The only thing I haven't lost is my sense of humour !

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Ron Goldstein, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Here I was, moaning about all my activities closing down and trying to make my mind up about going out this morning to attend a U3A Talk about cancer when I discovered I was starting to feel cold.

    A quick check up and I soon found that my year old gas boiler had switched itself off and resisted all my efforts to re-start it. No matter, I thought, I pay for a repair call out service , all I need to do is phone.

    Silly me ! I spent the next 45 mtes on the phone just trying to get through and was twice told by an operator that the telephone number was now refusing calls !

    I then did what I should have done in the first place and phoned one of my lovely daughters with the result that within minutes emergency heating was brought to my door.

    I then managed to book a repair appointment online (not until next Wednesday) but my daughter thought it might be expedited if I explained that:
    a. I was 94 and
    b. was receiving treatment for Cancer

    Good idea, I thought and some twenty mtes later was speaking to a would-be helpful advisor who told me I that I was already on their list as priority and yes, next Wednesday was the earliest they could offer.

    My family are now guessing that half of the London customers are experiencing low gas pressure (that in return is switching of their gas boilers).

    All I can think of is that I'm bloody lucky that I'm a 94 year old cancer sufferer, because if I wasn't, I would probably have to wait much longer for the engineers to call !

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    But Ron, you missed out one... British Forces Veteran! (That way you might have been told Wed morning.) It's just a pity hot air can't travel down the phone line!
    Businesses who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant - GOV.UK

    The National Grid says it is running out of gas. This is what happens if we do

    Keep warm.
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Thanks Di !

    I knew you would understand !

  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    Your story reminded me of the Ronald Reagan joke - they are all on YouTube - where he is 'commenting' on the poor delivery times of goods and services in the Soviet Union. Very roughly, a chap needs a Plumber but is given an appointment YEARS hence. He asks the people 'morning or afternoon'. You can imagine the puzzlement until he is told 'afternoon'. To which his reply is "thank goodness for that: I'm expecting an electrician in the morning".
    Tolbooth, geoff501 and Ron Goldstein like this.
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Newish boiler.
    Dead in very cold weather?
    Let me guess; it's the cunningly designed and eco-required condenser type and its condensate pipe has frozen.
    Many mates reporting same today. Most saving a ton by defrosting it themselves...

    Google very interesting on it. And occasionally rather angry. ;)
    PsyWar.Org likes this.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    A heating system design which fails in cold weather. What an ironic concept!

    Mostly gas powered, forced air heating over here and running water pipes on outside walls is generally avoided.
  8. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    What? How crazy! Surely this advice must be included in every installation - and properly lagged/insulated as part of the installation.

    As said, a heating system that fails in cold weather!! Our local radio has been full of people with the same symptoms, boiler making unusual noises and the advice to use hot (not boiling) water to thaw exterior pipes has almost instantly cured the problem, including one elderly lady who started phoning British Gas helpline from 05:30 this morning and couldn't get through, had to collect her husband from hospital to bring him home to a freezing house.
    Fortunately a neighbour, hearing the advice, was able to thaw the pipe and restart the boiler....

    I am really angry that so many people have experienced this problem and had no idea as to what to do. Moreover, I'm sure there are many CH engineers being inundated and some may succumb to charge huge fees for cll outs which could be fixed by the homeowner IF they knew how to resolve.

    This info needs to be on National news immediately
    Chris C and SDP like this.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    It already was when the design began to become the norm a few years ago.
    Now, though, it's the approved 'eco' style of boiler, set in stone by government & the green blob, so anyone trying to counter it is naturally an evil maniac who shoots tigers and wishes to create an ecological holocaust.

    Best solution seems to be running the condensate drain to an internal waste.
    Not always possible though.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Happened with my mum's a few years ago until we used that grey insulating stuff on it.
    A mate has posted same problem on FB about an hour ago.
    Our Worcester boiler is 15 years old & still working so I don't want one of those crap new ones.
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Five minutes after last FB mate (of four with same issue) advised to defrost his today, popped to Post Office to get a stamp & two people in there loudly chatting about theirs both being frozen.
    It's a mass design cluster-F. Last a big issue here a few years back when things dropped to serious minuses.
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Same here Owen, east wind, frozen exhaust pipe. Electric heater pointed onto the cold wall surface and lag with the grey insulating stuff. All sorted in a few hours. You have to keep an eye on the lagging as it seems to go brittle and disintegrate after a few years. I've kept my boiler on constant over the past few days as the wind is blowing right up my alley.
  13. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    VP, thanks for the tip.I have one of these, though the external pipe is lagged. No problems with that yet, but wish I'd kept the old boiler which only broke down once, new one has had about 6 call outs. (Worcester!)

    Ron, Keep warm - plenty of layers, It's nasty out there.

    Stupid fine ski-grade snow. How am I supposed to build a snowman with it?

  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Lagging of the condensate drain should be in the manufacturer's installation specification.Additionally the drain should be of satisfactory quality.Emergency call outs for a frozen condensate pipe seem to be a nice earner for some in this severe weather.

    Boiler servicing/emergency cover also appears to promote a good revenue stream given the offers received in the post.....with some companies pushing for opportunities to sell boilers by condemning the boiler...spares no longer available..... incorrect diagnosis either deliberate or due to incompetence. I have heard the odd account of incompetence on installing a new boiler and one of recommended "write off" deception,only uncovered by a second opinion conducted by a relative.

    If possible, it is of advantage to have a standby source of hot water from an immersion heater with electric convectors as emergency heating....however should the electrical supply fail,the result will be no hot water or heating from a boiler.

    Ron..... hoping that your boiler snag will be resolved.Is it still within its warranty period? even if it has just expired it would be worth contacting the manufacturer for a goodwill consideration...have a look at your documentation and have a scan through the manufacturer's operating instructions...some do give good pointers in the diagnosis of snags.
  15. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    :omg: nasty o_O - need to get your alley out of the wind dear boy otherwise ...........................................

    canuck likes this.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Since I first discovered that my boiler had let me down, life has consisted mainly of ensuring that I keep warm !

    My ever over anxious offspring are constantly on the phone to satisfy themselves that i want for nought during this cold spell, they have accepted that I have no desire to move out and the house is full of heaters of varying types.

    Despite all this, I woke in the early hours, put another duvet on my bed and made a mental note to thank the girls for their insistence that I put heaters in every room.

    I've just remembered posting an item on the forum about my first post-war leave and sleeping in a cold room.
    A Question for the Vets.

    I obviously thought it was hilarious at the time but I can understand it more now ! .

    I was replying to a question from Cage, which went "Can you remember that first day at home, Ron?"

    I replied "In November 1945 I had my first home leave since March 1943.

    As a temporary ‘tenant’ at my parent’s home in North London I found myself sleeping on a couch in the front room, no problem for me since I had been sleeping ‘rough’ for the past three years.
    In the early hours of the morning I was unintentionally woken by my mother who had just entered the room. When I asked her what the problem was she replied "I was just bringing in an extra blanket to cover your head because I thought there might be a draught coming from the window" !
    At the time and even now, some sixty odd years later, I laughed as I thought to myself "G-D, its just as well she never saw some of the places in which I’ve been sleeping!"

    Nothing like a cold snap to set one remembering :)

    Chris C, Smudger Jnr, mcan and 4 others like this.
  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Am I glad to be old fashioned. I have a 30 year old boiler which supplies ample heat and hot water and does not have a service contract. Being a belt and braces sort I also have an immersion heater, a gas fire and two Dyson electric heaters. When the thermocouple went in January I rang Jack (plumbing and heating) who did not give an appointment or an excuse but said he would be round some time that day even if it was late in the evening. He came. He repeated his advice, ''Don't get rid of that lovely old boiler these new things are nowt but trouble'.

    Of course I live in an old mill town and most of my near neighbours were born here. I am tolerated after 43 years but considered a new comer still.

    Smudger Jnr, 4jonboy, canuck and 3 others like this.
  19. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Hoping your boiler is working again soon, Ron.We're having the same problem ( living temporarily in a rented flat in Southend.) The boiler keeps going off and on - we think it's due to a frozen external flue. Hopefully will improve when temperatures go up.
    When we had propane gas from a buried tank the pressure valve would freeze up in very cold weather. But we had a wood burner too, so not so bad.
  20. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    The bad weather in Wales is leading to further complications it seems:
    (Read what is says, not what you expect it to say)
    Chris C, Smudger Jnr, 4jonboy and 7 others like this.

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