Thursday, 24 November 2011

Unlike The Beatles ...

... who sang "It's getting better all the time - can't get no worse", the saga continues.

This morning (damp carpets still drip-drying in my neighbours old wooden garage) a young man who looked not much older than about 12 unexpectedly arrived from the builders to "Commission" my solar installation. Having seen his identity card I let him in, delaying my exit to the shops as he said he simply had to take some readings and look at the loft installation which would take about 30 minutes.

Forty minutes later, and with no sound from the loft, I checked that he was still breathing and not lying in a shrivelled electrocuted heap, smouldering on the attic floor. He finally emerged shaking his young head and muttering, "I've not seen one do that before. I don't know what's wrong with it. It keeps turning itself off. It shouldn't do that. There's probably a fault in the circuit board so I'll need to get them to come out and replace it. I've turned it all off for the moment."

He departed (back to his mid-morning milk and cookies), and so, a day and a flood later, the system is not yet active.

Then ....

... as my resident house guest entered into the guest bathroom and turned on the shower, there was a gushing in the pipes followed by a gap of a few seconds, and then a loud thump that reverberated through the house. I knew what it was. Following the water problems yesterday there was an airlock in the pipes that had just cleared itself.

My houseguest soon came downstairs and informed me that the electric shower did not seem to be working properly. It was either stone-cold or scalding hot. It went upstairs and played with the controls. After another couple of gurgles the temperature settled down, but when I pressed to OFF button the water kept flowing. I tried it again, but no change. Clearly something was wrong.

A search in the loft access did not reveal the stop valve for the shower water feed, so leaving my guest to crawl around in the second loft space, (and having turned the unit off at the fuse-box) I telephoned the builders. Having explained the problems of yesterday to the receptionist, and then the resulting problems today, she informed me that they could get a plumber out to me tomorrow.

I made it very clear to her that this was not acceptable, and asked to speak to the boss with whom I have always got on very well. I explained to him the problem and said that there was no way I was going to let the water keep running for 24 hours when this was all the result of the cock-up by his employees yesterday. I was put on hold for a few minutes and he came back and said that he would get a plumber out to me this afternoon, which he did.

The airlock had caused the motor controlling the inlet diaphragm to burn out and so the valve was not shutting. With the control lever located in the attic, the water supply was isolated so that there was no longer the continual flow down the bath. He departed saying that they would have to locate a new shower unit for me, and that it should be fitted tommorrow.

Thankfully I have another shower, but I also have guests arriving tomorrow afternoon for the weekend. This could get interesting.


  1. hearing your troubles with the installation, i'm half-hoping they don't get to me before the deadline!

  2. "It is difficult to control so many things in so little time."
    Korob to Kirk - Star Trek TOS, "Catspaw"


  4. Thank you, Timbo - sums it up perfectly. So let's see .. today's Friday ....