Saturday, 29 January 2011

Do not do now ....

.... what you can put off until tomorrow*.

I am not a plumber.  I am reasonably handy around the home and am comfortable with timber, plaster, bricks, mortar and basic electrics but I am not a plumber.

"Why", you may ask. The reason is that you have to turn your water supply off to play at being a plumber and once you have done that you are committed to finishing the job. There is no "I'll leave it at that and finish it tomorrow" because that means that nobody drinks and toilets remain un-flushed until the job is done.

So for many weeks I have been putting off dismantling the shower mixer valve in the en-suite to replace the O-rings that have failed and resulted in a lack of warm water. I have found countless reasons for avoiding doing this in the hope that a professional would be calling but yesterday I just ran out. I had a clear day with nothing on the agenda but the servicing of the valve.

There was a glimmer of hope when 30% put on the washing machine but the cycle was soon finished, TP was showered and I was OK to turn off the water at the mains. Curse Them!

So I made a start. things went reasonably well. The suspect O-ring was identified and replaced and I started to put the thing back together. This is where things went from fair to shite. The main valve unit would not fit back in to the valve body. I tried numerous methods but avoided the traditional "blow with a hammer". After an hour or so, with some fairly inventive under the breath expletives, I decided to call in the Professional.

Now the Professional in question is a big Aston Villa fan so I already had a sense of foreboding as his availability on a Saturday afternoon was already unlikely. He also lives 200 yards down the High Street and is a regular customer for fresh eggs so was always going to be the plumber of choice but he does have a reputation that is along the lines of "a really nice chap but a bugger to get hold off".

I called at about 3.15 and his wife answered. I explained my predicament and she said that he was at the match but thought that it was an early kick off and he should be back by 4.00 pm. I thanked her and started the wait gently fuming amd somewhat frustrated at my lack of plumbing skills. I checked the web and noted that the kick-off was at 1.00pm and that the final score was 3-1 to Villa. Thank God he is not a Blackburn fan.

Sometime around 4 o'clock T&M's barking indicated a caller at the door. The Gods had smiled on me and the unreliable plumber had arrived. I talked him though the problem and he fiddled with bits and pieces and advised that the service kit was not the correct one. One of the O-rings was oversized preventing the union of the parts and also the shower valve was also open which was also complicating matters. Twenty minutes later the damned thing was back together and issuing hot water from the appropriate apertures.

I'm glad it's sorted but am disappointed at the same time. The shower mixer was a quality product from a reliable manufacturer but this is the first time the bloody thing has worked properly since it was installed back in 2008. This poor product performance combined with my inability to fix the thing and the manufacturer's provision of an incorrect service kit have left me feeling a tad grumpy this afternoon.

Venting here is helping the black cloud to dissipate, which is for the good as we are off to see Sarah Millican this evening at Warwick Arts Centre. I have seen her stand-up on TV and am really looking forward to the gig. Perhaps a report tomorrow.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the Emergency Call Out Fee was a dozen eggs and they had to be pressed upon him. He's a good lad when you can get hold of him.
* in the hope of a Professional being called upon instead

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