Boilers suck

10:22 pm Stupidity

Oh look, our boiler (an Alpha, as it happens) has packed up again. Having replaced the ten-year-old one that the house came with because it was becoming increasingly unreliable, after a mere fifteen months the new one has already surpassed its predecessor for sheer recalcitrance. Oh, it might have electronic this and automatic that, but once again it appears that the spark generator is failing to generate its eponymous spark. This comes after the hot water flow switch decided not to switch in the presence of the flow to which 100% of its attention is supposed to be paid.

On the bright side, it’s still under warranty. On the less bright side, that means that we have to contact the manufacturer to get them to send out an engineer, and they’re not very good at it. For a start, they’re only available (for certain values of “available”) during office hours, despite having somehow managed to create a domestic heating appliance with the uncanny ability to break down exclusively on Friday evenings at about 7pm. Anyway, apparently someone’s coming to look at it tomorrow. I suppose at best they’ll be able to mend it and at worst we’ll have a hostage.

Update: The boiler itself might not be much cop, but the chap who came out to mend it is very affable and had it working again in about 0.8 of a jiffy. Vaguely reassuringly, the ignition generator he put in was a different type to the one that’s failed twice - apparently “we’re putting this new sort in all of them now”. So with any luck it was just a duff batch of parts. Fingers crossed.

12 Responses
  1. Tom :

    Date: February 14, 2006 @ 8:17 am

    I thought you had a Halstead boiler?
    Alpha boilers do indeed suck bigtime.

    Tom :(

  2. Tom :

    Date: February 14, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    Your not Marc :0)



  3. Marc :

    Date: February 15, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

    I am me!

    aye, this sounds almost exactly like Halstead. The engineer that came and fixed ours was very good to.

    Maybe they should get the repair engineers to actually build the boilers in the first place!

  4. matt :

    Date: February 16, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

    Same Blog different body.

    It’s probaly cheaper to build crappy boilers and hire good engineers to fix them than to introduce a proper QC programme.

  5. troublemaker :

    Date: March 29, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    Alpha are indeed, built to a price. Also you may want to check with CORGI that the Alpha ‘engineer’ is registered as a CORGI engineer, as my recent experience is that a recommend Alpha engineer completed a Gas safety inspection, and then proceeded to sign it as Mike, when his name was Richard ?

    I spoke to Alpha about this, they said I was wrong and Richard had been working on their boilers for years and was working for / with Mike and therefore must be CORGI registered, they were very rude and aggressive as I was of course (the customer) talking complete rubbish!!

    I spoke to CORGI, who unlike Alpha take the matter of illegal gas workers very seriously, they have confirmed that Richard is working illegally and are to investigate this matter.

    I have since arranged for another Gas saftey inspection with a registered Gas installer (checked with CORGI) where I know the work will be to standard and will be insured and will not invalidate my home contents or building insurance!.

    Only use CORGI registered Gas workers.

  6. Tom :

    Date: March 30, 2006 @ 7:31 am

    Don’t forget to write a letter to Alpha and enclose a copy of the bill with which you expect them to reimburse you :0)

  7. ANON :

    Date: April 4, 2006 @ 8:57 am

    Interesting comments guys, I work for Potterton in Cambridgeshire, names Martin Freeman, and sorry to say this, but it certainly begs the question though, who has the bigger problem, the manufacturer, or you guys sat in your boxers in front of the computer scratching your nutsack desperately wishing you had something normal to do such as go out and find a woman, instead of spending yet ANOTHER cold and lonely night watching re-runs of baywatch whilst knocking one out and typing up sad and lonley blogs of a subject that only 5 people in the whole of the world wide web have replied to!



  8. Mike :

    Date: April 5, 2006 @ 9:16 am

    One of those five people appears to be you, Martin. It certainly begs the question though, who has the bigger problem - the bloke whiling away an idle five minutes venting some frustration at a handy website or the bloke who appears to spend his first five minutes at work insulting the first bloke, about whom he knows absolutely nothing except that he’s had a spot of bother with a rival company’s product?

    I detect a great deal of insecurity in your post, Martin. Still, you can console yourself with the thought that you’ve had one effect - Potterton’s certainly off my list of heating suppliers. Good work! Your bosses are, I’m sure, very proud of you.

    Oh, and can I just admire the way you sandwich your feeble playground insults between “sorry to say this” and “Regards” as if in an attempt to dampen the already rather soggy blow, or perhaps to indicate that you’re “just joshing”. C’mon, Martin, you can do better than that. If you’re going to insult random strangers from behind the safety of a keyboard you can come right out with it. Allow me to demonstrate:

    Martin, you’re a total knobjockey.

    See? See how easy it is?

  9. Tom :

    Date: April 5, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    See Potterton have a good reputation to me. Alpha do not.
    I’ll certainly make sure I don’t install any more Potterton boilers in the future as I don’t want insulting when I ring up with a service problem. German (and some dutch I think) all the way for my company.

  10. Mike :

    Date: April 5, 2006 @ 2:34 pm

    By way of an update (and before some sort of pitched battle between rival boiler manufacturers breaks out), I should just point out that (a) the boiler in question has worked just fine since it was last mended and that (b) Alpha was good enough to extend the warranty for a considerable period. So at the moment I’m actually quite happy with them. Clearly I should post more often so that two-month-old tales of boiler woe aren’t at the top of my homepage :-)

  11. samuri :

    Date: April 6, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    ooh, your rss feed just seems to have burst into life. Not that you’ve updated it in ages!

  12. Gray :

    Date: May 18, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    Mike should update his blog more often. Maybe he’d get more rubbish nutters posting then too. That’d be fun.

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