Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A Plummy Tale

I don't know what to make of the plumber who called with us yesterday. He installed a new water tank for us a few years ago - a good job and at a good price. A few people had recommended him to us.

Our living room still has quite old - certainly in technological terms - radiators: 77" x 20" and slim as a soda farl. They are inefficient and don't heat the room quickly enough on cold, winter mornings. I fancied double radiators - you know, those convector types. We have them in other rooms and one doesn't half notice the difference.

The plumber measured the room; borrowed my calculator; did a few sums; and then advised me that he could either fit one double radiator, measuring four feet; or two radiators three feet long.

I queried this, because a three-foot radiator along a conspicuous wall in the living-room - replacing a 77" radiator - seemed peculiar; particularly since the area behind would be exposed after forty years and, consequently, require re-decoration.

He told me that a four-foot radiator was the biggest; that there were occasionally larger sizes but there were hard to obtain and costlier. So that was that. I hesitated, and he suggested that I think about it. Was he taking me for a fool?

I was a fool. I went ahead and booked a date for the job at the end of the month.

Then, after consideration, I had second thoughts. I remembered the double radiator in the dining-room; measured it; and it measured 69" long - more than four feet! I rang the plumber back and told him to cancel the job while I had time to think.

To cut a long story short, whilst in the gym yesterday I was urged to pay a visit to a plumbers' merchant down the road, which I duly did. They gave me lots of information, including various types of radiators, some 77" long.

They gave me the phone number of a plumber; I rang him; he called that afternoon, did calculations, phoned the plumbers' merchant while I sat there; went over various options; and he can supply me with a much longer pair of double radiators - less decorating for us - at £100 less.

Moreover, we have a pair of room thermostats; so, if the new radiators get too hot they can always be controlled by adjusting the thermostats thereon.

The second plumber said he could do the job on Friday; though this date doesn't suit me, so I'll contact him at a later date.

We may yet get a third estimate, though I am minded to proceed with the second plumber.

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