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View Full Version : A pig of a weekend


Floridanut
04-22-2002, 12:39 PM
Hi all,

Well due to various commitments primarily home and work I've not been on the boards for a while.
Last week was ####, DS 1 was in hospital Tuesday and Wednesday for some surgery and was feeling quite sorry for himself Thursday but was beginning to get back to his old self by Friday.
I'd planned a nice restful weekend to allow us all to recover from the previous week but as it turned out it was not to be.
Arriving home from work on Friday one of our garage doors was jammed solid in the half open / half closed position, there were problems with the hot water and central heating, the DW was in a terrible mood as she'd had a bad day at work and the washing machine packed up halfway through a wash cycle!

Well first things first. I got changed into an old pair of jeans and attacked the garage door with a mallet, lubricating grease gun and a lot of words that are unprintable on a family board like this one!
After about an hour and a half I finally got it freed at the expense of a nicely lacerated head courtesy of the door deciding to drop on me just at the wrong time.
Having freed it I then discovered that it's electrical calibration had gone out the window (it's electrically operated) so I spent a further 30 minutes or so re-calibrating it (I had originally installed it so at least I knew what I was doing).
By this time it was almost dark and I had not had anything to eat. The question was do I eat or do I crack on with the next problem? I realised I wasn't that hungry and decided to tackle the washing machine next.
Upon investigation it looked like the motor circuit had gone AWOL as motion was something this machine just wasn't interested in right now.
I ripped out the motor drive circuit board and it was obvious something catastrophic had happened. One burnt track and the charred remains of something that had once been a power transistor told me that I was not going to fix it tonight.
I repaired the burnt track, identified the type of deceased transistor and tried to found out what had caused the failure in the first place. I could not find anything to explain why the transistor died so assumed the device must have just decided it was time to meet it's maker. Hopefully my local electronics shop would have something in stock that I could replace it with I mused.
By this time it was past midnight and I decided to call it a day thinking the central heating and hot water could wait another day (I had not even tried to do any work on the DW's bad mood ??? ).
Up early the next morning I went for a 10 mile run to get rid of the frustrations of the previous evening.
By 9:00am I was outside the local electronics store and yes, they had a near equivalent to my recently departed transistor.
3 transistors in hand (just in case :( ) I rushed home and soldered it into the motor circuit board. I reconnected the machine and with baited breath turned it on. Would my repair hold? There was no bang or puff of smoke so things looked encouraging. After a few seconds..... the drum began to turn. Good grief it's working, quit while you are ahead I thought.
After a celebratory doughnut and cup of coffee, it was time to turn my attention to the central heating / hot water.
The system had not been serviced for a while so I decided to do the full 12,000 mile job.
Boiler stripped down and flue dismantled, I cleaned the heat exchanger, vacuumed out the flue, lubricated the combustion fan's bearings, carried out a gas pressure check on both the pilot and main burner and set the correct gas / air mixture.
Everything looked good so I reassembled the boiler and flue turned on the power and switched on the central heating and hot water and exactly nothing happened - It wasn't working.
OH **** what have I done I thought. After the initial feelings of panic had disappeared, I stripped the boiler down again and discovered that the cable which carried the power from the fused spur had become dislodged during the reassembly process. Cable duly refitted and boiler reassembled yet again, I switched on and this time it sprang instantly to life.
But had I fixed the original problem which was lukewarm water and lukewarm radiators even when the thermostat was turned to full?
After running the system for an hour the answer was sadly no.
Absolutely zero difference to the efficiency. I began to feel just a little discouraged and the DW, recognising that home was not the place to be when DH was involved in DIY, had wisely gone out for the day. With nobody to vent my feelings on I went to the fridge and rejuvenated myself with a cool bottle of carlsberg.
Oh well I thought, It's not the boiler so I'll have to go through the system bit by bit.
After a little bit of further diagnostic work I came to the conclusion that the main pump would shortly be joining my washing machine transistor in the hereafter for failed electronic parts.
A quick surf on the B&Q website and I found an ideal replacement unit. I rang the local store up and yes they had one in stock. 55 to you sir. Ouch! This was turning out to be an expensive weekend and I hadn't done anything yet.
In theory, replacing a central heating pump should be a simple operation. Isolate the pump using the infeed and outfeed valves, unscrew the couplings, remove old pump and replace with new. No need to drain the system In theory!
Unfortunately the couplings on my pump were seized solid and no amount of pushing, pulling, hitting with a hammer or swearing would shift them.
Finally defeated I decided the only way to get it off would be to dismantle most of the associated plumbing. Of course I then needed to turn off the water and drain the whole system.
I finally got the pump off complete with about 3 metres of copper tubing. Even on a workbench I still could not free the recalcitrant couplings.
Meanwhile there is a waterfall coming down through the garage ceiling (where the pump is located). I had obviously not drained the system fully ??? . Underneath the waterfall went the dustbin and I carried on trying to free the pump couplings. No joy.
Let's hope B&Q have some of those or else it's no water for us for the rest of the weekend!
Off to B&Q for the pump and thankfully they had some couplings. 85 poorer courtesy of the pump, the couplings, 4 metres of copper tubing and associated plumbing bits and bobs I headed home. By this time it was 3:00pm and I still had a lot of work to do and we were supposed to be going out for dinner with DW and the kids later on.
I set too replumbing and fiting the new pump thankfull at least that the waterfall had now stopped. It's surprising how much water is held in the internal plumbing of the average house.
At 5:45 the DW came home and was not best pleased to find DH still deeply involved with the central heating repair job. When are you going to get changed to go out she asked.
As far as I was concerned going out was not on the agenda as we still did not even have any water. That did not help the mood and she was almost apoleptic when she realised I had not even filled the kettle when I turned the water off ??? .
At about 7:30pm I had everything plumbed back in and was able to turn the water back on praying that there would be no leaks. Luckily there wasn't.
It took another hour to fully bleed the system and half an hour of hot and cold taps running to get all the sludge out.
Finally by 9:00pm I was able to turn the hot water and heating on praying that all my efforts had not been in vain.
After an hour we had hot water and beautifully hot radiators.
Success again!
The DW had taken the kids out to the local big steak for their tea and they arrived home to find a lovely warm house and hot water in the taps. Sadly for me it was to late to eat again so I made do with another bottle of carlsberg and a ham sandwich!
And that dear readers was only half of my supposedly restful weekend. Sunday is another story which I won't bore you with here.

Anybody else ever have weekends like this or is it just me?Cheers everyone.

Kieran

Mazzy
04-23-2002, 05:23 AM
Wow!!!! Superman or what???

Gosh Kieran, you have amazed me with your ability to fix things! I can only dream of having a man like yourself around the house - it always costs us a fortune to get someone in as DH has not a clue how to do anything remotely DIY!

Give yourself a pat on the back, you should be proud of yourself! :D

Janice
04-23-2002, 05:41 AM
Hi Kieran :wave:

Well you certainly had your work cut out - we have many weekends like that too!

Impressed with your Plumbing and Heating skills - want a job?? Good Heating Engineers are hard to find! LOL

Just sorry to read how much it cost you for your materials - but sadly that is the price we have to pay for the convenience isnt it? I have to admit that I often forget how much of a perk it is having the ability to get materials and equipment at trade prices.

Well done and I for one think you deserved more than a couple of bottles of beer! :D :D :D

WebmasterPenny
04-23-2002, 05:58 AM
I'm exhausted just reading it!!! ;)

Penny :)

Mrs Dazzle
04-23-2002, 08:09 AM
Makes my weekend being visited by the mother in law quite tame in comparison - especially because my yorkshire puddings stuck (of all the times to stick....):p

Hilary
04-23-2002, 08:45 AM
Kieran - it sounds as though you need a few evenings just sitting at your PC and logging on to DIS ;)

(I don't pretend to understand half of what you actually did to get those jobs done, but I'm impressed!)

WDWfan,uk
04-24-2002, 04:49 AM
...... wow! you know your stuff! Very impressed at your prowess at running repairs! I'm pretty certain that if that had been our washing machine it would have been pronounced dead and on it's last journey , and as for the central heating, well that would only have taken me one minute: a call to British Gas :D

............. and aren't you supposed to be taking it easy after surgery???