I Have a Question - Volume 137 - Dynamic Dave

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Attaching gutters to a house. - L'escargot
There seems to be a trend with new houses for the gutters to be attached directly to the wall rather than to a fascia board which stands out from the wall. Isn?t this a retrograde step? I know they were attached directly to the wall yonks ago but I always thought that they were stood out from the wall in more recent times to prevent leakage going straight down the wall. What?s the latest trend all about? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Attaching gutters to a house. - adverse camber
They can stand out from the wall without needing fascia board - just depends on the fastenings. All a fascia board does is rot. Ive taken half of it off on our house. Admittedly it was a recent addition by the last owner, always looked wrong on the (quite old) house.
Attaching gutters to a house. - L'escargot
They can stand out from the wall without needing fascia board
- just depends on the fastenings.

There's not much you can do when the position of the edge of the roof tiles demands that the gutters virtually have to touch the wall. The question is whether it is detrimental to have the gutters this close to the wall, and have designs taken a backward step in this respect.
Attaching gutters to a house. - pmh
I do not know if you can buy them here, but in France you can get clips which clamp directly onto the overhanging tiles and suspend the gutter brackets. They are adjustable in drop, which allows you to set the fall when the gutter is up. No marking or drilling required, just a screwdriver.


pmh (was peter)

Attaching gutters to a house. - Group B
An projecting eaves with soffit and fascia boards is an architectural feature and its use depends on the overall look of the property. It can look appropriate on a '60's or '70's house, but on a Victorian style house for example, it can look too heavy and clumsy, and not in keeping with the architectural style.
Most Victorian properties were designed to minimise the amount of external timber exposed to the elements; some would say having eaves soffit and fascia boards, and softwood window cills, etc., was the backward step, because it designs in a maintainance problem.

A flush eaves detail should not be detrimental if it has been designed correctly. You may get leakage down the wall in torrential rain conditions if the gutter overflows, but the wall will probably already be saturated by driving rain. With a modern insulated cavity wall it should not be a problem if the wall has been built correctly.

Attaching gutters to a house. - buzbee
I have seen some unsightly walls where water has overflowed from guttering down the brick walls and the marks become a feature. They do not wash off. Best avoided if you can. Also, don't be tempted to use a high pressure hose on them as most modern bricks owe their charm to the colour of the sand coating!
Attaching gutters to a house. - Group B
Yes staining can be a problem, more likely to develop on more porous or rougher-textured wall facing materials, and tend to be more visible on lighter coloured finishes. Can be the result of defective guttering; properly maintained guttering should not overflow under normal rainfall.
You can also get marking under eaves and window cills where the rain doesn't get in to wash off dirt. If the wall finish is too porous, the dirt particles can be 'sucked' into the microscopic holes in the face, so as you say its difficult to remove.

Attaching gutters to a house. - L'escargot
I was thinking more of leakage at the gutter joints, rather than overflowing. Every house I've owned has had leaking joints to some extent or other.
24 V DC motor/relays on invalid scooter - local yokel
I've been given an electric three wheel mobility scooter. It has two 12v batteries each rated at 20Ah, at 5Ah delivery. The front wheel is powered directly by a 24v motor. With the cover off the front assembly I can see what look like three relays. The lower one seems to be the zero speed relay.

The original batteries are 10 years old and don't hold a charge, so using a couple of car batteries and some temporary wiring I have it running.

The problem is that it will not start without a push when loaded. The relay cuts in and out, and all that happens is the motor judders. When no load is applied, such as when the front wheel is at 90 degrees to the body, it will pull away. When given a push the motor will drive once on the move.

I've cleaned and checked the brushes and commutator.

ideas, BRers? Cheers.
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - SjB {P}
I have a 1989 (I think!) Sony KVM16-U CRT television.
Great (really great) picture and ideal for use in our den.

Used for the recent past with a Freeview feed to the <- input I haven't needed to use the built-in analogue tuner, but having moved house last week and not yet having a wideband aerial installed, I need to temporarily retune it to receive local analogue channels.

Murphy says it is the only piece of home entertainment for which I don't have the user guide.

I *think* I am tuning it correctly, and in the process of a full scan it displays all five normal channels in perfect full colour, no snow, clarity for a split second each, but it doesn't stop to allow me to store them.

Please can a BRer confirm the correct channel store procedure.

Neither this old TV or any from the same family are included in the Sony UK downloads page and a Google returned zip of help.

Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Pugugly {P}
Hi - I have a vetran KVM14-U I presume this is the same layout. I have lost the manual in a move ! However this brilliant little telly has been in the attic since 2001. I fired it up today on reading this. It scans and when it finds the channel it automatically locks onto the channel received awaitig a confirmation from the "small" buttton on the far end of the front panel. The green channel selector stops flashing when you press this and the channel is locked and you then press the channel up/down to re-start the scan. It works from the remote as well. Brilliant telly by the way pin sharp picture despite being 17 years old !
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Cardew
I have a KVM14-U and its manual of around that vintage

For Automatic programming it states:

Press PRESET(ON) to set the TV in the programming standby mode. The programming number indicator will blink. (the PRESET button is on the left of the 5 buttons)

Press AUTO PROGRAMME and it will tune in 8 receivable channels in sequence. - the programming mode will be released automatically.

If you wish to programme manually you still press PRESET(ON) to set the TV in the programming standby mode. The programming number indicator will blink.

Then press Progr +/- to select your desired programme indicator. Then use manual tuning buttons e.g. set programme 1 and tune to BBC 1.

Repeat for Channels 2 to 5.

Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - SjB {P}
Thanks, PU and Cardew, for such quick replies.

I agree about the brilliant picture, which is the reason I want to keep this telly, albeit in the den. I have yet to find another telly - even with the "advantage" of a smallish screen - to better the picture quality of this 17 year old device.

Cardew - Please can I check your instructions as I think you write what I am actually doing;

My KVM16-U has eight buttons under the drop down panel. In order from left to right:

<- direct (AV) input select
colour / contrast / brightness options toggle
TV (exactly what it says)
An arrow pointing in to a lopsided square (your "button 5" I think)
Vol -
Prog -

I am pressing my button 4 (your 5) to put the telly in to programming mode, followed by Vol (or Vol-) to start the scan. The scan works, but never stops. It just cycles and cycles across the full spectrum despite briefly showing perfect reception for each channel.

Looking like a duffy telly?

I've just dug out the RM-658 handset (which I have not used for years as I have one of these in each room with AV kit: tinyurl.com/hyx5q ) and it has no programming options). I can also confirm that pressing button 4 then using Vol- or Vol on the handset does nowt.

Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Cardew
Mine is obviously different to yours(it is a vintage 1987 manual)

Under the drop down flap are only 5 press buttons - PRESET - AUTO PROGRAMME - CLEAR - MANUAL/FINE TUNING BUTTONS. There are 2 picture adjustment controls to turn.

Not under a flap are on/off, volume +/- , Prog +/- buttons.

It seems that you haven't got an Auto Programme button (a press and release is all that is needed) It stops briefly at all the received channels and then moves on. After it has swept the freq spectrum it has stored all the channels and the programme number indicator stops blinking.

Could it be you have to press 2 buttons together? i.e. hold your button 4 down and then scan?
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Pugugly {P}
I follow your sequence of button pushing and the picture locks onto a strong signal when the scan finds one, it allows you to then select it. By the way the tuner on mine is suspect, it loses it's signal after a while but is perfect on digital inputs.
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - SjB {P}
Thanks again, both.
I appreciate your attempts to help. :-)

I tried multiple button pressing before I first posted, so conclude the telly receiver is duff. I now just need to raise Freeview aerial installation up the list of jobs order so I can use it with the VTX-D800U external receiver!

Out of interest PU, the tuner on mine has the same drifting fault as yours, but digitial input to <- is also perfectly fine as yours.
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Altea Ego
on my kvm1440-u you have to "open" the memory location first, (lopsided square with arrow pointing into it) then tune, the frequency then lock the channel into the memory location (lopsided square with no arrow into it)

Mine is a later version I think - its only 13 years old!
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - Pugugly {P}
I resolved the drifitng problem by connecting a (broken tape drive) VCR to it and viewing through the AV channel (which kept it's tune) working the channel selection through the VCR. Worked a treat but wanted teletext.
Tuning a Sony KVM16-U CRT Television - SjB {P}
Great to read your reply, PU!

Actually I just worked around the problem by unpacking the VCR (on which tuning works perfectly) and plugging it in to the AV channel! :-)

Thanks again, All.
Having a house surveyed - L'escargot
At what stage in a house purchase should you have it surveyed?

(a) Before making an offer.
(b) Immediately after the offer has been accepted.
(c) When the chain is complete.

The house I have in mind is about 5 years old, and I envisage having just a RICS House Buyers Report and Valuation.
Having a house surveyed - Altea Ego
At what stage in a house purchase should you have it
(a) Before making an offer.

You should have a rough idea of how much work is involved at this stage, just ny checking for large cracks and
hanging off doors - so no survey yet
(b) Immediately after the offer has been accepted.
(c) When the chain is complete.

Somewhere after (b) up to after (c)- It usually depends on at what part of the cycle you need to secure the mortgage offer money, as the survey is a pre requsite.
If no mortgage involved then the latest time possible in the process before exchange of contracts in case the whole chain folds. You can collapse the chain then if you dont like the survey or use it to gazunder at the last moment. Not nice I know but someone will do it to you.

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Having a house surveyed - Rebecca {P}
Is this the one with LPG gas heating? (Just seen your question on IHAQ 136)

I have been renting a house with LPG heating since April and can confirm that it is way WAY more expensive than mains gas. The tank here is 1200 litres and Calor estimate I will need to fill it at least 3 times a year. This is based on 3 bedrooms, and the water/heating being on a timer (house unoccupied during the day). It costs approx £250 a time to fill the tank at the moment..
Having a house surveyed - Rebecca {P}
Sorry forgot the other bit of my reply.

As the house is under 10 years it should be covered by a NHBC warranty-thingy. You could ask the agent to confirm with the vendor whether any remedial work has been carried out under the guarantee so far. This would give you an idea whether the house has already needed serious attention, and could influence the timing of your survey.


(also house hunting)
Having a house surveyed - L'escargot
Thanks Rebecca. I suspected that LPG was very expensive, but I ditched that one for other reasons anyway. I'm going today for a second look at the latest and I'll certainly ask whether any remedial work has been carried out. Thanks for the tip.
Having a house surveyed - Martin Devon
N.H.B.C. No house built correctly. Absolute con.

Address etiquette - L'escargot
I want to send a congratulations card to a young acquaintance who has just been awarded a Ph.D. I 've considered using the title Dr on the envelope but I can't make up my mind whether it would be seen as a nice touch or just too formal. What do you think?
Address etiquette - Duchess
Go for it! Yes it's formal but if they've just beome entitled to use it, they'll be pretty chuffed to start seeing it on correspondence.

And congratulations to them - impressed.

Address etiquette - Gromit {P}
Seconded! It'll be as much fun as formal for them.

It was always the custom in my department to address a successful PhD candidate as "Dr" from the time they passed their viva voce exam, although technically you're not a Doctor until the degree is conferred by the university on graduation day.
Address etiquette - eProf
Dr Who?
e Prof
Freezer warning light. - ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond
Morning all.

Bought a second hand Proline freezer (neck hight tall) yesterday and it was working ok when I got it.

Its been cleaned out and has been sitting in its new place since 6ish last night. I turned it on this morning and a red warning light has come on.
Does anyone know why this might be?
Do you have to let them stand for 24hrs or more?
Its not touching any wall.

Thanks for any help.
Freezer warning light. - yeoman
It's probably just the warning light to indicate the freezer's not down to temperature yet.
Freezer warning light. - mrmender
1st off I can't recommend proline refrigeration products; my father was in the trade (all domestic appliances)for 25 years and my uncle carried on until about 2 years ago i used to help him out
But what you are describing is probably normal until the unit comes down to it's correct tempreature the red alarm light will show.
You did the correct thing leaving to stand upright overnight
All this assumes you can here the motor running and feel it getting colder

{wording amended - DD}
Freezer warning light. - Stuartli
It will probably take several hours to reach the correct temperature.

Our Lec freezer has two such lights, one red and one orange...:-)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Freezer warning light. - ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond
All this assumes you can here the motor running and feel
it getting colder

Motor is on and it is getting colder.
Freezer warning light. - mrmender
should ok then, may take a empty cabinet (no FROZEN FOOD inside) up to 6 hours to come into range should be ok after 4 hours
Combi boiler - L'escargot
I'm on the verge of making an offer on a 5 year-old bungalow which has an Ariston (don't know the model) combi boiler. I've had no experience whatsoever of combi boilers but I've heard horror stories of them taking 10 minutes or more to run a bath, particularly in winter when the inlet water temperature is low. Is this true.
Combi boiler - mrmender
Our combi (Ideal) is ok when the heating is on you get instant hot water, but when you want hot water any other time it takes 3 min of pouring off cold water before the hot comes through. This works out ok when pouring a bath but not for doing the dishes
Don't know is certain manufactures are quicker than others
Combi boiler - Armitage Shanks {p}
Most of the delay in getting hot water at the tap will depend on the length of the pipe 'run' from the boiler. I think all combis fire up and generate hot water PDQ but it takes time for that water to get to where it is needed.
Combi boiler - Duchess
I have a combi in my house and I am a fan. When you turn the hot tap on, it takes a minute or two to produce hot water but no longer. It depends on the demand for water in the house - if you're trying to run volumes of hot water in more than one location (eg shower and hot water intake washing machine) it can be slower because there is no "on demand" pre-heated water. But in return you don't lose the space of the hot water tank, you don't pay to heat water you're not using and in the summer the boiler isn't used unless you need it and not just because the timer says it's time to heat a tank up.

Wouldn't recommend them for families or high occupancy dwellings though.

And if you really don't get on with it, you can almost always replace the system with a traditional boiler at a later date.
Combi boiler - L'escargot
My understanding is that the outlet temperature of the boiler is thermostatically controlled and therefore the rate of hot water flow depends on the temperature rise, which can be considerably higher in winter then in summer beacuse of the lower water inlet temperature. Put another way, the flow times the temperature increase (which will be higher in winter) is proportional to the boiler heating capacity which is fixed. Therefore if the temperature rise is higher the flow has to be lower.
Combi boiler - daveyjp
We have a multipoint water heater which works on the same principal as a combi boiler. You will set the thermostat on the boiler and find the flow of hot water is constant, but during summer due to warmer ambient air you will need to add more cold water. As cold water is under higher pressure the flow will increase, but it's due to more cold water entering the system and not the warm water being heated less. Filling our bath to a decent depth takes about 5 minutes. As others have said having a shower and running other taps or using the washing machine can cause supply problems as flow through the boiler is reduced.
Combi boiler - Number_Cruncher
Our combi (Gloworm) is very much an entry level model - as such, there aren't any thermostatic controls on the hot water. As you turn down the flow, it gets hotter. Once you get used to this, it is easy to set the flow rate to suit how you want to use the water.

For example, to get really hot washing up water, I run the hot tap really slow, and then I do the glass ware as the sink is filling, so I can also rinse the glass under the still running hot tap.

For running the bath, I just set the water running, and have a shave while the bath is filling - but it certainly doesn't take 10 minutes!

Just after it was instaled, we had lots of trouble (the installers didn't install it correctly), and eventually a knowledgable chap from Gloworm fixed it - but he also turned down the main hot water flow valve on the boiler so that even if you open a tap fully, there is enough restriction to get hot water at a reasonable temperature - he set it up with a calibrated cup flowmeter, and it works very well.

Combi boiler - L'escargot
And if you really don't get on with it, you can
almost always replace the system with a traditional boiler at a
later date.

That's comforting to know. There is in fact a built-in cupboard which could be used to house a hot water cylinder. It makes me think that the first owners were given the choice of a traditional boiler or a combi.
Combi boiler - Phil I
I think the combi will have the edge when it comes to fuel costs. I installed combi when we moved to our bungalow and now have 7 years of stats to show it was the right decision for us at the time. The delay for hot water at the tap is a function of the length of pipe run. Not a problem for our small bungalow as the combi is centrally located and all pipe runs to kitchen & bathroom are short..

Phil I
Combi boiler - No FM2R
I agree with everything Duchess said except;

>>Wouldn't recommend them for families or high occupancy dwellings though.

I have a a family and a never ending stream of long stay visitors. We have a combi boiler and it is superb. The water flow doesn't reduce if the water is colder, but the boiler burns longer. The water is delivered at 82 degrees. In the summer a wild guess would say that the boiler was burning on and off but for probably 30%-40% of the time that the tap is running. In the winter that can rise to another guess of 50/60%. Never does the delivered water temperature drop below that set.

I suspect that long runs could be a problem, but we solved that by having another boiler at the other end of the house.

Combi boiler - Xileno {P}
You need to get a good plumber (do they exist???) who knows about combi's. There are many different specs. I couldn't wait to rip out ours and replace it with a conventional boiler since the flow rate of our combi was pathetic. I suspect someone who didn't know Adam from Eve fitted ours. Had we known at the time we may have bought another house. Also as we wanted an Aga having a combi made no sense.
Combi boiler - No FM2R
>>Also as we wanted an Aga having a combi made no sense.

Out of interest, why not ? I have both.
Combi boiler - Xileno {P}
Because the Aga provides enough hot water itself for our needs and runs four radiators. Also we wanted to be on one fuel type e.g oil. When we have guests we can then fire up the reserve boiler which is oil.

I suppose we could have got a gas Aga although given gas prices today maybe we did the right thing.

I am not sure whether this makes sense to you - it did to us at the time...
Combi boiler - No FM2R
I presume that the Aga must have some kind of backboiler behind it ? I wouldn't have the space to do that since ours is against an external wall.

Other things against using the Aga for heating/water for me were...

The kitchen is not independantly heated, the Aga does enough on its own. If it were I would have to have pipes showing moving around the kitchen (Stone walls - literally stone, large, rough, pieces of it.).

The house is reasonably large, pumping the water up to the top of the house would have been an issue.

Previously the house had three cold water tanks and two boilers & immersion heaters - with combis I was able to get rid of the lot.

An Aga couldn't cope with 35+ radiators so I would have had to have two systems.

I wanted an Aga hotter/colder at times which didn't coincide with when I wanted heating or water hotter/colder.

I actually deliberately went for different fuels. The house has mains gas, bottle gas, oil and electricity. I had some vague idea that it allowed me to manipulate which fuel I used and avoid those which were more expensive that week. Naive, I know - I'm inventive, not smart.
Combi boiler - JH
No, inside it. Don't ask me the technicalities but it's described quite well on the Aga web site. Our Aga produices our hot water too.
Combi boiler - Group B
We had a Combi boiler in our student house at Uni, and that used to take an age to run a bath, over 20 minutes, but that was over 10 years ago and the boiler was probably faulty (everything else in the house was!).
In our house now the combi works fine and fills the bath in a perfectly reasonable time.
Combi boiler - RichardW
Combi boilers are to all intents and purposes a compromise - and not a very good one at that! They are complex, prone to breaking down, and expensive to fix (read fix by replacement) - they are, however, cheap and compact to install, which is why builders and plumbers like them. Typically they are 28 - 30kW - this can make a 35°C temp rise on incoming water (which will get you from 5°C inlet in winter to 40°C) at about 12l/min (ie you will get 12l/min of water at 40°C). Thus to get 100 - 120 litres in the bath it will take 10 or so minutes. If you're using the water (eg shower) there's none available for anything else. Once the boiler has switched to water, the heating goes off whilst you run the water -OK for one shower, but 6 in a row, and the heating is off for an hour effectively. As noted, if the boiler is cold and you demand hot water you have to heat the entire boiler, then the boiler water, then you start heating the water - which is why it might take 2-3 minutes to get hot water at the tap (and if you run the tap flat out to get it faster the opposite happens!). The 'efficiency' of not heating the tank is severly compromised in these situations...

One thing the revamp of the central heating in my house this summer will NOT be featuring is a combi boiler......!

Don't know what Mark's got, but it doesn't sound like a combi - unless it's a very big one (like 80+ kW!).

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Combi boiler - No FM2R
>>the heating goes off whilst you run the water

That is true, and it is a pain. We had exactly that happen in the winter when a bunch of showers were had in a row. However, in a house that's either better insulated than mine or less populated, I wouldn't have thought it an issue. Or didn't have South Americans in it who seem to believe that less than 4 showers a day is a bit grubby.

It most certainly is a combi, although admittedly quite a big one. However, don't ask me about kW or other techie stuff, way beyond me. Would it be written on it somewhere ?

Even stone cold I have never had it take 2-3 minutes to get hot wated. I doubt if its anything approaching even 1 minute. A bath fills pretty quickly - about the time it takes to get two children out of their clothes - and its a big bath, slightly over 6 ft long I guess since I can lie down flat in it.

The pressure coming thorough our combi is almost 3 bar if that makes any sense to you. It means nothing to me. I just know that our mains is at 4bar so we had to have a pressure reducer to take it down too 3.

I think the point that comes out in the end is that there is not really either good or bad. The point is to get what works for the particular situation you are dealing with, the demand you will place upon the system and the availability of cash and space.
Combi boiler - Big Bad Dave
There?s a lot to be said for a slower filling bath. Mine fills quicker than a manic hotel bath, I only have to leave the bathroom and be pre-occupied for a minute or two and it washes over and starts to flood the carpark below us.

Also Combis are fantastic for high occupancy. We used to have strings of Polish lodgers back in the UK all coming home from work and running a bath. When we conjugate at my parents? house at Christmas, two baths in a row is all you get from one hot water tank.
Combi boiler - Cardew
I have both systems, a conventional boiler in my house and a combi in a cottage.

To my mind it is a no contest - I am very disapointed with the Combi.

Apart from the disadvantages listed above - low hot water out put, heating off etc, there is another disadvantage. Because of the time taken to fill a bath, a shower is used most of the time. The temperature can be set OK but initially it is using the warmer water from the cold water pipes in the house(which are probably at 20C or so) When this is used it starts to draw water from outside and in the winter this can be 5C or so and the boiler simply cannot cope and heat it up.
Combi boiler - No FM2R
You must have an inadequate combi for the demand, I don't have any of the issues you describe.
Combi boiler - Cardew
You must have an inadequate combi for the demand, I don't
have any of the issues you describe.


This was stated in a post above

" Typically they are 28 - 30kW - this can make a 35°C temp rise on incoming water (which will get you from 5°C inlet in winter to 40°C) at about 12l/min (ie you will get 12l/min of water at 40°C). Thus to get 100 - 120 litres in the bath it will take 10 or so minutes. "

My Combi is a Worcester rated 30kWh(102,400Btu/h) which is pretty big?(it copes with heating the cottage very easily with the water temperature for the CH being 82C) but the nominal maximum flow rate for hot water is only 9 litres/min(+/- 15%) The problem I outlined above is that initially it is warming water at an ambient 20C for the shower and when that runs out and it gets water at 5C and goes luke warm. It can be readjusted, flow reduced etc but it is a bother -especially when you are wet and soapy)

Incidentally I spoke to the British Gas servicing man and he said they get loads of calls in the winter complaining that their Combi is not heating water sufficiently and he confirmed mine is working well.

So clearly it is inadequate for the demand, but I guess most of them are in that respect.

What is your combi rated at?

Combi boiler - No FM2R
>>What is your combi rated at?

Would you expect it to be written on it somewhere ? If so, I'll go and have a look.
Combi boiler - Altea Ego
MArk there will be a plate somewhere with its rating in BTUhrs - it mightbe well hidden. Failing that the model number and a quick web search should tell you.

I have indirect boiler and much prefer it, tho I have such a huge bath it empties the hot water from the storage tank at only half full.

The one really good thing about combis is that they are easier to design and install. Far too many indirect systems are stupidly designed and installed causing problems.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Combi boiler - Pugugly {P}
Don't miss the sale of the house you want over something so trivial. Live with it for a while and if it doen't work for you change it for something better. We have a Bosch Worcester Combi, this has a small heavily insulated tank which holds sufficient hot water for half a bath by which time the water coming through is piping hot. PU towers is a large rambling sort of place and if it works here it will work anywhere - trust me. Totally reliable for the last 9 years (apart from a very minor glitch). We had a French made "thing" before which, put i like this, put me off French made electrionics for life - utter rubbish.
Combi boiler - Vin {P}
Combi boilers get something of an odd press. People either love them or hate them.

Ours is pretty much what's required for a family of four living in a typical semi. We have a short pipe run downstairs, so we get very quick hot water. Upstairs, it's a longer run, so it's slower. I've never suffered the "cycling" that people seem to refer to above.


1. Come back after three days (or weeks or months) away, turn the tap on and hot water comes out.
2. Only uses gas when you're heating water (or the CH is on). I hate the idea of keeping a tank of water hot for no purpose.
3. We have two mixer showers that run at mains pressure, so no need for pumps, etc.


1. Apparently more complex and expensive to repair.
2. If the water is switched off, you don't have an emergency tankful.
3. I can't fit my solar heating panel to warm a tankful of water.

Combi boiler - Altea Ego

4. If it goes wrong you have no hot water, whereas an indirect system normally has a back-up immersion heater element.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Combi boiler - Vin {P}
By the way, when I say delay in getting hot water, I'm talking about 15 seconds downstairs and 25 upstairs.

Nothing like " it might take 2-3 minutes to get hot water at the tap" as mentioned above.

I've had experience of three combis now and NONE of them has taken 2-3 minutes to get hot water. That must be exaggeration. I don't believe that anyone would ever put up with a 2-3 minute delay. (and as regards a comment about the CH being off for an hour I don't believe many people run 6 baths one after the other - it assumes zero seconds for the length of the bath).

Combi boiler - No FM2R
>>Failing that the model number and a quick web search

I think its this one.....

Combi boiler - Cardew
>>Failing that the model number and a quick web search
I think its this one.....

It certainly has a higher output than mine with a DHW flow rate @ 35oC temperature rise of L/min 15.1 . Although according to those figures it will still take 8 minutes to run a 120 lt bath, and if the water temperature is 5C the water will only be delivered at 40C.

Combi boiler - No FM2R
Bath water is delivered at 79-83, it tends to fluctuate as the boiler kicks in and out. Certainly its hot - you need cold water as well, although with a cast bath the initial water cools off pretty rapidly. Filling a bath in the winter, the water is delivered at the required temperature and still the boiler wouldn't be running much mroe that 60%/70% of the water flowing time. I can't believe it takes 8 minutes to fill a bath, but to be fair I've never measured it.

Whatever, however the figures work out that particular boiler powers one bath, four hot taps, and about 25 radiators. And does it most satisfactorily too. Never yet run out of water, had water too slow, or had it too cold. The CH works fine too, although it is split into three zones with about 8 radiators a zone. The rest of the house is heated and supplied hot water from other boilers.

My point is, that it works for me. It might or might not be somebody else's choice, but unless horribly under-powered I can't see it being a disaster.
Mobile phone masts - artful dodger {P}
Just found this very useful site for mobile phone masts. Useful if you want to check likely reception for an area.


Hope its useful.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Cleaning a steel sink - ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond
We moved into our new house 3 weeks ago. It has a stainless steel sink in the kitchen which is hard to clean. It always leaves water marks/smudges on it.

Whats the best way to clean these sort of sinks so they come up like new each time.

Cheers for any help.
Cleaning a steel sink - henry k
Whats the best way to clean these sort of sinks so they come up like new each time.

To get rid of the water marks I use citric acid. It is sold in some chemists, but not Boots. You have to ask for it!
Do not worry about the name. We also use to make lemon squash. Do not use citric acid on enamel.
I use a few crystals on a damp cloth. You will of course get no use instructions on how to use it.
It is also used to clean wine bottles if you are a home wine maker.
A stainless steel polish will restore some shine.

The basic problem is hard water, so unless you rinse with soft water or get a water softener the problem will not go away.
Cleaning a steel sink - Peter D
Use a small amount of dishwasher power. Regards Peter
Cleaning a steel sink - Altea Ego
Change it. Stainless steels sinks are - in my opinion and experience - a real pain to keep looking nice.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Cleaning a steel sink - pmh
Brick cleaner , or buy in french hypermarkets as Hydrochloric acid. The more concentrated the better.

VERY effective but wear safety goggles and take suitable precautions. Dont use it for making lemonade!

pmh (was peter)

Cleaning a steel sink - Gromit {P}
Brick cleaner , or buy in french hypermarkets as Hydrochloric acid.
The more concentrated the better.

Wouldn't recommend this. Concentrated hydrochloric acid is strong enough to damage the sink (or the person cleaning it!) if spilled or applied at too high a concentration. Citric acid is perfectly adequate for the job.

I've found that applying neat thick bleach to the sides of the sink , and leaving it stand while you clean the rest of the kitchen, is effective. Bear in mind that if the steel is scratched, there's little - that I know of - you can do to rectify it.
Cleaning a steel sink - eProf
Whats the best way to clean these sort of sinks so they come up like new each time?.

henry k said:

"The basic problem is hard water, so unless you rinse with soft water or get a water softener the problem will not go away."

I'll second that point about the water softener! Not only does stainless steel look new again but all the accumulated crud around the taps fades away and the gunge inside the washing machine disappears as if by magic. I've cut my detergent costs by 75% (really) and, as manager of the car-washing department, I can vouch for the joy of not having to wipe all the windows clear of the old hard water streaks!
e Prof
Cleaning a steel sink - artful dodger {P}
There is a stainless steel cleaner available at Lakeland Plastics. Sorry cannot remember its name, but my wife uses it as it is the best stainless steel cleaner she has found. Not only does she use it on the sink, but also on the oven and hob. Cleans all the watermarks away easily, plus many other stains as well. Similar to you we live in a hard water area.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Cleaning a steel sink - Xileno {P}
Bar Keeper's Friend.

And then use any good limescale dissolver such as Viakal. Our sink is 16 years old and look like new. (In our house cleaning and laundry is my job).
Cleaning a steel sink - SjB {P}
We use "Shiny Sinks" made by Homecare Products (01473 832020) and easily available in most supermarkets to clear our hob, sink, kettle, and many other stainless steel items.

Essentially citric acid with a mild "Cif-like" consistency, it is superb; wipe on a tiny amount with a cellulose sponge, leave to dry, and rinse off.

Easy peasy and top results.
radio reception - wotspur

I listen in my 3 year old car to Talksport 1053/1089 all the time whilst driving around the country.
In the morning the receptiom is fantastic, but for some reason by 6/7 pm the reception deteriorates to a point where it is almost unlistable.
What's the reason and any solution??
radio reception - Altea Ego
In short - atmospherics and propogation. Stations on similar or the same frequency in other countries start to reach as far as the uk and destroy your reception. Happens in the evning to due cooling of the atmosphere.

There are temperature inversions, layers, tunnels, lifts, drops, skipping all sorts of things going on.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
radio reception - Pugugly {P}
Tune to Radio 4 get the best News coverage, a cracking comedy and the Archers !

Seriously sounds like an atmospheric issue to me (something to do with the ionishpere) Could be smething to do with the prevaling weather conditions////
radio reception - Pugugly {P}
Sorry TVM - My posting got disturbed by the phone.
radio reception - Stuartli
I listen in my 3 year old car to Talksport 1053/1089
all the time whilst driving around the country.
In the morning the receptiom is fantastic, but for some reason
by 6/7 pm the reception deteriorates to a point where it
is almost unlistable. >> What's the reason and any solution??>>

My wife listens to TalkSPORT several hours a day until the early hours of the morning.

The reception in our area is best on 1089MHz - it wasn't all that good at night with her original Roberts portable radio but, since I bought her a £21 Steepletone FM/AM radio with digital tuning and readout, reception has proved excellent despite beihg on AM.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Chas{P}
Hoping Backroomers that are BT customers can help with this:

I am trying to benchmark what is a reasonable monthly domestic telephone bill. My ex wife is racking up an £88 per month bill, that I am paying, which I feel is truly excessive for domestic use. I would be very grateful if the backroom could indicate what they pay per month for their BT service.

Reason for asking is that I need to go through a financial mediation process and need to gather some reasonable figures to negotiate with.

Many thanks in advance.

Was Charles {P} but someone c o p i e d my name with spaces.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Welliesorter
It's impossible to give a definitive answer but this does sound a lot. The cheapest BT line rental is £11 per month and this doesn't include any calls. On the other hand, BT Together Option 3 costs £25.50 per month and includes daytime, evening and weekend calls.

Unfortunately, it doesn't include international calls, or calls to mobiles, which are the most likely culprits for such a high bill.

There are ways of reducing the bill (have a look at the excellent moneysavingexpert.com) but I don't know the chances of persuading your ex to follow its advice.

Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - No FM2R
you need to find out what's causing the cost. My wife phones home (Chile) and her sister (West Coast US) and our friends (Brasil) all the time yet our monthly bill is nothing like that.

£45ish per month on the fixed line. I think her cell phone bill is a bit more than that. We pay for no broadband or other services on the fixed line.

One thing which can catch you out, if you are in the habit of dialling 14713, then you'll find the costs higher than a normally dialled call. Ditto getting directory enquiries or anyone else to cnnect you.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Stuartli
Go on the TalkTalk Talk3 International package (the one that includes free broadband).

Total cost per month is £20.99 per month including the BT line rental (paid by TalkTalk) and the integrated £9.99 phone service package includes free AnyTime UK calls to local and 01 and 02 numbers (obviously not 0845 or 0870 versions), free AnyTime calls to 28 international countries including the States, Australia and Europe, plus low cost rates elsewhere.



for details.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - drbe
For cheap (everything) alternatives have a look at www.moneyfacts.co.uk or www.moneysavingexpert.com

I use TalkTalk for my phone land lines,. possibly not the absolute cheapest, I think that prize goes to an organization called 18866 - or something like that.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - drbe
www.call18866.co.uk is the link I was thinking of.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Altea Ego

Family of me, wife (has family in Aus) , teenage son (with three girlfriends), interent paid seperately.

On BT Qtr charge inc line rental, phone calls (friends and family discount) approx £100 - thats £33 a month.

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - drbe
Re-reading the posts and looking at the websites does indicate that www.moneysavingexpert.com is by far the most comprehensive.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Stuartli
>>On BT Qtr charge inc line rental, phone calls (friends and family discount) approx £100 - thats £33 a month.>>

On TalkTalk's Talk International 3 you only pay £9.99 a month, as I stated earlier, for free AnyTime UK and international calls to 28 different countries, including Australia.

You don't have to take up the free broadband offer if you prefer (although you can deduct the current cost of your present ISP as a further saving).

Seems pointless to pay £33 a month if you can get it for £9.99 (plus BT rental of £11, which TalkTalk pays on your behalf)...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Altea Ego
I wasnt asking for ideas for a new tarrif, I wasnt suggesting my situation was the best, because thats not what the orginal poster was asking for.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Cardew
As said above even with BT your 'normal' (to numbers beginning 01 or 02) calls will cost only £25.50 a month. However calls to 0845 cost about 4p a min during the day and 0870 Nos 8p a min. Also of course the premium Nos beginning 09 can cost £1.50 a min. You can soon run up huge bills using them.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Chas{P}
Many thanks guys for the replies.

This has given me much more confidence to argue when the time comes. Spoken to BT and calling mobiles is the main culprit. Now registered on the BT website so I can see what's going on, online.

Aware of 18866. I use it where I'm living now and it saves a fortune.

What is it with women and phones??!
Was Charles {P} but someone c o p i e d my name with spaces.
Monthly phone bill cost with BT?? - Pezzer
It does sound alot - if I recall BT were offering bundled mobile phones too, (which never looked particually cheap to me). could that be a contributor. We're with NTL but I'd be surprised if our total cost including base charge was more than £25 per month.

Have Sodastream stopped trading? - Xileno {P}
None of the big supermarkets seem to have the gas cylinders or concentrates anymore and the website is unavailable.

Any ideas?
Have Sodastream stopped trading? - rory
Web-site must be down on a temporary basis. Correct address is sodastream.co.uk. I've had enormous and increasing difficulty sourcing gas; as you correctly say all supermarkets are gradually withdrawing. I've ordered and received all I need through the website ( very prompt ) and had the bonus of being able to get the gas in larger containiers than those previously stocked by supermarkets, typically 60 ltr capacity vs 35ltr.
Have Sodastream stopped trading? - Pezzer
I could be mistaken, but I think I remember seeing some of this in Wilkinsons last time I was there - might not have been OEM so to speak !
Have Sodastream stopped trading? - Pugugly {P}
They have a website - sodastream.co.uk - seems to be dead as the proverbial though.

{Although this thread is now closed, please continue with any questions in the next volume - DD}

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