|The gasman cometh
||[Nov. 24th, 2015|09:50 pm]
The people who meter our gas use - who are not, in this fragmented modern world, the same people who supply our gas - wrote to durham_rambler saying that they wished to replace our meter with a newer shinier one, and what time today would be convenient?
The engineer turned up some time after nine - we were just finishing breakfast - which was fine: we'd said 'morning rather than afternoon'. We were his fourth call of the day, he said, but the others had all been student houses, and he hadn't been able to do the job. Then he had a look at our meter, which wasn't what he'd been expecting: it wasn't a prepayment meter. We confirmed that it wasn't a prepayment meter, and never had been. But his paperwork showed a prepayment meter, with a serial number which matched that of our meter; he couldn't replace the meter until the paperwork matched. Also, did we ever smell gas? Because his pressure guage showed a slight loss of pressure, so gas must be leaking somewhere.
He would now go away, and return when he had a new and correct job number. And by the way, did we know that the meter was held up by a single bracket, which did not meet modern standards, and some of the fittings were lead, which likewise? This would not be a straightforward job, and he would return with a colleague to help him.
They returned, naturally, as I was beginning to cook lunch (so there was a change of plan, and fried eggs for lunch). The two of them huddled into the coal hole, where they were joined by the man who turned up to read the water meter (word must have got round that there was a party). They confirmed that there was indeed a gas leak, and - after an anxious time in which we contemplated doing without gas until an engineer could be found to fix this (no gas means no heating, no hot water, no cooking) - that it was below the level at which they would be obliged to cut off the supply. They also traced it to the boiler, which we already know is overdue for replacement.
So it's been an exciting day. But we have a new gas meter.