Tag Archives: snagging

Miswired Boilers?

or not?

So we’re almost a year in to our new home, and it’s come time to get the boiler serviced. The heating has been working fine since a faulty pressure vessel was replaced a few months ago.

We decided to use the same engineer that replaced the pressure vessel to service the system as he seemed knowledgeable and thorough, whereas PRS (who installed the system) failed to diagnose and fix it when they were sent out in the first instance.

We’ve also received a letter from the NHBC about a British Gas deal, but we’d already booked the service by that point.

The big finding was that the system hasn’t been wired up correctly. Specifically, the heating pump has not been connected to the boiler wiring, but to the thermostat/valve wiring.

This means when the thermostat switches, the pump stops immediately, whereas it should continue to run for a number of minutes via a bypass circuit, so that the water in the circuit can cool down rather than just sit in the boiler. (A bit like the cooling fan on a car continues to run after the engine is switched off)

Whilst the system functions normally, it will, over time, shorten the life of the boiler and void the warranty as it hasn’t been installed according to Ideal Boiler’s installation instructions.

Kevin, the engineer,  found this partly as he was being thorough when testing, but also saw a taped off wire in the boiler casing and wondered what it was needed for.

As all the systems across the development were installed by PRS to more or less the same spec, I would not be surprised if there are others out there like this.

You could quickly check, by turning the upstairs thermostat up high, wait for the radiators to heat up fully, then turn the thermostat back down. You should hear the valves close but the pump should stay running and shutdown after a number of minutes.

Otherwise, we can’t recommend Kevin from Personal Home Care highly enough to service and check your system. (i’d also note the British Gas offer only covered the boiler, not the Hot Water Cylinder, for which Kevin is the manufacturer certified agent and how he was sent to see us originally)

Update:- 4 June, The electrician from Renelec has been out and rewired the pump correctly. Took about 30mins in all, as the cabling was already in the walls.

Praise, where praise is due

We’ve recently been handed off from being site’s responsibility to Redrow’s Customer Care. To be honest, i set my expectations low, thinking that a faceless department a couple of hundred miles away would not really be all that effective.

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. We’ve had a couple of issues that needed dealing with: some final snagging and a broken mechanism. Customer care did respond in reasonable time and more importantly, to me, communicated, kept me informed and set my expectations of what would happen when and chased up when needed.

Hopefully, we won’t need to contact them too much in the future, but it has been good from them so far.

It’s Chilly in Here!

Today”s discovery: The central heating has been wired up wrong

With summer looking almost over and the weather cooling down, the house was a bit chilly first thing. Initially couldn’t work out why none of the downstairs radiators were on.

After a bit of logic and head scratching have worked out the downstairs radiator zone is being controlled by the upstairs thermostat and the upstairs radiators by the downstairs thermostat. The timings meant the upstairs was being warmed up first and so thinking the first floor was warm enough didn’t switch on the other zone.

It should be a relatively simple fix of switching the cables from the two valves across. But will leave it to Redrow so there’s no comeback.

[Update Fixed]
The wires have been switched round. Reported on a Monday, fixed late on Wednesday but only after taking to Twitter #thepowerofsocialmedia

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” Pt 2

In the previous “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” post I mentioned a planning issue with the low flint walls around the site and on our plot.

True to their word Redrow did submit a planning amendment on the 20 June .

Bad news is Winchester Council have now rejected the amendment.

It appears to be on technical grounds on the type of amendment, so Redrow may have success if they resubmit it as a full planning application, although that would need to have consultations with the neighbours.

I’m still waiting to hear on what Redrow is going to do next.

The interesting note from the submission is that there is a photo of an example wall and a design for it. Looking at the photo i’d say it was taken late May as the 2m wall in the background was being constructed at that time and the design is dated June. Seems the drawing was based on what was built rather than the other way around. Bizarre!


Holey Moley!



Today’s excitement! The Mrs. was wiping a bit of the floor and leant on the wall and was shocked that her hand went through it and upset that she’d just damaged our new house. Having looked at what happened the emotion turned more to anger  after discovering she had not pressed on a piece of plasterboard but a lump of plaster used to try and patch some damage that must have occured during the build. There was even a screw in the back of the hole, supposedly to try and bridge/support the ‘lump’.

The assistant site manage was dutifully called along, looked at the lump and tried to position it roughly back in place and said the plasterer would come along to patch it up.

As I was at work, did a bit of research and was fairly convinced that a lump of plaster in the hole was not going to suffice and it should really have a piece of plasterboard with a batten across the back. The wife was equally adamant with the plasterer that shoving the lump back in was not good enough.  Reluctantly he went off to get his tools and came back with the assistant site manager and site manager who again tried the we’ll just put this lump back in, “it’ll be fine”. Unfortunately or fortunately ASM dropped said lump down said hole and it was gone :-) !

Hole was fixed correctly and it didn’t even take that long in the end really. Crazy! Just hope there are no more patches waiting to find us!


The Hole:



The Lump: