Sod’s law, a British culture axiom, states that “if something can go wrong, it will”. The law sometimes has a corollary: that the misfortune will happen at “the worst possible time”
Before the man came to fix the heating yesterday, it started working again. Despite the freezing conditions, we had to turn it off so that the pipes were not too hot for him when he turned up.
It is so typical that you call someone out to fix something, then that thing works before they arrive. Then it is more difficult for them to diagnose any faults.
Like taking a car to a mechanic because you can hear a grinding noise. A noise that immediately disappears as soon as you arrive at the workshop. Only to start grindng again as you drive home.
The young man turned up as promised, and got to work. He stripped down the thermostat, tested all the electrical connections, and declared it was working perfectly. Testing it in front of me, he showed how it was turning on and off exactly as it should. Then he tested all the electrical connections to the various pumps, valves, and micro-switches. They were all performing perfectly.
Our system operates on a 3-way valve. That decides on whether to heat both the hot water and central heating, hot water only, or heating only. The valve is given information from thermostats on the water tank, and the room stat. The fact that we were getting both hot water and heat indicated that it was working just as it should. More electrical testing of the valve connections confirmed this.
The engineer had nothing to repair. Before leaving, his only suggestion was that the 3-way valve might need replacing if the problem happened again. He asked for a very small payment, as he felt he had done little work to justify any more than that. When he left, the house was lovely and warm, and we turned the heat off before bedtime as usual.
This morning, I woke up to a very cold house, with the outside temperature well below freezing. I turned on our heating system just after 8am, trusting that it had been fully tested, and would work perfectly.
One hour later, the radiators are still stone cold, and my fingers are cold as I type this.
It won’t be long before I have to light the wood-burner, and then make a call to the same man to suggest replacement of the 3-way valve.