There are not too many advantages to being married to a plumber. There’s not too many disadvantages, either, to be fair – but there are not many times that I find cause to say ‘Wow, brilliant!! I’m married to a plumber! How great is that?’. The ability to be able to take the van to Ikea and actually fit stuff in it, and the fact that I can explain the solution to a frozen condensate pipe to friends bemoaning the sudden break down of their heating when the temperature dips beneath 0. But that’s normally about it.
But, today, I am completely glad I’m married to a plumber. Because I broke the heating. Whoops! Not the best move on a coldish Saturday in March, but there we are. You see, it was all working perfectly and yet, in my wisdom, I decided it needed improving. We have (or, at least, had) a portable, wireless room thermostat that allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. This is much better, in my view, than a simple ‘on / off’ and it’s worked pretty well. But – and in my view, it’s a big but – there were six temperature slots. And, because we’re out at work all day, we don’t need six. We need one temperature in the morning, one when we’re at work, one when we’re home in the evening, and one overnight one. So, four slots. We did a workaround by setting some consecutive slots to have the same temperature but that didn’t work well when we’d manually overridden the setting because we were at home at the weekend – at the slot boundary it would go back to the previous temperature and we’d have to override it again.
So, I googled, found the instruction manual and discovered you can set it to have only four slots. Brilliant, thought I. Just what I need. So, I followed the instructions, got a bit confused, couldn’t work it out, pressed a few buttons – and the whole thing froze. I took the batteries out, I pressed reset, I did everything I could think of, but it was frozen. And, after a while, it became unfrozen, but the temperature read 22 degrees. Now, anyone who has ever visited my house will know it is NEVER 22 degrees, and today was no exception. It had been 19 at the most. But because it thought it was 22 degrees, it was sending this info to the boiler, which then didn’t come on, and the temperature in the house was just steadily dropping. And, believe me, the weather at the moment is not the weather that you want to have no heating.
Anyway, M came home and took this in rather good humour, I thought. And he set about swapping things in and out, and worked out finally that the whole wireless thermostat was, to quote his term, buggered. And he replaced it with a more basic one he happened to have in the van.
So, now, we DO only have on / off heating. But we have heat! Yay for being married to a plumber!