For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Gone to Earth?

Over the last few months my posts have been frequent, but I see my last was on 27th January. I am now getting withdrawal symptoms.

Poor weather has coincided with the days when I had the opportunity to roam, but also, my central heating boiler takes some blame. I had it installed when I bought the house seventeen years ago, and on-and-off it has never been satisfactory. I have spent time researching the pros and cons of a replacement, and dithering about the cost.

One of my mandatory pleasures is to have a soak in a hot bath when I return from the exertions of day’s walking. This wretched boiler only heats water to arguably the required temperature, but only when the flow from the tap is reduced by half. Consequently it takes so long to fill the bath, water has cooled before the bath is filled. I have servicing and repairs covered and over the years had many visits from various heating engineers sent by the insurance company and the boiler is now like the hammer with a new head and a new handle, but still with its incurable, inherent failing. It reminds me of the vascular consultant who looked at my legs and told me the non-return valves in my veins were not living up to their purpose and in his written report to my GP used what is apparently the accepted medical description for this affliction: the valves being “incompetent.”

A new boiler was delivered over a week ago. I have a local plumber who has agreed to install, and it should have been done by now, but I have been waiting unable to cherry pick the good days for a walk.
Phil is an excellent plumber, and a good guy (he did not install the previous boiler) but he has had his own problems with a bad foot (plumbing is a ruinous occupation for the human body, bending, squatting, crawling and stretching in confined and often unpleasant places.) On top of that both his parents are seriously ill and he is having to tend to his father whilst mother is in hospital. Phil did come on Tuesday and fitted a new large radiator in the bathroom and put some wonder chemical into the heating system to dislodge and amalgamate all the gunge prior to draining and flushing. and he hopes to be back on Monday.

So I hope the old fox will be out again soon. It is only seven weeks now to the 10th April when I will be off on a self plotted backpacking trip in England lasting about a month (if all goes well.)


  1. Years ago people were told that the way to go was to fit a combi boiler. Do away with tons of plumbing and a hot and cold water tank, probably an Emersion heater as well and save money. Unfortunately the delivery of hot water is at best around 12 litres per minute at a relatively hot temperature. To get red hot water the delivery had to cut cut down to almost a trickle. If you have a big bath then a combi boiler is almost useless. As you say, the water will be cold before it is full.
    I went down the combi boiler route myself and indeed just had a mate fit a new Worcester, Bosch. There doesn't seem to have been much progress made since I had the first one fitted, ironically 16yrs ago. If you shower 90% of the time then a combi is fine, but to fill a bath you turn the tap on and then go and watch Life of a mountain, Blencathra, and at the end go and see if the bath is full.
    For what it's worth, my mate says I should fit a Weismann boiler but I didn't have enough space to fit that type without major kitchen work.
    Maybe we should go back to the ol d Tin Bath and heat the water up on the multi fuel stove.

  2. Just this morning I was thinking that you'd been quiet for a while. Glad to hear that all is well, bar the weather and a few boiler issues.

  3. Alan R - The boiler I have bought is a Greenstar Worcester Bosch 38cdi Classic rated at 16.4 litres. It is advertised as being suitable for larger homes with two bathrooms. I only have a dormer bungalow with one bathroom, so I hope it will be ok, anyway I am now committed.


    Gayle - Thanks for your concern. Others have also contacted me with concern. Gimmer wondered if I had "gone to earth" literally!

    You know I don't really do Facebook but I see you have a new family member - looking forward to hearing, and hopefully seeing more.

  4. My recollections coincide with Alan's - Combis were pushed in advertising campaigns, for quite along time, as being the modern solution. We've recently had a replacement boiler ourselves and decided to stick with the conventional boiler/copper cylinder arrangement; the one thing we are told we'd lose out on was the option to have a mains shower fitted with good pressure at the shower head.

    The cottage we sometimes stay at in Kingussie has a combi-driven shower and I'll concede it is brilliant at the end of a day's walking. There again, so is a good soak.

  5. Don't understand all that technical stuff - I've a 'combi' boiler and can have a full hot bath whenever I want, hardly ever use the shower.
    More to the point hope you get your plumbing sorted and head up the Cumbrian coast as soon as possible.

  6. Dave - I hope by over specifying for my house size I will solve the problem, but whatever, I am now committed - will have to wait and see.


    Bowlandclimber - Ah! How refreshing is your characteristic optimism - thanks for your comment. I agree, Let's get on with what really matters.

  7. Same boiler as mine Conrad.