One Wednesday evening, a few weeks ago, our hot water decided to buck the trend and do cold.
And only cold.
Round about the same moment our central heating decided to become central cooling.
And then it went central cold.
Unfortunately that was in the middle of one of the January’s bloody-hell-it’s-really-cold spells.
I looked at the boiler but all I saw was some red lights and an error code.
A quick google of the error code told me the boiler was super hot, massively out of temperature range, and helpfully informed me of a couple of reset tricks.
I did the reset tricks and gazed lovingly at the boiler as it
burst back in to life gave me the same errors.
One phone call and an emergency plumber who knew less than the square root of naff all later, and I called it a night on the bad boiler front.
The next morning I got a very reliable, local plumber out.
He didn’t try to sell me a new pump, like the emergency plumber.
He explained that if you listened, you could hear the pump actually working.
The heat exchanger has gone, he said. I could probably order a new one, but parts for these old boilers are increasingly difficult to find, he added.
I asked how old the boiler was and he helpfully rang the manufacturer, read them the serial number and I clearly heard the manufacturer say that boiler came off the production line 21 years ago.
Rather than try and get a new part I asked the chap to sort out and fit a new boiler.
For almost a week (remember it was a cold spell when all this was going on?) we kept the log burner going; stacked it up with coal at night and during the working day, and fed it logs in the late afternoons and evenings.
Hot water was provided by Sam who boiled kettles and pans.
And then, a week to the day later, we had hot water and central heating once more.
Truthfully, it wasn’t really a hardship, doing without hot water and central heating.
The log burner kept most of the house above freezing (it throws out a lot of heat). And water heated on the hob kept us clean.
The dogs missed their weekly bath for a week and a half though. That was very noticeable; they are both extremely powerful mud magnets.
But when they’re freshly bathed they’re fragrant in a whole different way.