Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Hard Day's Night

At last, relief in the shape of warmer weather, for our hard working central heating boiler, which has been on day and night non stop, give or take a few hours, for a month now, because of the unusually cold weather. Let me explain. Our central heating boiler is situated in the garage and protected by a frost stat which has been a hard task master recently. However, the boiler has not always been in the garage.

When we first moved to the cottage the central heating boiler, which is oil fired, was in the utility room, under our bedroom. This meant that the second in the morning that it shuddered into life, we were wide awake. It sounded like a steam engine starting up. We thought about moving it into the garage, but were put off by the four figure estimates that we received for the work involved to move it. For a time we just had to learn to live with it. But undeterred, when the builder started on our alterations, I chanced my arm or my luck and asked him about moving the boiler into the garage. All the floor boards, that he was going to need to take up, were going to be up anyway for the installation of the new shower room and bathroom. He came back with a three figure estimate so we decided to go ahead and have it moved. Apart from the noise that the the wretched thing was making, it had a habit of going out what seemed like every time the wind blew across the farmer's field and up our garden. We hoped that by moving it into the garage it would be in a more sheltered position and be less likely to go out.

So the boiler was moved, solving the noise problem but leaving us with other problems. At our first house the boiler had been situated in the garage and had, had a frost stat wired up to it, so that it came on when the temperature dropped close to zero, to protect the boiler from freezing. Now the newly moved boiler needed a frost stat. The builder attempted to install one for us but unfortunately wiring it up was beyond his electrical skills. Twice in a period of 20 minutes he managed to fuse our electrics and he went off with his tail between his legs. We hoped that we would have more joy with our electrician but he could not come for a few weeks. When he did come there were no instructions with the frost stat, that he had bought, and he had to guess at how to connect it up, and having switched the boiler on, it would not go off. Luckily the plumber came, I think to sort out a leak through the shower room floor into the dining room, and he showed me the switch in the airing cupboard that switches the whole central heating system off. It is a last resort to use this switch as it switches off the time clock, which means that the cottage is cold when we get up, but after a week of unnecessary non stop heating we were getting desparate.

To cut a long story short, after several visits by the electrician and a change of frost stat, we now have a system which works reasonably well, although we do sometimes have to resort to switching off the whole system.

17 comments:

jinksy said...

I think gas/oil boilers and electricity combined never make happy bedfellows!Odd how one always has to rely on the other to function as it should...

LindyLouMac said...

Central Heating a subject close to my heart. Despite what many people think Italy has very cold winters, but heating fuels, gas, oil and electricity are all expensive here. Having been here a few years we now understand why wood-burning stoves are so popular.

cheshire wife said...

LindyLouMac - we have three fireplaces in the cottage and have log fires in two of them during the winter but they would never be enough to heat the whole cottage or even just some of the rooms.

JJ said...

O how I feel for you. We had snow for over a week which is unheard of in South Devon. Much warmer now but with the warmth has come the driving rain. Roll on Spring!
JJ

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We are getting used to electric heating now that we have moved, after years of gas boilers. Mostly we have been too warm recently and of course, unlike gas, it is not instantly controlled.

French Fancy said...

I wish we had a wood burning stove but we don't have a functional chimney. Aren't boilers a nuisance though

cheshire wife said...

FF - yes, but necessary.

Maggie May said...

It must have been absolutely awful sleeping on a boiler!

Nuts in May

Hilary said...

I can't imagine sleeping over a noise like that. I hope that you're finally getting more rest. :)

Gill - That British Woman said...

my cousin is a plumber and he has been as busy as heck when you had that cold spell, and he was saying that the heating systems/boilers were not built to with stand such cold temperatures........

Our heating and log fire seems to have been on 24/7 for weeks now.

Gill in Canada

cheshire wife said...

MM & Hilary - no need for an alarm clock!

lakeviewer said...

We have no backup here if our electricity goes. No gas or wood stoves. If electricity goes, we get into our car and drive away until we reach a town with utilities intact.

Carol said...

My best mate's boiler blew up in December....I have never been so cold in my life!! I spent a rather hideous two days attempting to work on my assignment typing with gloves on whilst being wrapped in a duvet!! (I stay with him when I'm in London)
Thankfully it was fixed in two days because I don't think I could have coped much longer!!

Glad you got yours all sorted in the end!!

C x

The Dotterel said...

I'm girding my loins for the replacement of our ageing boiler sometime in the not-too-distant future... and seriously thinking of installing solar-panels, a wind-turbine and subterranean piping! I can't be more expensive than the gas-fuelled alternative. And think of the savings...

CG said...

I remember when our bolier stopped working for a few days, the house got so cold. I hope yours will behave itself for the forseeable future!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a nuisance that must have been. We used to have a noisy boiler too and dreaded switching it on in a morning.

At least you have heat in your house in this cold weather. It's typical that heating costs so much to maintain because we Brits can rarely do without it.

CJ xx

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