Muppet of the Month

Magwitch in disguise.

Many years ago, in a previous incarnation I used to be a deep sea diver. During my 3 month training down in Falmouth we (the students) inaugurated the “Wally of the Week” award in recognition of the ridiculous and idiotic things we used to say and do. Embarrassingly I have to confess that I was probably the most prolific recipient of this prestigious award.

Well it seems that some things never change. Today I’m proposing to start the “Muppet of the Month” award.

Here’s my entry:

A week or so ago the water pump on my boiler started making some rather disturbing noises; crunching and grinding sounds that water pumps are not supposed to make; the mechanical equivalent of Cheyne-Stokes breathing with a DNR (not not resuscitate) notice attached. Feeling optimistic I decided to fit a new pump myself. I headed down to the local plumbers’ merchants and became the proud owner of a new pump. It took about half and hour to fit. No stuck values. No bound nuts. Feeling rather smug, I switched on the heating. The pump started up. No leaks. Strangely though, the boiler refused to light.

Bollox!

I rang the manufacturers, Potterton (let’s name and shame here) to see about getting a service engineer round. They wanted £300 up front!!
Three hundred f***ing quid – you’re having a laugh! I could probably buy a new boiler for that!

I decided get a local plumber in; but who? I rang my friend Simon for advice. He’s a plumber but not CORGI registered. “Let me come and have a look first”, he said. He duly popped round this morning. He checked the plumbing and confirmed that I had indeed managed to put the pump on correctly, with the water flowing in the right direction even. (Ha!)

He set the boiler going. Strange, both the in and out pipes were getting red hot. We stopped for a cuppa while he pondered the problem. Well that was the excuse, we actually caught up on news, swapped jokes and arranged when our next beer was going to be. Afterwards he announced a “light bulb” moment.
“I wonder. Got a ladder? Let’s have a look in the attic.”
Armed with only a torch he fought his way through the dust and spiders’ webs to investigate the plumbing in the loft. He appeared about 10 minutes later.
“Oi, Magwitch! Have you been playing with the taps up here?”
“Well I did turn one (or two) off a month ago while I changed the washers on the bath taps. Why?”
“You big Muppet!; you forgot to turn the stop cock to the hot water expansion tank back on. The system’s been running dry.”

Seems that over the last month, without an inflow, the water in the tank has been slowly evaporating then, when I drained and refilled a radiator while I was decorating, I’d drained it dry. The pump had been pumping air and had finally burnt out.

Now the water’s flowing properly and I have hot water and central heating again. Plus I saved myself £300 – up yours Potterton!

Magwitch – you’re a Muppet!

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