I experienced one of those unusual days, well morning on Wednesday, the sort of day where things don’t go to plan as easily as they might. First port of call was to a regular customer’s house a mile or so away to check out a faulty floodlight. A separate motion detector turned out not to be faulty and it was only the lamp inside the floodlight fitting which required replacing. However the lady wanted to have me install an LED floodlight instead of the halogen one that was there. I had replaced another halogen light at the side of the house some months ago with an LED version but at that time she didn’t want this one changing. Simple enough and straightforward to replace it now. I invited her along to purchase a new fitting and whilst at the counter I received a call from someone living ten miles or more distant. I asked if I could call them back. We purchased the new fitting and off we went. As floodlights go this was very sturdy and well designed but when it came to installing it wasn’t so easy to fit. The main problem was its weight. A bracket had to be removed so it could be fixed to the wall. Removing it wasn’t so easy but fixing it to the wall was. I then had to reattach the light to the bracket and that’s when the problems really started. The designers could have made the task far easier with a little thought. It’s as though they don’t understand that usually their floodlights will be installed high on an outside wall using a ladder and as such is difficult enough without it being a poor design too. Anyway I got the job done like I usually do and called the guy who had phoned earlier. He had a faulty control unit which supplied his immersion heater, so he said.
On my arrival I checked the supply was getting to the control unit and at first it didn’t seem to be but then I discovered it was after I moved the timer a little. The override switch which gives an hour’s boost during the daytime was also working as it should. The controller is one of the type for use when the electricity supply to the house is delivered at a lower levy overnight, what they used to call an ‘off-peak’ rate. I set the timer and then checked the immersion heater itself to ensure that the replacement unit had been installed properly by the plumber I was informed had fitted it. I removed the cover and noticed it was burnt in one spot. I thought that was odd because new heaters are supplied with new covering lids and indeed on closer inspection the heater didn’t look as if it had been replaced where it was screwed into the water tank. A new thermostat had been fitted however. One of the element terminals, the neutral connection was badly burned and the cable attached to it was likewise burned, in fact as I moved it I found it wasn’t connected at all. It was apparent that a plumber had not been involved at all but the guy himself had replaced the thermostat thinking that was the heating element and assuming he had solved the problem. I said nothing to embarrass him but told him he would have to get another plumber to replace the whole unit and then all should be well. I prepared the cable for re-connection and left it safe for whoever would install the heater. Until fairly recently I would have done the plumbing work myself but I have cut back on the type of work I am now prepared to do. I wonder why some people think they can ‘pull the wool’ over the eyes of a professional and get away with them not noticing? In my working life I have experienced this often, people denying they had anything to do with the problems they give to me to fix. This guy would have saved himself a lot of money had he called in the professionals in the first place.