Let’s rant again….

I’ve got the heating on, this isn’t a cliffhanger. But I need to complain, all the same. So, if I do it here, I won’t need to do it anywhere else (except possibly to the plumber, whose fault it isn’t).

He’d said, check the manual to remind myself how to put more water in the system. I did – my sister had, efficiently, got it to hand. It acknowledged that the system sometimes needed filling. It said, ” ask a competent person where the filling cock is located.” There was a lot more it said, including “purge all radiators” – who says purge, when bleed is the normal word? But what it didn’t do, at any point in the brochure, was point to the actual taps that needed to be turned, or how to know when the system had been refilled enough.

I’d already checked with the plumber, who’d assumed there would be adequate instructions in the manual, as he was absolutely reasonable to assume. I’m a competent person, as long as I know what to do. Luckily, I remembered. I’d just wanted reassurance that I was planning to do the right thing. The sodding manual being useless, I had to wing it.

There are two taps underneath the boiler. Both are marked ‘close.’ You open the left one, press the button with a picture of a flame on it and it shows the bar. Pressure should be between 1 and 2. Open the right one a bit, there will be a hissing sound that indicates it’s filling. When it’s about halfway between 1 and 2, stop and, with luck, the system will come on again. Possibly, I pressed the button with a flame again, I was pressing All The Sodding Buttons. If it shows a fault again, repeat. At the end, make sure both the taps are set to ‘close.’ There. That wasn’t so hard, was it? So why the actual fucking fuck didn’t the manual explain?

If you accidentally add too much, you need to let some pressure out of a radiator. If any radiator has a cold spot, bleed the radiators. You might then have to top up the pressure again. I haven’t done any of this, I’ll check in the morning if it’s necessary. Obviously, this clarity isn’t in the (actual fuckity fuck) manual.

So that this isn’t one long rant and, to reward you if you’ve got this far, my good deed for the day (apart from enabling my sister to live in her own home) was to take my friend Lilian, who’s 95 and lives alone, to the supermarket. Two hours for me, it was nothing compared to her pleasure. She has helpful neighbours who are happy to shop for her, but she’s considerately conscious of the bother to them and, also, it’s a pleasure to choose your own trolleyful. Anyway, I’d asked Wink to feed the cats this afternoon as it would be dusk when I got home. But there was enough light to see a lovely, full-grown hare in the garden. In the 37 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen a hare on the gravel drive by the house and it was a joy.

6 comments on “Let’s rant again….

  1. Blue Witch

    We have a similar set up. And no, it’s not easy is it?!

    Given that all the component parts of a heating/hot water system are separate, and can be installed/configured differently, I doubt there could be a manual to cover this sort of thing.

    I have stuck printed labels on everything, and Mr BW has made me a ‘House Handbook’ with instructions for most things so I can sort things out if he is away, as I forget – I am just not interested in technical things so do not retain them. Your ability to sort things out always impresses me!

    1. Z Post author

      There was a diagram of the boiler itself in the manual and it labelled some parts. It was all one unit, I don’t really see how this particular one could be configured or assembled differently. Thank you for your confidence, which is optimistic of you – it was lucky that I remembered where those taps are, because they weren’t at all obvious. Instructions actually on the boiler would have been a good idea.

  2. Mary Gillender

    I feel you Z! Boiler dismay also figures large in my life. Recently I spent hours looking at YouTube videos explaining how to repressurise a boiler. I did eventually find one where the pipes looked like mine, but it took about an hour. I agree that boiler manuals seem almost purposefully obscure.

    Also, I’m unreasonably scared of the repressurising operation, even though I’ve done it successfully several times. Have to nerve myself up every time. God help us all.

    1. Z Post author

      My water is heated by the Aga or an immersion heater in summer and I don’t have central heating, so I have never had to deal with a boiler – not for the best part of 40 years and I’m pretty sure I left it to my husband then. I remember that, the last time I repressured it, I put in too much and bled a radiator to bring it down again a bit. It would probably have been okay but, not understanding it at all, I was cautious.
      One needs to be self-reliant, though. My sister would find it hard to get up into the loft, so it’s up to me. And to rod the drains and so on, of course. I wish I still had a handyman – at least Wince is really good with machinery.

  3. Kippy

    I have quite a few manuals where I’ve handwritten how to fix issues after the manual instructions were either indecipherable or vague. The “chat” feature for technical support at sites only makes me fume as the AI never comprehends the question. How many ways can one say the printer says out of ink even though a new cartridge has been installed?


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