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Saturday 14 April 2012

Bevi-leaks update

So the nice man from Lindseys came to sort us out.  He wasn't our usual engineer but he was a lovely man called Jim.  He fixed the leak in the boiler, so we can have the central heating on.  He was unable to fix the problem of the water coming out of the overflow, despite doing something technical with the speed and the thermostat and he confirmed my suspicion that a new boiler would really be the best option, come the summer.

HWISO, with the aid of a phone, a laptop and an adjustable spanner fixed the automatic top-up system for the pool.

Which leaves the radiator in my bedroom.  The gremlin radiator.  The last radiator on the system.

We live in a very old house.  Accordingly to our listing in the Listed Buildings, the core of the house is c.1560.

"House, formerly farmhouse; c.1700 with core of c.1560. 2 storeys and attics,
4 windows. Timber-framed and plastered; the ground storey walling along the
front elevation is of painted red brick. Plaintiled roof with two axial
chimneys of c.1700 red brick. Four plaintiled gabled dormers of c.1700; the
windows have original wrought iron casements formerly with leaded glazing.
C18 3-light casements, with segmental heads and transomes at ground storey
only. Late C18 or early C19 entrance doorway: a 6-panelled door (the upper
panels glazed), and flat canopy on fretted brackets. In the hall is a fully
exposed ceiling of heavy and richly moulded joists of about 1560, the joists
with roll and scotia mouldings, the main beams with an ogee. The front wall
may originally have been jettied at this section. Some other framing at the
centre of the house is probably of C16 date, but remodelling and
reconstruction included extensions to right and left in plain but substantial
late C17 carpentry. 2-tier butt-purlin roof."

This 1560ish chimney runs through my bedroom.  The front of the house is brick, replaced in the Victorian era and the back is good old fashioned wattle and daub and timber.  We live on heavy clay soil and our foundations are about 3 bricks deep so the house moves the whole time, depending on how much rain we have had.  This does not bode well for rigid copper pipes.

Anyway, the gremlin radiator has developed a leak and required a lot of resoldering, new bits of pipe, new valves and various other "bandaids" at least once every two years for the past 20 years.  I have also got quite used to living with two small Tupperwares under each end of the radiator that need emptying on a semi regular basis, when the central heating is on.  For the past two years, the radiator has not even been turned on because of the mega-leak we had a few years ago and the resultant chaos of two huge dehumidifiers going night and day for 3 weeks, a new carpet and repainting of the room underneath.

So I made a radical decision.  Let's just get rid of it.  Let's cap off the pipes and remove the radiator entirely.  After all, it was taking up valuable wall space, looking pretty ugly and not serving any useful purpose.

I have talked endlessly about set shifting and HWISO and I did feel sorry for poor Jim, the engineer, as I very firmly "persuaded" HWISO that No, we did not need to keep the radiator where it was "just in case", Yes, I was quite sure and No, it wouldn't take any value off the house.......

He has now decided that we should have done this years ago.



  1. Must be a tricky situation, living in a historical house & fighting with day to day issues.

  2. Ah, Timely & Proper maintainence is required.

  3. I'm sure it must be a right pain in the neck to have to deal with all the problems that come with such an old building, and you have all my sympathy, but the description of your house sounds just gorgeous. We don't have houses, or any buildings for that matter, that are anywhere near that old in Australia. That's why we Aussies are so blown away by the beautiful old architecture of Europe.

  4. I think boiler repair is called timely checking routine so it must be taken care of. That's why many people love to it's maintenance regularly and don't take any headache whatsoever.