I have a Question Volume 62 - Dynamic Dave
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Cool radiators - smokie
No, not ones with blue fluourescent lights...

My downstairs rads are all suffering from hot top and sides but cool middle and bottoms. I whipped one off today and sure enough it was full of silty stuff, and clearing that has improved it no end. And this system was power flushed not too many years ago!

So what's the best way forward? It's easy enough to take them off (we're only talking about 3 more) but I can visualise the silt dropping all over the carpet, finding it's way between the joins on the plastic sheeting I would obviously lay first.

There is also a Fernox product which breaks down the silt.

And once I have done whatever I do I know I need to add an inhibitor.

But would you consider it best to remove the rads (as above) or to hire/borrow a flushing pump, to do the system properly? Or both, I suppose...?
Cool radiators - Mark (RLBS)
I'd drain, then remove the rads, and then flush properly wiht the rads out of the house. Bear in mind that you will still need to flush the system when the rads are back in.

If you have enough stuff in the radiator, you'll largely just push it forward to the next place it gets caught if you do it in situ. As I guess you've found out from last time.

Alternatively, especially if you cannot get the rads off the wall, disconnect the pipes and reconnect a hose pipe to each end. Then flush it.

I did once do this to a whole system, but it took a lot of water pressure to push water all the way through the whole system, it then took ages until the water ran clean, and even then I was turning radiators on and off one at a time.

Best one at a time if you can bear it.
Cool radiators - Stargazer {P}
A very common fault. Usually caused by corrosion after not using an inhibitor for many years.

Cheap way: Remove each radiator in turn, carefully take outside (you know about the staining properties of iron oxide!) and flush out with hose. Drain and flush running water through as much of the pipework as possible. Reinstall all radiators, empty a supply (one can or bottle should be sufficient for a 4 radiator system) of flushing compound (sentinel and fernox do one) into header tank or one of the radiators if it is a closed system. Refill with water and run upto full temperature for a number of days. Drain down again flush several times with fresh water. Refill with inhibitor (again sentinel or fernox). Bleeding and getting rid of air locks may be required at each of the intermediate stages. If you want more detail I can give this but would need to know type of CH system (sealed or unsealed etc).

Moderate cost: Hire a flushing pump and chemicals, do much same as above.

Costly way: Call BG (or your favourite heating systems operative) and ask for a quote...likely to be in the £500-600 pound range

Warning: if the system is very badly corroded then flushing and cleaning may expose small leaks. Left well alone the leaks will still happen but not at a time of your choosing!

hth

StarGazer
Cool radiators - smokie
Thanks. It was BG who flushed it last time, a Kamco flush IIRC at about £400. Seemed very thorough, he turned everything off, replaced my pump with the flush pump, flushed it backwards and forwards time and time again until it was clear, then turned on one rad, flushed till clear, turned it off and so on. Took about 4 - 5 hours IIRC, and cleared a strange noise and an overflow which we had been suffering. He put inhibitor in afterwards.

System is actually 9 rads so will require a fair amount of chemicals I guess. When you say "flush several times with fresh water" in the cheap option, do you mean somehow attach a garden hose to the system or something more exotic?
Cool radiators - henry k
There may be some info in
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/?t=19812

I would take the rads off and flush them individually.
My approach is as follows
Get some heavy duty polythene from a builder?s suppliers or from a local builders site. I then lay it under the rad and curl it up the skirting and tape it to the skirting as high as possible and secure with masking tape or similar. I use a 1 litre plastic ice cream container or similar container to catch the liquid and a bucket. When you shut off the valves try to note how many turns on the non knob end so that you try to retain the balance of the system. I then undo one nut and allow the contents to drip or run slowly into the container. It may help to undo the bleed valve and or use a lever to ease the pipe away from the rad. Decant into the bucket at regular intervals. As a precaution I always do up the nut in between times. When the rad appears empty I repeat the process at the other end in case the rad is not level. I plug each outlet with kitchen roll or rag before I move it from its site. Carrying it upside down reduces spillage risks.
To flush it, stuff the hose in and blast away. Invert the rad, fill it and the empty it and you shake it all about. Keep going till it runs clear.
The black gunge ( Magnatite?) will stain so be wary where you do the flushing.
Not sure what the legalities are for proper disposal.
My system has two external drain cocks to assist draining / flushing. A modification to consider for your system?
Some light reading from a trade forum.
www.gas-news.co.uk/cgi-bin/discus/board-auth.cgi?f...l
Cool radiators - nick
The quickest way to remove a rad:

Close both valves.
Bit of kitchen roll under each connection.
Loosen the fittings. Might get a slight dribble.
Lift the rad slightly to get off the wall brackets.
Swing the rad down so it rests on the floor.
The connections are now the highest point and can be undone with minimal spillage.
Carry the rad outside upside down.

You can do this when decorating to make life easier. Just tighten the fittings with the rad on the floor to stop any leaks.
Cool radiators - Altea Ego
Just to add my two euro's worth.

Nick here has it dead right. That is the perfect technique to remove radiators. You need enough play in the feed pipes of course to lift it off the brackets but otherwise its perfect.

Lifting off and flushing out each rad in turn is the best way.

Never ever use the flushing agents that want to stay in the system for a day or two. I tried it one, it flushed out crap and deposited it in the pump. (which no longer did)
Cool radiators - henry k
The quickest way to remove a rad:
Close both valves.
Bit of kitchen roll under each connection.
Loosen the fittings. Might get a slight dribble.
Lift the rad slightly to get off the wall brackets.
Swing the rad down so it rests on the floor.
The connections are now the highest point and can be undone
with minimal spillage.
Carry the rad outside upside down.

Easier said than done. BEWARE
Radiators are not light or easy to lift or carry especially full and down stairs.
I would empty first to reduce the risk to my back.
Obviously if you have a helper it is better. I have to do it solo.
Cool radiators - smokie
What a fantastic idea, swinging them down. I know these are going to be ultra messy and that might just be the answer.

I'm inclined to go for the cheap option first, in the New Year. I'll start by cleaning the 3 problem rads (well, only 2 now, as I did one yesterday) and giving it a flush - I do have a couple of drain points but again am concerned in case there is some seepage where I attach the hose. More polythene methinks.

Thanks again guys
Cool radiators - Onetap
If it was power flushed & treated with inhibitor not too many years ago, and it has clogged up again, then I'd reckon that there is a defect that is allowing air to get into the water(F&E tank incorrectly set up, pumping over, negative pressure at pump inlet, etc., etc.). The black magnetite was formerly the inside surfaces of your radiators. Power flushing has simply removed the corrosion products but has not identified and rectified the cause of the corrosion.

A heating system will last indefinitely, if properly installed and if the corrosion inhibitors are maintained.

Cool radiators - wemyss
Its not difficult to remove rads without making a mess. My method used hundreds of times as a plumber was to use a low level plastic washing up bowl which I keep specially for this job.
Obviously turn off both valves and place the bowl under one of the valves and on top of an old towel.
Crack one of the valve unions until it starts leaking and running into the bowl.
Then open the bleed valve to allow air into the radiator. When the bowl is half full nip up the union again and turn off the air bleed. Repeat as many times necessary depending on the size of the rad.
No black gunge will come out at this stage until the rad is almost empty.
When apparently empty disconnect at each end and with rag underneath each valve and preferably with an assistant lift one end of the rad and pour the remainder which is now black ink into the bowl.. Turn the rad upside down and carry it outside to flush through with a hose. No problems.
Then comes the question of why your rads are blocking up.. This has been discussed many times and my experience stretching back over many decades is that it appears much more prevalent nowadays reading forums such as this, than it did in the past despite fernox and other additives.
In fact until about the early 70s we never used anything at all and many systems are running today from that era without this problem. We are now entering chemistry of which I have no knowledge but on a more practical basis I would be looking at the following.
The worst scenario you can get with a central heating system is fresh water entering the system After the initial flush and fill we always believed that the water became inert which meant going the colour of ink over the years but with no adverse affect.
We would look at the following?does water ever blow over the expansion tank into the small make up tank.. This is lethal as it captures air (oxygen) and takes it back down into the system resulting in rapid corrosion of steel radiators. Could it be that you have a Primatic cylinder which has been blamed for the same problem in the past.. Could you have a leak in the coil of an indirect cylinder enabling primary and secondary water to mix. This should show by occasional overflow from one of the tanks (whichever is the lowest)
However whatever the cause there has to be a reason. I called at a friend only last week who I installed heating for as a favour in 1969. I asked him if he had replaced anything. Only the boiler everything else is original. And some of these rads were second hand when I put them in. To my mind if some systems can run indefinitely without sludge or corrosion it points to the system rather than a ?they all do it? explanation.



Cool radiators - frostbite
Good post there, Alvin, and thanks for probably confirming my long held belief that original/inert water, in c/h and probably cars, is better than cycles of flush & refill.
Cool radiators - smokie
....and I'd assumed "they all do it".

Certainly some food for thought there. The basic system is well over 17 years old but I've had some new rads, what with extensions and decorating projects.

I'm going to print these posts to save the techniques, and investigate further. All in due course!

Thanks again...
Cool radiators - buzbee
I have had the hot water cylinder perforate a couple of times -- takes about 10 years. It seems the copper gets dissolved into the fresh cold water entering the hot tank at the bottom.

I have also fitted a few better looking radiators.

My approach now is to drain my system into containers, let the water settle, and then re-use it. I find there is no radiator bleeding to do except for just after carrying out the work. The lack of a need to bleed shows the reaction with the iron is much less.

Cool radiators - Onetap
"I have had the hot water cylinder perforate a couple of times"

Have you got a water softener, by any chance?
Cool radiators - Stargazer {P}
"I have had the hot water cylinder perforate a couple of
times"
Have you got a water softener, by any chance?


Or naturally very soft water?
Cool radiators - Onetap
Yes, good stuff, Alvin.

A couple of other points.

The corrosion is caused by dissolved oxygen. The two sources for this are either;
i) absorption from the air by the mechanisms mentioned above (and also absorption through the walls of non-barrier plastic tube); and/or

ii) from the water by electrolysis, indicating galvanic/bi-metallic corrosion. Hydrogen is also produced by galvanic corrosion & collects in the radiators, hence the well-known ?collect in a jar & ignite? test. For galvanic corrosion to occur, the water has to be acidic.

A corrosion inhibitor would usually contain;
i) an oxygen scavenger (typically sodium sulphite) to combine with any dissolved oxygen before it corrodes the radiators or ferrous components; and

ii) a pH adjuster (typically sodium hydroxide), to ensure the water is alkaline, usually around 9 pH. Anything below 7 is acidic.


There will always be some oxygen absoption. Inhibitors are cheap, replacing rads is expensive.

?my experience stretching back over many decades is that it appears much more prevalent nowadays?

The reason for this is probably the widespread use, over-use and abuse of modern acid fluxes. These make it unnecessary to pre-clean most soldered joints, but (and it is a big but) they contain hydrochloric acid. If the residues aren?t properly flushed and neutralized, they will make the system water acidic and start raging galvanic corrosion. Traditional solder fluxes (and fluxes for gas work) are pH neutral and require meticulous pre-cleaning of the joint.

?thanks for probably confirming my long held belief that original/inert water, in c/h and probably cars, is better than cycles of flush & refill.?

No, don?t try that with a car. The difference is the ethylene glycol in the (traditional) antifreeze. This will react with any absorbed oxygen to make an acidic compound (oxalic acid, I think). When the reserve alkalinity is exhausted, galvanic corrosion starts to attack the engine parts. Drain, flush and refill every 2 or 3 years to maintain the pH is usually recommended. Modern OAT antifreeze is different, but I know nowt about it.

Apologies to any chemists; I?m an engineer.
Cool radiators - wemyss
I think you have an excellent point there afm. Have never used these new fluxes but for another reason.
In 1967 copper tube was unavailable (probably the Rhodesia problem) for a large project and we used a type of stainless steel tube which was also used in domestic housing for heating systems. Awful material to use but this tube could be used with Yorkshire capillary fittings and a special flux was required. It was made by Eutectic.
A few years after the remainder of this flux was still sitting on the shelf and a man opened it up and the now clear liquid accumulated at the top spilled over his hand. He was very badly burnt and admitted to Hospital and finished with a disfigured hand. This incident made me wary of aggressive fluxes.
Moving on a number of years a friend moved into a house and a while after asked me to help him repair a leak on a heating pipe. It turned out to be the stainless tube and was corroded so badly it could be crushed by hand. Luckily he was on the BG 3 star plan. The fitter arrived and couldn?t understand how Derek had got on this plan as BG would never cover anyone with this type of tube. I asked the fitter if BG knew the reason for this corrosion and he explained that their boffins blamed the flux not being completely flushed out.
However he was covered and BG replaced every tube and fitting in the house.
As an apprentice in the 1950s I recall stripping out steel heating pipes from very old buildings and there was never a trace of rust or corrosion showing and there was no fernox around then. And of course no flux needed for steel.
So I think yours is the best explanation. I had also wondered if the steel used for panel rads was rubbish similar to the first Jap cars we imported.



Cool radiators - Onetap
"Have never used these new fluxes...."

I think you're in a very small minority. Most plumbers use them; many use lots of flux. I have seen copper pipework encrusted with green flux residues/corrosion one day after installation. Active fluxes are very convenient (for the installer) and, if they do cause corrosion, it will probably appear long after the warranty has expired.

I must read the manufacturers' recommendations, I'm sure they can be used without adverse affects.
Cool radiators - smokie
Well today I successfully had three rads off and cleared them out - boy were they gungy! I managed to use the tip about laying the rads down before full removal which saved a lot of mess.

I've taken no further action yet but will do - however, thanks for the advice. I now have hot rads...
DVD- copy? - Focus {P}
Just bought 'Bad Santa' DVD on eBay, region 1 (USA). Plays OK, with trailers, DVD menus etc.; picture looks sharp and sounds good (separate amp/speakers). Didn't come in full DVD case, but has sleeve notes and disc has proper-looking label. Player is a multi-region Yakumo XL2 from Amazon.

However, the colour in plain dark areas (eg. the sky in night shots) looks like what you get when a digital picture with 16 bit colour is displayed in 8 bit colour ie. there are obvious boundaries between regions of slightly different colour, if you know what I mean.

So I suspect it's a copy, but it's clearly not one of those recorded on camcorder in a cinema, complete with members of the audience walking across the screen. But if it had been done on a PC, I would expect it to be perfect.

Anyone seen this effect before on genuine DVDs? Only cost £5 so I'm not really complaining, just curious.

Cheers
John
DVD- copy? - smokie
No, not seen it personally, but I read a TV related forum sometimes and it seems there that different models of TV (or DVD) can have quite a dramatic effect on picture quality.

You're right, a copy of an original DVD would be no different from the original.
DVD- copy? - Altea Ego
"You're right, a copy of an original DVD would be no different from the original"

Not strictly true with optical media. A laser does not always read all the bits correctly as they are laid down on the media. To overcome this the data is sampled and any missing bits considered vital are made up. (and non vital bits sometimes thrown away)

Now you record this back onto DVD and you have bits missing (or made up that were not on the original)
DVD- copy? - Focus {P}
laser does not always
read all the bits correctly as they are laid down on
the media. To overcome this the data is sampled and any
missing bits considered vital are made up. (and non vital bits
sometimes thrown away)


I get the impression that the laser mssing bits is a random occurrence, whereas what I'm seeing always happens in certain types of scene. Otherwise sounds plausible - perhaps its some sort of systematic data loss in the copying process.

John
DVD- copy? - Welliesorter
Could it just be your player or TV having problems converting from NTSC to PAL?

Not the same problem I know, but a colleague bought a DVD that only appeared in black and white. Thinking it to be faulty, he returned it only for the replacement to suffer from the same problem. I asked him to look on the packaging and, although designed for several regions, the disc was NTSC.

I have an old Wharfedale DVD player, bought in the days when £180 was unbelievably cheap. This will play almost any disc but there can be a slight strobing effect on US discs.

DVD- copy? - Focus {P}
Could it just be your player or TV having problems converting
from NTSC to PAL?


Again, sounds possible- a comparison with the other player might prove informative.

John
DVD- copy? - Focus {P}
it seems there that different models of TV
(or DVD) can have quite a dramatic effect on picture quality.


Mmmm... same TV/DVD player that I've used for other DVDs, although it might be the first region 1 I've tried. Not the first non-region 2 though.

Good idea - I'll try it on son's multi-region Starlogic player tonight. Both players cost about £40.

John
DVD- copy? - Altea Ego
Random? yes sometimes, but the secret word here is "unimportant" bits.

With MPEG encoding the unimportant bits are the bits that dont move in the picture. The encoding scheme works very hard to get maximum pixels in bits that move (missing bits really show up here) and is quite happy to loose them in backgrounds that stay the same. Backgrounds then become blocky as the pixels get bigger.

I suspect that a digital master has been "borrowed" and then copied to DVD and quality has been lost in the decoding and recoding schemes. And dont forget certain bits have to be removed anyway to get rid of electronic signatures that would lead back to the original digital master.

DVD- copy? - Vin {P}
Many prerecorded DVDs are now dual layer = so holding over 9Gb of data. If your IS a copy, then the person has probably ripped it down to 4.7Gb to fit onto a standard recordable DVD. Depending on the ration of uncompressed to compressed size, you may find artefacts like this on the copy.

V
DVD- copy? - Vin {P}
ratio, ratio, ratio
DVD- copy? - Ben {P}
Probably just an artefact from the standards conversion.

Televisions do not convert from PAL to NTSC or visa versa! Machines that do that properly cost ££££'s.

If it is standards conversion, there might be some slight blurring or jerkiness if there is any rapid movement in the scene?
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Hugo {P}
A friend of mine has developed a problem with his boiler, which I hope is simple to fix.

He cannot get the pilot light to work. He had turned the gas off and cannot seem to relight the pilot.

He wanted me to look at it but I am reluctant to do anything apart from trying the obvious, as I am not CORGI registered. I guess there is an ignition switch somewhere which should re ignite it. However from what he has said over the phone it appears that the button he is pressing that should ignite the flame, is not.

OK, he may be pressing the wrong button, but assuming he is not, what should we try before calling in the gas engineer?

Hugo
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Dynamic Dave
Hugo,

Not sure if this applies to all boilers, but on the side of ours is an mcb (mini circuit breaker). Once in a blue moon our mcb trips and has to be reset by pushing it back in for the boiler to work.

Just a thought.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Hugo {P}
Thanks Dave, that would seem sensible. I may take my electrical test kit along to see if there's any power to the boiler.

H
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - smokie
I once spent ages trying to relight it as I couldn't see the pilot. Turned out mine doesn't have a permanently-on pilot. It fires up when it needs to.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Robin Reliant
I recently had the same problem after accidently pushing the emergency cut off button when adjusting the thermostat. I spent half the morning pushing the igniter with no effect, then left it for a couple of hours and it lit first attempt when I tried again. I think maybe it needs to cool completely before it will re-ignite.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - wemyss
It depends from what era the boiler is Hugo. In my time it was a permanent pilot light but nowadays from what I see there is no pilot but a pieza type ignition which works automatically.
If it has a permanent pilot as your mate is suggesting is he perhaps following the right sequence. On most pilot type boilers and certainly Glow Worm there is a control knob (not the temperature scale one) which you turn until PILOT is aligned with a marker and hold in. You then press a small rocker switch which starts a little spark igniter next to the pilot.
Once the pilot is ignited which you should be able to see. You keep the control knob pressed in until the thermo couple has heated up. Perhaps 15 seconds.
Then you release the control wheel and turn it until it aligns with ON and the boiler will fire up providing other controls such as roomstats or programmer are calling for it.
The above are precise details for an old Glow Worm back boiler which I have my home but all pilot type boilers are similar.
Sometimes I have had to light these with a taper as the little electric spark doesnt always do the job. However you have to have an assistant to do the holding in of the switch while you grovel about underneath with the taper.
Coming to more modern boilers my daughter called for me to come and get her modern wall mounted boiler to fire up.
After beggaring about for half an hour I asked if she had a instruction book. Reading this I found there was a tiny reset button which did the trick. when all else fails read the......
let us know how you go on..
Oh..and when you press the ignition switch you can usually hear a very faint clicking sound.
it will be something simple Hugo for the pilot not to light..
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - frostbite
Good advice from Alvin there, to which I would simply add.

It may be the thermocouple playing up - I occasionally gently clean the sensing part with an old toothbrush dipped in turps or white spirit.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Stargazer {P}
One other possibility for the always on type of pilot light...the piezo-electric igniter may be stuffed. This can still make a loud clicking but will not produce a spark for ignition in a month of sundays. Mine is like this and has been for a number of years. You dont find out about it until the pilot light is turned off for any reason. My boiler pilot only every gets turned off for servicing so relighting it manually is not a problem.

StarGazer
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Altea Ego
Or the lead from the piezo button (where the spark is generated) carries high voltage, this lead often breaks down and shorts out on the boiler frame before it gets to the spark gap.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - Hugo {P}
Thanks all.

Just to update you all. I phoned the guy on Christmas Eve and his wife told me that there was a gas escape around the boiler, which is why it wouldn't light. Apparently a valve or something had gone and they had to call out a plumber to sort it.

There was no way I could have helped in capacity of friend or tradesman. I am not Corgi registered.

I am going to suggest they get a British Gas service contract for their system.

H
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - mfarrow
I'm guessing it was the "gas valve". We had ours at home fail a few months ago when the nice chaps digging up the road to replace centuries old gas piping came in to check the gas appliances for faults.

Basically, the gas valve should shut when the gas supply is cut off. After never being closed before in its life, a lot of gas valves get stuck open when this day finally comes.

My guessing is that this then prevents a "valve shut - therefore no gas" switch from actuating. This switch would instructs the boiler that there is a gas cut. When the gas supply is returned, the boiler then doesn't know there has been a cut and hence no pilot is lit, filling the boiler and flu with gas.

Now that's just my educated guess, but I'd recommend that if you have a new-(ish) boiler, turn the gas on and off once a year to test the valve and prevent it from sticking in the event of a real gas cut.
Pilot light on Boiler Won't light - wemyss
I don't think you have got this quite right regarding the gas valve mfarrow.
In normal operation the gas valve will not open unless it knows! that a pilot light is established. This heats up the thermocouple which sends a signal to the valve and says its ok to open.
The gas valve opens and closes every time heat is called for...
having said that I don't specically know how the very latest generation of boilers without a pilot work, having been out of the trade for many years but would imagine they still have to use a thermocouple in exactly the same way.
The failure of your own gas valve would not be connected to the mains being dug up outside. The pilot would have gone out obviously and this is for safety of course.
When mains supply was resumed no gas could pass into your boiler beacuse the thermocouple had cooled down and prevented the valve from being opened.
Video Editing Software - Altea Ego
Ok
Friend has bought a Sony DVD video camera. The software that came with it is quote "carp - not easy to use and stores things where I dont want them."

So

Recomendations please for Video editing software that can deal with video streaming from the sony camera USB2, from the 8cmDVD, is easy to use, save it where you want to, and burn DVD's with chapters for use on a domestic DVD player.

I thank you.
Video Editing Software - Civic8
RF last one my mate bought.Had same problem..After much searching could only find Pinnacle software which worked ok. its pricey though..I may be wrong on this but according to him.Sony use their own coding/decoding software which means not many firms cater for it..Disregard if no help. When I said last one. He sold it as it was too much hassle getting to know.
--
Steve
Video Editing Software - David Horn
Best thing I can reccommend is Adobe Premiere Elements. It's far cheaper than the full thing, just as good and a darn sight easier to use. I copied all my grandad's home movies (16mm) to DVD with it, and didn't have to leave the program for anything.

Don't use anything else.
Should I be worried? - THe Growler
This morning I opened my mailbox to find the usual slew of Advanced Fee Fraud garbage from that African country we all know so well.

The header was quite distinct from the usual "Business Opportunity", "Help Needed" crap and in this instance quoted my name very specifically:

First Name - Middle Initial - Family Name.

How on earth this piece of ordure got hold of that is a mystery.

Should I be concerned? I'm thinking if he's got as far as getting this info what other personal data might he have got his hands on?
Should I be worried? - wemyss
Don't know the answer to that Growler but what does puzzle me is the ever increasing amount of spam.
For years I had none..but in the last year there is an increasing amount every week. The usual from Nigeria and now South America all eager to make me a rich man. Now aids to give me bigger and better working parts of my body. Every pill and potion imaginable. And even able to buy lists of thousands of people with all their details on a CD. Including where they bank, medical history, debts and pretty well everything about them.
You may be on one of these but how they get this info is anyones guess. And to top it off I'm now getting returned mail from legitimate business sites such as banks and even the post office telling me that the message I sent them has a virus and will not be opened. At first I would mail them back saying I've never sent you any mail but no replies so now its simply a delete.
Should I be worried? - Altea Ego
"At first I would mail them back saying I've never sent you any mail"

Alvin

You either have a mailing worm on your PC, or you have had at some stage and your email address is now being "spoofed"

Should I be worried? - djcj
Hi all.

You are of course using a good virus package, a "spybot" detector/eradicator and a mail blocker?

DJCJ
Jabra BT 300 Bluetooth headset - BobbyG
I have used the above for a month mow with no problems. However, I cannot get it to switch on now. I have fully charged it till the LED has gone green but when I try and switch it on, no LED lights up and phone does not detect it.

Anyone had any experience of these? Any ideas?
Jabra BT 300 Bluetooth headset - Altea Ego
I have the Jabra BT200

Th manual mentions doing a reset of the headset by putting in the cradle, pluging in the charger for three seconds and then removing it.

I would delete the pairing on your phone first as well. The start as tho it was new.

Jabra BT 300 Bluetooth headset - BobbyG
RF, mine does not come with a cradle, just a mains or 12V charger.. I don't think the pairing is the issue, the headset will not switch on?

Merry Xmas by the way, thanks for your valued comments especially on Scenics this year.
Hot tanks, radiators and things water. - buzbee
afm & Stargazer {P} re Fri 24 Dec 04 17:29 -- re hot water cylinder perforation

In answer to the questions above, delayed by the xmas effect, my hot cylinder is fed with (untreated) water from the street mains via a loft sited plastic storage tank. PH of the incoming mains water (using just a simple gardening probe PH tester that rests at PH=6.5) is 6.00 as measured in a glass of water.

Hot water heating is via the usual helix coil inside the hot tank --- fed via the central heating that uses/re-uses Fernox treated water. No problems with this.

As to above problem of lighting a pilot light, my Potterton has a spring loaded red button valve to press to turn on the gas supply to the pilot. After 15 seconds of flame the button is released because a thermally activated gas supply will have been established for it.
Hot tanks, radiators and things water. - Onetap
"delayed by the xmas effect.."

Yes, aren't we all. Thanks for the reply, my suspicions were unfounded. I have been told that water softened to 0 ppm hardness is liable to perforate copper HWS pipework in 3 to 7 years, but this clearly isn't the cause of your problem.
pH7 is neutral, 6 is acidic; I'd suspect your meter has a zero-error.
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - Altea Ego
Right put the sherry and the mince pies down and get round the back of your freeview boxes.

I intend to buy one, but I want one with an analogue stereo audio output on the back to hook up the digital radio to the HiFi (which does not have digital inputs)

So what makes and models have this. I know the Thomson DTI1000 (and its various guises) has one. I am interested in the Thomson DTI12300 topup combo but cant find the I/O specs for it.
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - wemyss
RF I have a Thomson DT1100 and also have a Sony VTX-D800U.
You know about the Thomson but as regards the Sony and quoting from the handbook it says. " Connect your HI-FI equipment to the audio socket output socket of the receiver as shown. Note: Depending on your Hi-Fi equipment you can use either a conventional 3.5mm jack plug lead or an optical lead (Mini TOS) when connecting to the receiver. DO NOT connect your headphones to this socket" unquote... Don't know if this is what you mean but as regards the two boxes the Sony is superior to the Thomson which does have one or two faults.
Regarding you connecting your digital radio I suppose you do know that you can receive it direct from the box?.
And note the Sony remote control can be programmed to control other TVs from other manufacturers.
The Thomson DT1100 does not match the Sony in certain areas.
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - Robbie
The Humax F2-FOXT is one of the best boxes available. It has two scart connections and phono connections for your hi-fi.

Bought one a couple of weeks ago from Dabs.com.

www.dabs.com/uk/channels/homeentertainment/freevie...M

You'll probably have to wait as there are none in stock at the moment. They go very quickly as they are one of the best buys.
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - Bromptonaut
You're just looking for a standard receiver box, w/out hard drive or top up TV slot but with red/white line out connectors?

Matsui DTR 1, if still on sale, does al this. Fits our bill on margins of digi coverage, only issue is dodgy clock display.
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - pmh
Just one suggestion as I nearly made the mistake, if you cable your TV analogue signal thro the house make sure that you have UHF loop thro with the added modulated Freeview channel! Some boxes do not have this feature (from memory I dont think the Sony has it). I have found the Panasonic CT30 to be fairly good ad does all that you ask, altho audio out is 3.5mm.

Worth noting that in this area John Lewis will match the Richer Sounds price providing goods are in stock. Something like a £30 saving on JL price several months ago!

--
pmh (was peter)
Digital Freeview Set top boxes - Altea Ego
Well I got the Sagem ITD64 for 49 quid. Has no card slot for top up tv, but we figured if we needed pay TV we would go sky later. Has all I need

Mini review. Its very quick to channel change, the 7 day epg is quick and works well as does teletext.

I slapped up an Aerial about three years ago when the old one blew down. I bought and set up then with digital in mind, using a broad band, narrow angle, hi gain antenna set up by eye only with low loss coax.
Well digital from the Crystal Palace MUX (bout 13 miles away) gives me 73% signal strength, 98% quality. Despite that the picture has occasional (say one an hour) artifacts and blocking - obviously interference caused data scrambling and drop out.

I blame Crown Castle myslelf. ;)
VCR/DVD Combi - OAP
My cheapo Goodmans VCR has passed it's 'Best By' date so I am thinking of replacing it with a Panasonic VCR/DVD combi.

The idea of the combi appeals to me as it will take up less room than separate units and perhaps have one less cable to add to the clutter....I already have a set top box for Freeview.

My question is: Are there any drawbacks to having the one unit rather than two? One elderly lady to whom I spoke when window shopping said that she and her husband had a combi and found it a pain to operate (not because of Arthur-Itis!!).

Thanks in anticipation.

VCR/DVD Combi - Dynamic Dave
My question is: Are there any drawbacks to having the one
unit rather than two?


The only drawback that I can see is that if, for example, the VCR packs up, you also lose the use of the DVD while it's away being repaired (and vice versa). With separate units at least you still have the use of one or the other.

From a space saving point of view though, they're ideal and you also free up electrical sockets as you only have the one plug.

VCR/DVD Combi - Altea Ego
Plus it cuts dwon the problem of too many scart leads and not enough sockets.
VCR/DVD Combi - OAP
Thank-you, DD, for staying up so late to answer my question!!
Drawing - "The Orchaestra" - Vin {P}
My sister in Law saw a picture a few years ago that she's trying to trace.

It might be called "The Orchaestra" (Or "Orchestra" if you're a Yank).

It's either black and white or brown and white. It could be charcoal or pencil, and it's rectangular, much wider than it is tall. It consists of 8 or 10 artists all with stringed instruments, all playing.

Anyone got any idea of what it's called (I can't find it under the title above) or where she might be able to find it?

Cheers,

V
Drawing - "The Orchaestra" - Dwight Van Driver
Vin

It is this very minute hanging on the wall over the fireplace in Ploddaughters house. Will contact and see if there is any details. I bought it for her some moons ago for 48 quid at a local shop.

Will try and photograph and bang it to you via EMail which I will try and get through one of the Mods.

DVD
Drawing - "The Orchaestra" - Vin {P}
DVD,

My Sister-in-Law is:

1. Full of thanks;
2. Staggered at the speed of response;
3. Unable to work out why I posted the question on a motoring site;
4. Given (3), unable to work out why I got an answer.

My email's in my profile; please feel free to use it. If there's anything to give details on the picture's correct name or artist, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Vin

Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Clanger
This morning I was helping my sis-in-law replenish the stocks of Christmas booze which we had immoderately laid into in the past few days. We were in a supermarket which uses those do-it-yourself scanners and accompanied by my (teetotal) 10-year-old nephew. He was being helpful by holding the various bottles while his mother scanned them. I was holding the trolley and making irrelevant cracks about death-ray guns and flinching every time the scanner beeped.
While this was going on we were approached by a store employee who advised sis-in-law that it was illegal for nephew to be buying alcohol and that he shouldn't even be holding the bottles. She pointed out that a) he was in close company with adults, and b) as we hadn't paid for the booze, no sale had taken place therefore nothing illegal was going on. Store employee was adamant that no-one under 18 should be holding bottles containing alcohol and that nephew should desist. As we all had lives to get on with, I took over the bottle-holding and we paid up and left the store.

Sad, interfering jobsworth or did he have a point?


Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - smokie
Maybe the employee showed a degree of sadness, but I often wish doting parents would consider the actions of their cherished ones on other people in supermarkets and other public places. Letting them push the trolley can be immensely irritating, as can allowing them to sit in the aisle whilst they are shopping, or to pick over fresh food with hands which probably haven't seen water and soap since they last visited one bodily orifice or another. (Mind you I have my doubts about some grown ups too on that one!)

And if there are rules, whether they are law or just the shop's own rules, why is it too much for people to accept them without question? (My current favourite is no mobiles on garage forecourts - whether or not there is a technical reason is beside the point - why oh why do people persist in breaking it?)

No doubt some would say I am getting old and grumpy. I probably am.

:-)
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Altea Ego
Sad, interfering jobsworth or did he have a point?

Jobsworth? Fraid not in this case.

1/ expensive shrinkage if booze gets dropped and broken
2/ possibly breaking the law with reference to booze license
3/ probably a company policy being enacted here.
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Dwight Van Driver
Got to agree with RF.

Whilst it would appear that no offence (No sale) was committed under the Licensing Acts, if you have been following the media then currently there is a BIG clampdown on booze and underage. No doubt TESCO (?) have instructed their employers to be super careful so that they under vicarious liabality aspect do not attract any fines and loss of Licence.

DVD
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Bromptonaut
Thought interfering jobsworth until re reading post and twigging self service till involved. Suspect the this particular national chain has no wish to be a test case.
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - BobbyG
Bit of a vested interest here as I work in a Supermarket.

I don't think there is any rule re underage handling bottles, in fact I know there is not as we employ 16 year olds to fill the shelves!

However, some points were pertinent particularly parents looking after their kids whilst shopping. If I had a pound for every packaging that had been burst by nosey kids,, or for every kid that had fallen out a trolley or toppled a trolley as their parents weren't paying attention, not to mention the "shrinkage" from breakages as well!

Also agreeing with the other post re rules are there for a reason, I have on several occasions refused to sell alcohol to parents when it is obvious that it is being purchased for their underage child ie. when I have witnessed them asking their child which one they want! If in doubt, no sale! Sorry!

Finally, re the mention of using mobiles on petrol forecourts, we are advised that this can cause fires. Indeed we have leaflets that illustrate a supposed true story where a male was filling up at the pump and the phone in his pocket started to ring. This apparently produced static or spark or whatever, but was enough to ignite the fumes and he suffered horrendous burns to his groin area as a result. Don't know if its true, or whether it was one of these million to 1 chances but I don't intend to find out either!
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - mfarrow
Speaking of petrol stations, a friend of mine was walking past one after work just after finishing his shift there and noticed a guy smoking while filling up. After explaining to the chap that yes, he did have to put it out as it was a serious fire hazard, the guy put it out on the forecourt floor!
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Hugo {P}
Alcohole and the 10 year old, I don't know about, but if your sister was aggrieed at the time, which depending on the circumstances, may have been justified, a quiet word with the store manager or head office may not have been a bad idea. If the employee was following store policy then this could have been explained to her.

Mobile phones on forecourts, About a year ago I saw a chap using his phone whilst filling with petrol and pointed out to him that I did not want to be a casualty along with him. He muttered something and switched it off.

H
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - Robin Reliant
It has been the rather distasteful habit of Trading Standards Officers to use underage children as "Agent Prvocateurs" in recent years, by giving them money and sending them into shops to buy alcohol and cigarettes. The poor shopkeeper is then prosecuted for the offence!

I would think that is one of the things the supermarket had in mind when briefing it's staff on the rules regarding alcohol and children. One can understand their policy of zero tolerance in these cases.
Alcohol and the 10-year-old - malteser
Talking of supermarket trolleys - why, oh why, do parents allow their grubby little monsters to ride IN a trolley? I'm not talking about little ones sitting in the trolley seat, but older children standing in a trolley,(just think what may be on the soles of their shoes!), which other people will eventually load with food!
Doesn't bear thinking about does it?
--
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Laminating Machine - Instructions? - drbe
Can anyone help?
I was given a laminating machine (encapsulating) for Christmas, the problem is that the instructions are skimpy, to say the least!

I have a choice of hot or cold laminating - if using hot laminating, I have a choice of temperature.

Which should I use hot or cold?
If using hot, which temperature?

The model is a Paper Monster LMA300, btw.

Happy New Year

Don drbe
Laminating Machine - Instructions? - Dynamic Dave

Don,

Not sure if some of the sections of the following site will help or not?

www.createandlaminate.co.uk/

18866 or 1899 phone service - drbe
Has any BRer used or subscribed to the 18866 or 1899 phone service? The prices are so low for landline calls as to be almost unbelievable!!!!!! (I wonder if that is the magic word?)

For UK fixed line it is 1p - for the call, not per minute.

UK mobiles weekend 2p per minute.
UK mobiles weekday 10p per minute.

The numbers are quoted on a money tip website.

Any information would be appreciated - incidentally it is called (I think) a carrier service and you have to dial a prefix before each call - which can be done automatically.


Don drbe
18866 or 1899 phone service - Welliesorter
I believe the term is indirect access operator. Carrier pre-selection is when your calls are automatically routed through an alternative company without the need to dial a prefix.

If you want to use a service that requires a prefix, you can buy boxes that cause your calls to be routed in a particular way.

I've used 18866 a few times and it seems to work quite well. I was attracted to them because their weekend fixed to mobile costs were the cheapest around. I don't think they still are. I haven't been billed many times and suspect that they wait for the amount outstanding to reach a certain level before they bother collecting it. This makes sense as you'd have to make quite a few 1p calls before the cost of collecting the money would be greater than the total amount of the bill.

You'll find that these companies (not sure if they're actually the same one) discussed at length in the forums at www.moneysavingexpert.com and in the uk.telecom newsgroup. Try searching the archives at groups.google.com if sufficiently interested

I've no idea how these companies can make a profit on the 1p calls as they they obviously have overheads, however small, and have to pay BT Wholesale, and the other operators, to carry the calls.

One warning: the 1p rate only applies from BT landlines. Calls made from mobiles and other companies' landlines cost more.
18866 or 1899 phone service - john deacon
a few things

well a voice over IP call via your internet connection will be cheaper still assuming you have a broadband "always on" internet connect

www.skype.com/

etc

in both cases remember your 56 K voice call is pretty small spuds by the capacity of a broadband connect, and the long haul broadband capacity is very cheap because there is currently oversupply (lots of the telcos over invested during the dot com boom, although mobile 3G base station interconnects will start taking this up a little)

some of the, mainly international, long distance mega cheap bods compress voice into even less than 56 k which is why some of them have poor voice quality

so then the cost becomes the link back out to the BT land line world which can be done locally

so cost to operator isnt really the long haul element its the final mile from the exchange to the punters phone, which voice over IP over broadband can get around, as can these dial out numbers 18866 etc
Good Restaurant in Edinburgh - BobbyG
Hi, going to Edinburgh a week on Sat for Matinee performance of Mamma Mia. Looking for a nice restaurant near Playhouse for a meal afterwords.

Any recommendations anyone?
Good Restaurant in Edinburgh - Welliesorter
Restaurant? Luxury! Nothing wrong with the Deep Sea chippy which is opposite the Playhouse. I don't know if they do deep fried Mars bars.

Gets coat...
Mis-sold on Ebay - BobbyG
I have bid and won a PS2 memory card on Ebay which was described as new. Seller has emailed me advising me that he has remembered that it has some games on it just now and do I want them scrubbed before he sends it to me.
I have replied to him asking for clarification as his advert stated "NEW" but he has not replied yet.
What are my options? I have paid through PayPal. It was only a fiver saving on a new one, it would probably be ok as long as he wipes it first as I don't know what might be on it, but its the principal of the thing.
Any thoughts?
Mis-sold on Ebay - Adam {P}
It's up to you Bobby. It isn't new as you say because it has game data on but it's so easy to erase game data on them, why has he gone to the trouble of asking you that when it's a 30 second job?

He has lied and I suppose you have some comeback (although sorry - I don't know how you'd go about that). At the end of the day though, it's only a memory card but as you say - there is a principle. If it were me and the memory card worked, I'd leave it...providing it works.

You could perhaps give him negative feedback for the next person.
--
Adam
Mis-sold on Ebay - Vin {P}
I'd write to him and say that you bid for it as new. Suggest the amount you wish to pay or suggest that he strikes it as an unpaid item dispute (you can then mutually resolve this and it won't appear as a struck bid). He'll then have to go through the hassle of waiting another week to sell the item.

Everyone I've ever dealt with on ebay has been more than helpful, so you'll probably get this resolved amicably.

V
Mis-sold on Ebay - BobbyG
If I do that, how do I get my money paid back?
Mis-sold on Ebay - frostbite
Perhaps he is just trying to give you a small bonus on your purchase - something you might like?

Granted, he should have said 'as new', but I don't think he necessarily deserves all the suspicion - *certainly* not negative feedback, that's for the real villains.
Mis-sold on Ebay - Adam {P}
Ok sorry....I humbly retract my comment. I've never used Ebay - I just figured that a new memory card should be in fact....new.

I'm harsh I know :-)
--
Adam
Mis-sold on Ebay - Vin {P}
The most important thing is to keep it friendly; offer him an amount below what you bid pointing out your reasoning.

As for getting your cash back, EVERYONE I've dealt with on ebay is scrupulously honest and fair, so you should get your cash back.

I agree about negative feedback - I'd only use it in this case if the guy refuses to settle amicably. Even then, I'd think about it before doing it.

V
Mis-sold on Ebay - mfarrow
The seller has just (stupidly!) admitted that the item is not what you paid for. You should therefore get a full refund. I agree that negative feedback is best reserved for non-payers/non-senders. Give them neutral feedback and explain the circumstances in the text, i.e. "item sold as 'new' but clearly wasn't. Full refund given though".
Mis-sold on Ebay - tyro
Maybe I'm too generous, but if a full refund is promptly given, I reckon positive feedback should be left, unless there are other factors involved.
Mis-sold on Ebay - mfarrow
Well... maybe you're right. I recently had a problem with a seller who sent me the wrong region DVD so I sent it back and got a full refund. Left neutral feedback explaining everything as above then got "revenge" negative feedback.

Think of feedback as a recommendation factor (positive=recommended). If you were buying something from Amazon, for example, and they sent you the wrong book which meant you had to send it back and get a refund, this would cause you inconvenience. While this shouldn't be enough for you to moan about Amazon to all your friends, you probably wouldn't go recommending them either!
Mis-sold on Ebay - BobbyG
Thanks for all your replies. I queried with him its description and he is saying that its almost new, however he has wiped it clean and its on its way up to me.

Think I will just let thngs lie this time as long as it serves its purpose but in future I will seek clarification from the seller before bidding.
In a state of shock... - PoloGirl
Er... It would appear (subject to about a million checks and medicals) I've landed that dream job I was moaning about not having only weeks ago. Head still spinning slightly as it's at a level I had hoped to be in a couple of years time, not immediately, but I'm sure I'll cope and it means I am escaping the midlands! :) :) :)

Questions then:

What does the Backroom know about Aldershot, apart from the squaddies? ;)

Is there something online where you can put in a salary, and it tells you roughly what you will have each month, after tax, student loan, etc?

We'll be moving out of a place we've rented for 3 years. It was furnished almost entirely from a well known cheap swedish store, which although nice and modern, most items are now looking pretty tired and run down. How likely is it that we'll lose all or part of the deposit for what is basically three years of wear and tear (e.g. they put cheap beige carpet right through the flat, which is now pretty worn in the places that get walked on a lot and the sofa is almost dead - I don't think it was designed to be sat on every day if that makes sense!)

Hope some of my merry band of backroom mums and dads will be able to help me out with any of the above - thank you!


In a state of shock... - Adam {P}
Can't help you at all with anything you ask but may I offer my congratulations on your new job?

Well Done PG
--
Adam
In a state of shock... - Altea Ego
Apologies to all concerned who were born there, live there, etc

Aldershot is a craphole. The shopping is worse. Entertainment consists of getting vomited on by drunken squaddies.

Fortunately however, the surounding area is better, which is why most people live in Camberly, Frimley, Farnham etc. Be brepared for a HUGE HUGE shock. Property prices outside of the rough parts of Aldershot will make you bleed. Hence Rent is equally painful.

Traffic is heavy all round that area is heavy during rush hours
Good country around tho, pleasant weather, and good transport links to London.

Welcome dahn sarf.
In a state of shock... - Altea Ego
A quick troll of the local free paper reveals you can rent a two bedroom flat in Woking (1/2 hour drive through the back roads) at £800 pounds month.
In a state of shock... - NowWheels
PG, congrats on the job! I'm sure you'll do great.

The deposit you paid on your flat was for breakages: it is not to cover resaonable wear-and-tear. If you have used the sofa as a trampoline and broken the springs, accept an approporiate deduction, but if it is just sagging through being sat on, don't let 'em take a penny off you.

Likewise the carpet: they can charge you if it is worn out through having parties of welly-wearing heffalumps dancing on it every day, but not if it's reasonable wear-and-tear.

Of course, they may be nasty the way some landlords are and try to charge you, but if they won't return the deposit, go straight to the small claims court.
In a state of shock... - Cardew
The deposit you paid on your flat was for breakages: it
is not to cover resaonable wear-and-tear.


Or even un-reasonable wear and tear?
In a state of shock... - NowWheels
>> is not to cover resaonable wear-and-tear.
Or even un-reasonable wear and tear?


not sure about that!

But I'd be suprised if there wasn't a reasonableness test involved somehow.
In a state of shock... - spikeyhead {p}
PG songrats on the new job.

I'm currently working just down the road in Farnborough.

Previous comments about enjoying nights out being vomitted on by drunken squaddies are perhaps a slight exageration, but only slightly.

Whilst legally you shouldn't be penalised by the landlord for "reasonable wear and tear," possesion is nine tenths of the law and the landlord is in possession of the deposit. If there's still rent owing, place it in an escrow account with a solicitor with an agreement to pay the landlord what he's on return of the deposit. Get some good quality pics of the place so you have evidence of the condition of the place when you leave. This may help if the worst comes to the worst.

Before choosing a new area to live, visit it at 11:30 on a Friday night, this will give you a much better idea of how peaceful the place really is.
--
I read often, only post occasionally
In a state of shock... - Hugo {P}
PG, didn't I tell you you'd get a job and your dispairs would be looked back on fondly?

Well, there you are!

CONGATULATIONS!!!!

Now, your other questions......

Don't think about buying just yet, because if I am right, property prices are falling in that area.

Rent, amounts I can't help you with.

Deposit.....as others have said, reasonable wear and tear is accepted under your tenancy agreement, if not there, then by law.

If tables etc are scratched by draggin the odd cup of tea or plate of food across it then that's wear and tear, however if you have been using them as work benches to rebuild various parts of POLO and they are severely dented, tops split and have marks left by the angle grinder, then that is chargable.

If electrical fittings are broken through accident, or you've fitted a 150w bulb in a 60W lamp holder and thus melted it, that is chargeable. If however your carpet shows nothing more than regular domestic use (ie you've not been tredding engine oil into it on a regular basis) then that is wear and tear.

My advice is to give the place a thorough clean before you move out and make is look as presentable as you can. Subtle use of air freshener etc (ie woman's touch;) ) would be a good move.

In addition, if you're that concerned, photograph every piece of furniture etc and every room to identify exact condition you left the poperty in. The landlord should but may not carry out a tenancy termination inspection with you. You should invite him to do this the day you move out. If he does not then this would weaken any case he has.

If you landlord does make a deduction on the deposit then ask him for a written explanation for it. IE which items is the deduction for and why - ie what degredation have they suffered etc. Your photos will be used to counter argue this.

If the property was furnished in the way you say it was. The chances are that you have a reasonable landlord who is prepared to meet reasonable letting expenditure. His approach sounds very like mine - make the property presentable at fair cost and expect tenants to take their normal toll.

Hope this helps

H
 

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