I have to get this off my chest

BenchHead

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18 Feb 2005
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East Coast UK
Nothing boaty but looking for words of wisdom/support from pragmatic Scuttlebutters. Just had the domestic heating unit serviced by British Gas in the house. The "engineer" aged about 19 decided to check the flue in the loft and declared that the seal was broken between the flue boot and roof tile and consequently declared that the unit was inherently dangerous and that he must decommission it and render it non-usable until the fault was fixed. Great - we have two young kids in the house. Basically he capped off the gas supply and removed a fuse from the electrical control unit. Now so far so good - we've been paying BG £160 a year for about the past ten years for a "sevice contract" and all we've had so far is basically a vacuum clean with the engineer in and out in about ten minutes. What gets my boat (sic) is that a) I asked Yo Sushi if we could have a gas fire serviced at the same time as it hadn't been for some time and his response was no we have to book it in but it might be dangerous but because it wasn't serviced by BG whether we used it or not was our problem and our risk and b) I pointed out that the boot flue was made of sheet metal riveted into shape and wasn't air tiight anyway so what difference does it make if the seal to the roof isn't? and c) we have enough ventillation in our roof space to start the third world war and therefore the risk of CO contamination in the living space is conservatively 1,000,000 to 1. Response: regulations is regulations.
Holy effing crap. I sail. I fix my own boat, fix my own house and have done for the last 30 years. I haven't drowned yet, (or my kids), I haven't blown up or flooded the house or electrocuted anyone in the process - what the hell is going on in what was good old blighty?

/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

Lakesailor

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15 Feb 2005
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Near Here
Yes. British Gas contract. Can't complain about the service or the level of repairs on an old boiler (they rebuilt it with a new heat exchanger and burners) but the same tale. "I can't let you use that tonight" - in January!
They have a laptop with a table that shows how big the vent should be. Trouble is, in a Lakeland stone cottage with a Ventaxia in the kitchen you could fly a kite on the draughts. I'm afraid "logic" and "commom sense" aren't part of the Corgi Gas Fitters qualifications.
 

halcyon

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Cornwall
Is not that seal to stop rain water coming in ????????????????????????


Brian
 

TigaWave

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17 Dec 2004
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Buckland Monachorum
I sympathise, but if I say anymore they'll be round here to turn mine off.
Whats really annoying I can quite happily and legally instal gas appliances on charter boats to MCA standards.....but cant touch my house system.
Blocked flues are a problem but extra holes? cant see how thats a health risk, especially in the attic? I hope its sorted quickly.
 

graham

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I can understand your frustration ,especially if its been like that for years without a problem but the Engineer may not just lose his job in a tragic case but can lose his liberty as well.
 

Birdseye

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s e wales
Its not just British Gas - its the safety nazis. I used to service my old boiler myself (complete take to bits every year) and never bothered to put the outer metal cover back on. Plumber arrives to quote for a new boiler, sees the missing case and rings up Corgi to report me! He tried the "I cant let you use it" crap but was shown the door before he got anywhere near disconnecting me. Needless to say, he didnt get the deal for the new boiler.

As another example, a Corgi registered yacht club member was servicing the heaters at our club, decided that there was one he didnt like, and cut off the clubs heating system. In February. Wanted £200 to re- connect!

And its now happening with electrickery. How long before you wont be able to service your car yourself? Or your boat?

Best of all, our local council dumpit manager (ie foreman binman) has declared that all soil and compost is "contaminated" waste and it is illegal to take it to the council dumpit. So following his logic, you will not be allowed to garden in future without suitable protective equipment ( mask, air supply, chemical warfare suit) and a 16 week course on biohazards. Then they wonder why the verges are full of dumped rubbish.
 

Birdseye

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[ QUOTE ]
I can understand your frustration ,especially if its been like that for years without a problem but the Engineer may not just lose his job in a tragic case but can lose his liberty as well.

[/ QUOTE ]

He's not an Engineer any more that a garage mechanic is! He's a **** gas fitter!

Engineers have degrees, letters and a professional body.
 

Sgeir

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Stirling
Had a similar experience some years ago with gas cut off because we didn't have a ventilation plate in the floor - despite the February gales almost lifting the table from the uncarpeted and plain wooden floor.

But it's our own fault.

We pay BG for a perfect service where we'll be neither asphyxiated, nor gassed, nor blown to kingdom come, through crappy gas fittings.

We expect them, and their judgement, to be perfect. And that's what we get. It can be a bit annoying at times, but these guys have legal (statutory and civil) obligations to ensure that we are provided with comfort without killing ourselves. The alternative is picking up driftwood or sea coal and burning it in the grate. Great!

But if you think that Old Blighty is on its knees as a consequence, I'm sure that you will be able to find more amenable, and possibly highly flammable, countries to your taste.

BTW, what's the diff between highly flammable and highly inflammable? Brendan, where are you?

Cheers!
 

FullCircle

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########
He's not an Engineer any more that a garage mechanic is! He's a **** gas fitter!
##########

Sounds like you are an Engineer under all that......
My Dad banned me from becoming an Engineer. Fortunately he failed. In later years, so have I.
I will continue to service all my bits as I see fit. Lynn had a quote for a call out Plumber while I was away this year. With the twisty charging routine, it was 138 quid an hour! She waited till I got home, and fixed it within 20 minutes.
PS my Dad was a Garage mechanic. He also owned the joint. Where did all the mechanics go?
 

graham

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Engineer or *****ing gas fitter if you prefer. CO doesnt care how many bits of paper you wave at it.
 

LadyInBed

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Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
I had my gas boiler serviced once, I watched what he did, saw the bill then serviced it myself from then on.
I also repair washing machine, TV, vidio and anything else that needs fixing.
I don’t touch the garden though, that’s the wife’s job. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

l'escargot

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Isle of Wight / Jersey
[ QUOTE ]
Best of all, our local council dumpit manager (ie foreman binman) has declared that all soil and compost is "contaminated" waste and it is illegal to take it to the council dumpit. So following his logic, you will not be allowed to garden in future without suitable protective equipment ( mask, air supply, chemical warfare suit) and a 16 week course on biohazards. Then they wonder why the verges are full of dumped rubbish.

[/ QUOTE ]

We have a weekend dump/recycling centre over here on the edge of Newport - big skips that are then taken to the main dump a few miles away. All marked up - big general waste, small general waste, general waste, large items, small items, compost, a place for batteries, fridges, oil, metal, wood, paper; even miscellaneous waste. And of course obligatory Himmler like waste sorter to ensure you obey the signs (Including the one on the way in that says: "READ THE SIGNS!")

Himmler like waste sorter: "Whats that?" (pointing)
Me: "An old car tyre"
HLWS: "Don't take them here"
Me: "Why not"
HLWS: "Gotta go to the main dump"
Me: "Where do your skips go?"
HLWS: "Main Dump"
Me: "Which skip shall I put it in?"
HLWS: "Can't"
Me: "Why not?"
HLWS: "You've gotta take it"
Me: "Why?"
HLWS: "Don't take them here"

Give up.

Tyre returns in next load, cunningly disguised in black plastic bag.

Me: "Where do I put this?"
HLWS: "What is it?" (Suspiciously)
Me: "General waste?" (Innocently)
HLWS "Put it in general waste then" (Victoriously!!!!)

Rules for rules sake and the lengths we have to go to.......
 

cliff

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15 Apr 2004
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various
Simple answer - reconnect the gas and replace the fuse then tell BG to go away (cancel your service agreement) and do the annual service yourself.
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hammer.thumb.gif
 
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16 May 2001
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You need a dog for this...... a very (& entirely unwarrantedly)....

..expensive one.

Steve Cronin
 

fireball

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15 Nov 2004
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British Gas?

A few year back, gas was laid through the village - this is before we purchased this house ... the then owner decided that it would be good to take BG up on the offer of laying a pipe to the house - but not fitting a meter or any appliances - so just capped off ...

When we decided to buy, gas was one of the things we wanted in the house - gas boiler, gas cooker ... quick, efficient, cheap etc etc ...

Phone BG -
me: I have a pipe to my house, but no meter, how do I get one?
them: Ah, you can't have a meter fitted sir. You'll need a new pipe.
me: why do I need a new pipe?
them: Because the one in the ground will have deteriorated sir.
me: Erm ... I don't think so ... it was put in when BG came round
them: thats right sir ... regulations - we have to replace it
me: but the rest of the road are working ok on those same pipes
them: ah .. but your pipe hasn't been used, so it would deteriorate.
me: ok ... so how much for a new pipe then [might just be quicker]
them: that costs £400 sir.
me: forget it....


Phone Southern Electric Gas
me: I have a pipe to my house, but no meter, how do I get a meter?
them: your name and address please sir, I'll arrange it straight away.
me: how long will it take?
them: oh, about 10 days maximum sir.
me: thankyou very much!!

Can't remember if I had to pay £50 or so to have it connected ... the guy from transco came out to do it and would've been the same one if I'd gone to BG ...
 

peterb

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16 May 2001
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Radlett, Herts
Terminology

[ QUOTE ]
BTW, what's the diff between highly flammable and highly inflammable? Brendan, where are you?

[/ QUOTE ]

That's why the Fire Engineers (i.e. members of the Institution of Fire Engineers) don't use the "inflammable". The British Standard on fire terminology uses "flammable" and deprecates "inflammable". It gets even worse when you compare the two terms with "combustible" and "incombustible".
 
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When did annual gas service contracts become so popular? Friends at work think it strange I do not have such a contract. Likewise back in the late 80's I got similar feeback from the majority for not having a personal financial adviser.
 
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