A few days after my last post on this blog, we took action. Enough was enough. We needed a new water heater and didn’t want to wait any longer for one. No, I didn’t rip out the knackered, old water heater and deftly install a new one while following a YouTube instructional video on a handy iPad. Neither did The Boss.
Is There Anybody There?
We’d been checking WhatsApp almost hourly for days, looking for a response from our new plumber to the various messages I’d sent. Nada. Was the job too small for him? Was he suffering from amnesia? Lost his phone? Or, more likely, isolating because of Covid? Any of those could have been possible. We’d ruled out abducted by aliens.
I tapped out a final message asking whether or not he could do the job. And, if he couldn’t, I asked him please to bill us for the emergency call he made here on the Sunday before Christmas. We were so grateful to him for that visit. Still nada.
Since the job would start with sourcing a new gas-powered water heater, we found a local company that sells them – thinking they might suggest someone who could install it. As it happened, this company has their own technicians. One of whom was standing in the shop, between jobs, when we visited.
‘Could our technician come now to see what needs doing?’ the shop assistant said. You bet. We drove home with the técnico following in his van. When he left us that Friday lunchtime, we envisaged The Boss’s days of boiling the kettle to do the washing-up soon coming to an end.
The following Monday we had a phone call from the company: someone else needed to look at the job, in order to prepare an estimate, or presupuesto. The man arrived – accompanied by the original technician and a second one. Much head-scratching, measuring, and note-taking ensued.
Tale of the Unexpected
Here’s the thing to bear in mind when buying an old finca: existing installations may not meet current regulations. Noah himself might have installed our old water heater.
The gas-appliance regulations are stricter now and we’d need more than just a new water heater to comply. New copper piping (the existing piping is buried within the wall and couldn’t be checked), a change to the piping through the wall into the kitchen, and a ventilation hole drilled in the space where the new heater would be installed, were all additional items on the estimate that arrived the next day.
Would you believe it? Having approved the presupuesto, the very next day our plumber sent a WhatsApp, asking if we still needed the job done. I think that’s what’s known as Sod’s law. If he’d been a better communicator, of course, he’d have had the job.
©Jan Edwards 2022