I say “boiler” but actually the Sureway Heating operative I spoke to on the telephone rather tartly informed me that what I actually have is a water heater not a boiler.
Whatever it is the damn things is haunted or possessed or has had a section of its metallic intestines pulled through into an inter-dimensional wormhole because it is just not functioning as it should.
In fact it isn’t even functioning as the laws of physics say it should and, you have to admit, it’s got to have a hefty demon on its shoulders to mess with Professor Brian Cox.
Now, I’m no heating / plumbing engineer, but I know that basically what I have in the bathroom is a big heater thing that heats up the hot water passing through it and then transports it to various outlets around the house via a couple of pipes. We don’t have many outlets. Just two sets in the bathroom and one set downstairs. I live in a 3 bedroomed semi not Longleat House after all.
So. In simple terms:
Heater >> short expanse of pipework >> taps.
An elegant little flowchart. Not much room for error.
And yet things are not right.
We have hot water upstairs. The pilot light is on. The water heater blazes inside like a miniature furnace whenever the hot taps are turned to the full-on position.
But we have no hot water downstairs. None at all. The hot tap is turned on, the heater blazes, water gushes through the pipes but it ain’t (even half) hot (mum). It’s stone cold.
How can this be? How can we have hot water upstairs but not downstairs when all the pipes are fed from the same heater? It’s not like the pipes downstairs are several kilometres longer than the ones upstairs to give the water time to cool down. They don’t divert our water through Siberia or Antarctica on its way to the kitchen tap. Where is our hot water going?
The only change of circumstance that has occurred recently has been the arrival of a new bunch of students next door but they look rather sweet and not the type to siphon of hot water illegally from their neighbours. Borrow a couple of herbal tea bags, yes. Nick hot water, no. And besides. As we all know, students and baths / washing up / clothes washing do not mix. The only thing they know to do with hot water is to shove it into a Pot Noodle. And there isn’t a Pot Noodle hunger big enough to warrant the amount of hot water that has gone missing from my house.
So I’ve rung the experts. The guy I spoke to sounded a little perturbed by the problem and is going to send his best man out this week to take a look at it. OK. OK. He’s going to send a man out to look at it. And then we shall see what we shall see.
In the meantime, I’m breaking out the garlic and the holy water and calling a priest.
Our hot water heater has plainly got bad juju.