, it is Christmas, and everyone has a few more treats than normal at Christmas... Right? ;)

Looks like I'm getting a white Christmas this year! YAY! The only way I'm not is if there's a sudden heat wave that causes all the snow to suddenly melt within the next couple of days, since there's still a lot of snow on the ground, and it snowed a little again today (only for a few minutes, and no more than maybe half an inch - if that - but still). But the forecast is for more snow in these next couple of days. So a white Christmas for me this year! YAY! Of course, I'm one of very few people pleased about this (and most of the rest of the people pleased are under 10 years old, I think) but I'm not bothered. The roads are clear enough that people can get places if they drive carefully - which they should be doing anyway - but I still get snow. Everyone wins! LOL! ;)

OK, well, I think this will do for today. Except for one final message... To all of you who are spending Christmas with a loved one missing from your lives for one reason or another, please know that you are in my thoughts this Christmas! All my friends will be in my thoughts, but some of you need the little extra reminder this year, I think!


Rita said...

Boy! It had to be cold there for a couple of days. So glad they got it fixed! And that the washer started working again, too. :) I hope they taped the pipe and insulated it so it won't freeze up again. ??

Now that it is warm in the house again you might feel more like throwing some more snowballs--hehe! Not fun to go out in the cold and come back into the cold. Sounds like your Christmas will be white and that you guys are ready for the big day. Have fun! Stay warm!! :):)

Intense Guy said...

Whew.. what a story. I'm glad they sort of, fixed your boiler for now, kind of, maybe - at least to the point where you are warm.

So when ALL that snow melts they will have to fix the pipes correctly (or rather they SHOULD!) and get back to doing whatever it was they were doing on the roof!

By the time they are done with those things, it will be time to replace the boiler again...


Hope you have a wonderful boxing day!!

AliceKay said...

Wow, that's a long time to be without heat and hot water. I'm glad the guy finally got it fixed enough for you to get heat again. Also glad the washer didn't break on you. I know how expensive those things are nowadays.

Christmas will be very different for us this year, but we'll get thru it. Thanks for any extra thoughts coming our way. *hugs*

Toriz said...

Yeah, they "sort of" got things sorted. But they still need to come and sort that pipe properly. Apparently they, "can't do it until we get a proper thaw." Hmm... Guess they didn't notice the thaw at the end of last week? ;)