Thursday, 22 January 2015
Oh To See The Snowdrops!
The last few days have involved the freezing up of my combi boiler and I confined myself to one room and an electric heater. Access to the desktop would have required hat, gloves, boots and all the other paraphernalia associated with sitting in a room temperature of 5 degrees so I decided against being superwoman and stayed inside my wee room in a sweat-breaking temperature of 13 degrees.
This isn’t the first time my 6 year old combo boiler has frozen and my plumber assured me on Monday, when he visited, that the cause was only low pressure. Within an hour of his departure it juddered to a halt again and his response was that a heating engineer would be needed. (My plumber is now retired after a heart attack before Christmas but kindly came to have a look. He’s no longer qualified to deal with gas boilers.)
My young heating engineer arrived about 8pm on Monday night, had a quick look and said “It’s frozen but not a lot I can do in the dark”. He managed to get it up and running but wasn’t too sure it would operate for long. He was right. It packed in again about 30 minutes later and no matter how often I attempted a reset it refused. Thinking I detected a whiff of gas I turned it off and escaped to the comfort of my electric blanket and a bed topped with as many of these throw things I could find. I knew these throws would come in handy one day!
Isn’t it strange how the mind plays tricks? It was impossible to sleep even though I was warm but the air I was breathing was very cold. My attempts at mind over matter were futile.
To cut a long story short the heating engineer came late Tuesday afternoon and lagged the outside pipes with 6” ‘this is guaranteed to stand up to temperatures of -25’ material. My boiler is drained externally (goes directly through the wall) and when it was purchased Worcester Bosch made no mention of the possibility of the external pipes freezing. They didn’t mention it either when it happened the first time but they suggested the external pipes be increased in size. This was done and they were lagged by the then industry standard.
Now it seems the heating industry do not recommend these boilers be installed directly outside and should be drained through an indoor outlet.
In 6 years the guidelines for combo boiler installation has completely changed. Prior to buying mine I did do my homework and telephoned the two companies which I thought had a product which would suit my needs. Neither mentioned freezing problems or they weren’t suitable for outside drainage. Both sold the extras for such fitting. Both companies were told the external pipework would be on a north facing wall and where I lived. Both stated their products would be fine for my situation and I now know that’s nonsense. Who tests these things?
Anyway, it’s humming away here and I’m now cosy. Surely it’s time for the snowdrops to raise their wee heads and show the start of spring?
John Swinney has made changes to his Land and Buildings Transaction Tax I see. Will his £325,000 cut off for the new 5% cause a bottleneck in property values? We’ll have to wait and see.