Unplanned and unwanted
I awoke early, just before 7am, got up and put the kettle on for a cup of coffee. The heating does not begin until 8am, so I put something warm on and went onto the balcony. A heavy frost had occurred during the night and everything was covered with the resulting white crystals. Shivering is not my idea of fun so went back in, did the usual email check and see what garbage the main stream news media were spouting. Then, after a while of doing a few bits and pieces on the hobby side of things, I thought a quick wash would be nice, that's when the adventure began and I'm not even on the road.
The hot water faucet began spouting forth alternating hot and cold. That shouldn't happen. The shower was worse-what on earth is going on? Adding to the confusion were the radiators, doing the same thing. Somethng is seriously wrong here and the temperature outside was -2C. For a few hours it just kept happening and I think the morning stayed at about 1C. My heating and hot water is handled by a gas unit. Checking the display, I saw the temperatures rising and falling nearly 30 degrees. I phoned the company which my landlord uses for such events. No one could come until the next day.
Tne next day was Saturday and the thermometer was about 3C in the afternoon, with a northerly wind bringing the chill factor to well below freezing. The apartment was getting cold. Finally this guy arrives and looks at the same display I had. He ran the mixer faucet unit in the kitchen and promptly announced, they were the problem. I queried whether or not he knew what he was talking about and he went ballistic. Screaming and shouting at me, saying I had said he was rubbish. My reply was that I did not use the word rubbish and he got worse, then mentioned he recently had a stress breakdown. I was sorry about that and apologized, he calmed down, then left. I rang the landlord, because they handle the plumbing. No one could come until February.
Phoning the heating company back, they said someone else would come on Monday. He did and knew the correct procedures. He took all the various panels off, spent some time examining the entire unit, saying it was blocked and would need some serious repair, then left telling me I would be contacted. About an hour later the most horrendous noise occurred on the unit. Kind of like a big bus falling down a hill full of large boulders and a bunch of black gungy liquid poured out the bottom over the small freezer underneath. I immediately phoned the Gas company, who told me how to turn the entire thing off. By then it was getting very cold inside the apartment, like 5-10C. A friend lent me a couple of electric convector heaters to take the chill off, but that was only for the smaller rooms. The large living room was very cold. I pulled all the curtains to act as insulation, helped a little though the wind was blasting through the air vents in the walls (every room has one).
Hot water bottles are fantastic things when you want to keep warm in bed and I had already begun using one, luxuriating in the warmth. Outside were freezing nights and very cold daytime temperatures. The heating company said someone will be there the next day, between 8 and 5. That was Tuesday. I waited all day and finally gave up at midnight to get some sleepno one had arrived. I phoned them back Wednesday morning. The guy who was supposed to come and fix the unit was the same one who hadn't a clue. I assume he'd seen that the problem was the boiler, not the faucets and refused to come. The woman on the phone said he had left the company, taken their van and disappeared. Thursday they rang back, with my daughter phoning them up and complaining as well, saying someone will come by.
The someone who came was not an engineer, but an inspector (the receptionist had not told me that) who promptly stuck a DANGER sign on the boiler and left. I rang back again and was told that they were trying to find the van with the parts in and be there as soon as possible. Whether the police were involved or not, I don't know. I actually felt sorry for the poor guy. He obviously was in the wrong job and needs some help.
Friday arrived, a week after the whole thing began, and in the afternoon this guy shows up. It took him two hours to set the thing right. He was very good at what he did and, finally, there was heat and hot water. The kitchen and shower faucets worked perfectly, there was nothing wrong with them.
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It is very nice to have a hot shower again and not freeze my tuchus off during the day.
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