So obviously we’ve had no central heating for about a week now (it might be a week today actually but I’m not sure). Originally we were told it would be sorted by Saturday last week, this did not happen.
The problem was some sort of valve that needed replacing because it had burn marks on it and had otherwise given up. Will described to me that the boiler would cut off unless the valve was being held down. Apparently the bit of pipe it was in is literally no longer there at the moment.
Will explained to the guy that I’m disabled and I don’t do well in extremes of temperature (read: extreme gnawing bone pain that has literally had me in tears) and also that we have a heated animal, and the guy said it was classed as an emergency, but probably just because of me and not because of any exotic pets.
Even though the valve thing is apparently the most common cause of central heating failure, he had to order the part in because apparently that particular one is too old to be manufactured anymore. I find that weird in itself because this house was only built in the year 2000, and it was originally the model home for the neighbourhood so maybe didn’t even have a functioning system until our landlords bought it to rent out later.
People have central heating systems way older than 20 years and they manage to get parts replaced without freezing in the winter. So this whole aspect is weird to me, that the central heating in a neighbourhood of houses that didn’t exist until exactly 20 years ago now isn’t manufactured anymore.
But even though it’s not made, he still ordered one from somewhere, unless it’s an old reserve of them I’m not sure how that works or why there isn’t a generic part that can do the job of a valve that, again, is only 20 years old.
The part didn’t turn up on Saturday. Then we were told, it will be here Sunday, then Monday, it’s an emergency after all. Nothing happened on Monday. It had been a while already of staying up all night to monitor Jupiter and the combustible heater, and I was starting to get pretty mentally shot from that, and also, you know, the fucking cold.
So Tuesday, we hear the courier is finally bringing the part. I dunno whose idea of speedy emergency delivery this is but it’s not great. The engineer/plumber is apparently waiting at the depot for the part to arrive, but told the estate agent that if it doesn’t arrive before 2pm, he will have to leave it until another day. Engineer goes AWOL before 2pm and stops responding to the estate agents, so we can figure out that it didn’t arrive.
Going AWOL from the estate agent that employs you to service their houses is a hell of a thing, especially when there’s a situation like ours. But I suppose that guy went home to his nice warm house every night and never had to give a thought to what the temperature was doing to me, never mind the 4 other people in this house and our 6 animals.
We still don’t have a car sorted out so Will took the bus into town to meet the estate agent and discuss this whole clusterfuck. We’re going to report the handling of this whole thing to Environmental Health and I guess he wanted to see if he could encourage them to do anything.
“If the matter is an emergency or urgent, phone the landlord/letting agent and document the call. Emergency repairs include a total loss of water or total loss of heating during cold weather; urgent repairs include plumbing leaks and central heating faults. Urgent issues are usually carried out within a day. If it is out of normal office hours, use the letting agent’s emergency number. It is good practice to have contact details for preferred tradespeople written down in a safe place such as your TTV welcome pack.
The level of emergency would be dictated by the current temperature and the need to use heating in the property. However, you shouldn’t experience loss of heating during the cold season for more than 24 hours. Anything more than two days can be interpreted as a hazard to the tenant’s health and therefore a serious breach in the tenancy agreement.
Lack of hot water is an emergency regardless of the season. Tenants can use a kettle for boiling water for washing purposes, but that doesn’t mean landlords can hold out on the repairs.”
So Will goes into the estate agent office and guess what? The fucking engineer is there on the defensive, telling the guy that Will swore at him on the phone?! Seems like he really knows he fucked something up if he had to go in and badmouth my husband. Will was obviously like, what the fuck. I asked if the guy was literally a 19 year-old or something but Will said he looks 40.
The engineer admitted that, even if the part arrived, he was never going to install it because he hasn’t spoken to the landlord. Here’s the thing: the property is managed by the estate agents because the landlords live in America and take literally WEEKS to reply to an email. They literally live in a different world. Not only that, but the landlords are not allowed to deny us central heating even if they were aware of what’s going on, so demanding permission to make a valve work is redundant.
He is looking for any excuse not to fix our heating and I don’t know why.
Oh, guess what though, the part didn’t turn up at the depot because the courier forgot to bring it with him. What. Fucking WHAT. There is just absolutely no way this is true. What are the fucking chances. What a coincidence. The part is finally going to turn up, after being ridiculously delayed, and . . . the guy just forgot to bring the box with him? When making a delivery of that specific thing? I will be the uncle of an actual fucking bona fide monkey.
Both the estate agents and engineer have denied any wrongdoing in the way they’ve handled this even though every single step of this has been monumentally cocked up.
The end result though is that apparently, the guy is going to install it this morning. The part hasn’t arrived as of close of business yesterday, but he’s going to be here in a couple of hours with it????
Nothing about this adds up and I doubt anything will happen, but if it does I’m sure I’ll blog about it five weeks late.
So yeah, I dunno why that guy wants me to be sitting here in pain and be constantly worried that my pet is going to die, but apparently he really does.
Will took the first half of the night shift with Joop until 3am so I actually got some time in bed at night because I was really at breaking point. It sucks having to get up but I’d never forgive myself if Joop got too cold.
Even with the electric heater on I’ve seen Joop foaming and panicking twice, and I’ve caught him trying to seal himself inside his shell. I cried about that too. Even though we’re just about keeping him warm enough with my MIL’s heater, the constant up and down of the heat from turning the heater on and off is really unsettling him.
Oh and they’re sending the same guy to fix some completely unrelated stuff in the house, so I’m kind of worried that he’s just a general handyman who’s mates with some guy at the estate agents and not even an actual Gas Safe engineer.