Last week someone came by to give our boiler a service. It's getting on a bit (18 year old) but was working fine so we were going to keep it until the summer, when we would change for a boiler with a better capacity and more efficient gas and electricity use.
The service went OK, except that it would not light at the end, so the guy lit the pilot light with a match - meaning that the attic was filled with gas. I wasn't here, but Mrs Stace commented on it, but the guy just said it was normal (after all what would a woman know...)
Since then Mrs Stace has said that every time the boiler starts the attic fills with the smell of gas, something that we didn't like - obviously. One evening we did a test together - we went upstairs just as the boiler started up for the heating and... Wow! The smell of gas was extreme.
Boiler unplugged and gas off, and call the service people to come back.
Someone came the next day to check and found that the first service engineer left an important plug off of the top of the boiler when he was done. So when it started all the fumes came out of that instead of out of the exhaust pipe.
Including the CO that the boiler produces. Gulp.
Needless to say that is the type of thing that makes you go out the next day and buy a CO detector!
The engineer put everything back together and tried again. I thought it was better, but he was not happy with it and went to fetch his meter. Every joint in the exhaust is leaking, not a lot, but leaking CO all the same. We needed new pipework fitting, pipework that would only be suitable for this boiler.
And to fit it you have to dismantle the boiler and remove it from the wall. An 18 year old boiler that is at the end of it's life and would probably not go back on the wall afterwards.
So, a new boiler needed. We put lots of layers on, and left the heating off - just plugging it in (with all of the attic windows open) when we showered in the morning.
Thankfully we have been having a warm winter so far!
The guy came the next day and helped us choose a new boiler, and arranged for it to be fitted a couple of days later. At least it could be done quickly!
On Friday they came with the new boiler and within 4 hours it was done and the house was starting to defrost (I said it was a warm winter, but it's still winter!). Lighter in the pocket, but happier in the house, I have had to rearrange so much that I needed to do to arrange this - laser in prep for the op, and various meetings in the office had to be moved around for it.
Aside from having 50% more hot water now (the shower is GORGEOUS!) there was one other fun thing with the new boiler.
It's a geeks machine! It came with a free thermostat (our old one is not compatible with new boilers, as they are more complex). Of course it's the simplest one available, but you can go better!
For an amount more you have one that has 7 programmable days. Great.
For a bit more than that you can get one that is controlled via your phone. Bingo!
7 days, 6 time ranges per day, settable per .1C if you want, we have it at the standard .5C intervals for the temp. Connected to the internet so it knows national holidays and automatically sets itself to a Sunday so you do not wake up too early with a too warm house.
It even tells you when there is a problem - and service engineers can connect to it for deeper analysis :)
I tested it yesterday and, yes, I can change the temperature in the house from miles away! Useful if you are coming home early and want the house warm for when you arrive...
Anyway, that was my week. Cold, with no hot water for most of the day, scattered due to the many appointments we had and tiring.
We never appreciate modern life until something goes wrong and you get thrown back to warming the house with candles do you?
And... One last point - those of you without them... Buy a CO alarm - it is something everyone puts off untiil it's too late (we did!), learn from our mistake!