I woke up this morning to discover the plumber still hadn’t called. Not, to be fair, that I was expecting him to call me during the night. But we were rapidly approaching 24 hours without heat or hot water. I guess the plumber and I have different given values of urgent.
Another call and email to the estate agents elicited no further results, so finally I decided to fix the thing myself. It needed repressurizing. I’m not a plumber, but the manuals and instructions I found on the boiler manufacturer’s website suggested this was a homeowner-level fix anyway. And I know enough about plumbing that if something was seriously, destructively wrong with the thing, I’d be able to tell without mucking it about.
Our boiler is—an individual, let’s say. There’s one simple valve to turn to repressurize the system. That’s the job for the homeowner (or tenant). But finding the thing? Forget the plumber, I should have called Hercule Poirot.
Getting at the pipes involved unscrewing clumsily assembled panels in the kitchen. I was aided and abetted by the fact that person or persons unknown had obviously already tried to fix the thing with the same mounting frustration. I unscrewed the screws they’d used to clumsily refasten the clumsy panel, stuck my screwdriver in the bend theirs had made in a similarly futile attempt to pry off the bottom of the boiler case, and eventually realised that the lower part of the back cupboard was only held on by a single screw. This person or persons unknown had decided, for whatever reason, that they needed easy access to whatever was back there.
I took off that screw and voila. There was the missing valve. Actually repressurizing the thing took about 30 seconds. Reassembling the jigsaw of modesty panels around the pipes didn’t take much longer. It sure took less time than waiting for the plumber.
As you probably suspected, the writers who get their ideas from their day to day life are pretty much in the minority. Or writing blog posts like this one.