Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Le Dépanneur

Our boiler has been acting up recently. We started smelling a strong odor of heating fuel in the utility room a few days ago. And then suddenly, the boiler starting cutting itself off automatically when it's not supposed to. This is a safety feature, so at least we know that's working. Then, when it does cut off, the burner kind of diesels a little, making a shuddering noise. That's not good.

The heating technician's truck outside our house. And he does wear that blue uniform.

So we called the people who maintain our boiler. We bought a service contract with them several years ago. They come once a year to clean and check the boiler and replace the fuel injector. And they provide service calls at no cost. You can read about our last encounter with them here.

We called a guy out on Saturday to look at things. He did some adjusting and said it should work all right. It was better, but then it starting cutting out again on Monday. So we called again. Another technician came by on Tuesday morning and said that it looked as though the fuel pump was dying. He heard the dieseling noise when the boiler cut off and that confirmed it for him.

Now we're waiting for an estimate on the replacement of the fuel pump assembly. The technician said we were looking at between €150 and €300. We only pay for the part, the labor is included in our service contract. Still, it's not cheap, but it's much better than the cost of buying and installing a brand new boiler. It's a German unit that's only eighteen years old, so it should last longer. The guy told me that with a new pump it should continue on just fine for some time.

I hope he's right.


  1. 18 years old...that is old by Uk standards..Yes you are lucky not to have to replace it. We moved into this house 4 years ago, and the boiler was working and over time it started clunking when it started up....yes it clunked right through the was because the radiators (most of them) were the originals, and full of muck..when I say the originals I mean 40 years old ...we have had to fit a new boiler, last november it cost us...£4000, it took to men 1 week, it had to placed somewhere else. I had 4 days of no hot water or heating, but worth it in the end.

  2. hope he can fix it quickly so ur not without heat for long.....there's another snow event in DC today (and here in richmond) & the feds continue to be shut down

  3. Would it be too gay for me to say I think their little van is cute?

  4. Larry, I think the guy on van is very cute- I love those little French work trucks.

    Walt, I hope the new heat pump works well and doesn't set you back too many euros.

  5. Larry Ohio made me laugh! I hope your boiler problems are fixed by now as I see it is getting cold again in France.
    For the first time this winter, there was frost on the roofs this morning. It was really chilly but it is warming us nicely now with a gorgeous week-end in the high 70's.

  6. Good luck with the replacement and I hope it's the lower of the price options.

  7. anne, now you're scaring me! Our boiler doesn't heat our water; we have an electric water heater. So the boiler only really runs in winter. And we only run it a few hours a day. Our wood stove takes over in the afternoons. Also, this house was never occupied in the winter until we moved in. It was formerly a summer home. So I'm hoping all of that combines to prolong the life of our boiler.

    larry, is there such a thing as too gay? ;)

    evelyn, we'll see. We're still waiting for the price quote.

    nadege, oh, I'd love to see high 70s right about now!

    starman, me too! Thanks!


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.