A week to forget

Never buy a Baxi Combi boiler if you want reliability and peace of mind. I was bounced into believing this was the best on offer some 8 years ago and what a mistake to make. Mother board needed changing within weeks and only by shelling out for annual maintenance, have I kept the CH up and running, or mostly.

Last February, almost with identical timing, it chose to break down when I came home from India with a 79 year old lady who had not taken the long trip too well. A cold snap welcomed us and we had no proper heat and no hot water. It took 4 days to get the part and to regain warmth to the house. Stuff of nightmares with a sick friend staying.The Gas engineer who got the boiler working last year, reported if it happened again, Baxi would be asked to modify the part as he saw further problems.

And, so it came to pass. When the gas service contract rocketed to £39 a month, a £10 hike, I took cover with my house insurance provider straight away. As soon as the boiler was given its per-inspection on 19th February this year, I came home overrode the controls and nothing happened. Identical situation to the previous February.

The new Home Care team, of only a few weeks acted responsibly. The boiler had not been serviced, only inspected and I could have been in limbo. The AA sent an engineer, who was understandably not keen to put right whatever that pre-inspection man might have done but persisted and he found the fault. Electric filter again. Engineer handed out two small Dimplex heaters and promised the repair by Thursday. No show all that day as the part had not arrived.

Things deteriorated fast as on Friday, three deadlines were missed and finally the news was broken that it was the Dimplex heaters until Monday or more likely, Tuesday. Big row with parts centre as explanation why four promised deadlines had passed. The past days have been well below the norm and the house was now seriously cold.

On Tuesday, yet another time slot passed with still no show from an engineer and depression was setting in. Was I to be boiling water in a saucepan & crawling into freezing bedroom for rest of the winter? At 13.40, then the engineer signed off the job. Boiler repaired so the radiators warmed and the water ran hot. Dish washer and washing machine rapidily put to work. Big celebration. Even Baxi replied to my email for help. This unreliable part must be improved. Can’t cope this this level of discomfort every winter.

As soon as heat was restored, the temperature outside shot up to a balmy 5%. Hard frost this morning on last day of February. Must get a donation off to suffering children in Syria. If I struggled with the cold in a house and with some heat, I pity those outside with nothing but wood for a fire. Did the mother who left her boys in a cave to forage for food, shown on the news recently arrive back? What’s happening in Syria is dreadful.

Chinese deityOn Chinese New Year I won first prize in the draw. It’s very attractive but I’ve no idea who she is. I did ‘nt think to ask when I was presented with it! If anyone is up on Chinese female deities, I’d love to hear. Not sure I should keep a pagan statue alongside the former Pope’s blessing but not really too fussed.

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