Boilers and Clanking

Years ago a plumber came to my house for some reason or another, and he needed to go to the basement. He told me my boiler would need replacing soon and that it would cost approximately $567,983,9745.45, because it’s current set-up wasn’t legal anymore and they have to take a wall out and build in oxygen tubing and build a new wing on the house also, and then something about a wrecking ball.

OK I’m exaggerating, but he inspired me to ignore the problem.

This year I decided that I really needed to have my heating serviced. The radiator in the crafting/guest room has never worked, and I’ve never had a maintenance check done on the system (and I believe you’re supposed to have it checked annually?)

One team came in and fixed the broken radiator with a new valvedonglethingy. Shortly after they went to the basement to service the boiler I heard “Um, ma’am?!”


“The boiler is actually too dangerous for us to open up and get in there to service” It was so severely rusted that it was crumbing, and it was leaking too.

OK. Message recieved.

They gave me a very large estimate to replace the boiler, which contrary to what the plumber years ago told me, wouldn’t actually cost me $567,983,9745.45. But their price tag was still pretty high. And they admitted that they were in fact pricey but they were “really good at what they do”

I asked around for recommendations and the next guy was named Josh. Except when he showed up his sweatshirt said “David” on it and that just seemed dishonest to me. He wore a boot on one broken foot, and he had a frenetic way about him. He also busted into my house without a mask on, and for that I fired him in my head before he even got to the basement.

After looking around in the basement he came upstairs and asked somewhat breathlessly if I had a bathroom. I pointed up the stairs and he began telling me about the boiler as I followed up behind him (because he was talking to me it seemed appropriate). He went into the bathroom, still talking to me, lifted the toilet seat lid, still talking, reached for his belt buckle, realized what he was doing and said “Just a minute” before shutting the door, peeing, and then coming out again without washing his hands.

Let me show you to the door, sir.

The third guy visited when Dad was kind enough to come fill in for me while I was at work. He came recommended by a friend and his estimate was reasonable. (the plumber heating guy, not my dad, although I’m sure my friends would recommend my dad for doing dad stuff as well. He’s good at it).

They came the next week and installed it with little issues. I now also have a new WiFi-enabled thermostat which feels very fancy, even though it’s only purpose is for me to be able to lower the temperature using an app on my phone only to have me return to a cold house because I forgot to turn it back up. Fortunately this house warms rather quickly.

Today we have been hit by a very big snow storm. A neighbor down the street was shoveling earlier and it looked about as effective as someone trying to bail out the Titanic. So, our day has consisted of a lot of this…

But it has also included a lot of banging and clunking coming from the heating system. I was sure this was normal since the boiler is new, but I wanted to be responsible, so I went to the basement where it was loudest and made a quick video of the sound and sent it to the heater plumber guy. He assured me it was normal.

As I walked back up the stairs from the basement, I heard more rattling. But it was different. What NOW?! I thought. It was consistent and rhythmic, and then I realized…Harlow had her face in the plate I’d left on the coffee table and was clanging a spoon around by doing the pre-wash cycle with her busy tongue.

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