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shadow

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  1. Update - tried one last time with the iso valves - this time they worked, not sure if BG did something to them... so we do have a leak. Anyway, capped off the dining room, no joy, then this morning took up a floorboard in the living room. Pretty jammy, instantly found a pipe sitting on the ground in a puddle of water - lifted it and found a pin hole spraying out a 1mm jet of water downwards. So end result, PITA, but we did get a new heat exchanger for free (if you ignore the £12/month we've paid for the cover for the past 3 years)
  2. They have completely disconnected the boiler and capped off the pipes, and it kept pressure perfectly, so they are saying the iso valves must be faulty - however the iso valves were holding water fine (according to the engineer - as they were used to isolate while the boiler was disconnected and pipes capped). So my concern is, assuming the iso valves are fine, why is the boiler losing pressure when these is volves are closed, but not losing pressure when its been physically disconnected and capped off? Could it be that one of the pipes that was actually disconnected could be the problem - i.e. while connected, it's doing something that affects system pressure? The following was capped off: - return and flow - the hot and cold water pipes for the water system - the incoming mains feed (this has a bendy pipe that had been physically taken off at both ends - I assume there was some kind of isolation valve involved) From memory, I believe the hot/cold and mains feed were reconnected first, then after 24 hours the return and flow were reconnected (back to 1 bar per day pressure drop) BTW, further info: I believe it was the primary heat exchanger that was originally replaced. They did find water inside - they said it was the most expensive part you can replace (£350). They also said the the 'secondary' exchanger was a really obscure possibility, which is apparently why they also capped off the hot/cold pipes, just to make sure. We've checked the boiler for water leaks inside and out, nothing as far as we can see - bone dry. Condensate and pressure release pipe bagged overnight with boiler off and nothing inside in the morning (apressure drop of around 0.4 bar had occurred). If the iso valves weren't happily holding water, I'd be happy to accept they were faulty and that it's a system issue, but it doesn't seem possible that those valves can hold water but not pressure. Is there any way, no matter how obscure, that it can still be a boiler issue if every single pipe going into the boiler is physically capped off (except for the incoming gas supply pipe)?
  3. I was hoping someone could give some advice about our problem. 2 weeks ago, our Valiant boiler started losing pressure, approximately 1 bar every day. I switched it off and isolated the return and flow using the valves underneath the boiler, but the pressure kept dropping at the same rate. Hence the assumption was boiler problem, not system leak. We've got BG boiler cover, so gave them a call. They isolated the boiler the same way to double check - boiler still losing pressure. So they investigated further - bags placed over condensate and pressure relief pipe to catch water (nothing there). They found water inside a container in the boiler - this led to them replacing the heat exchanger. But pressure still dropping (same rate). So, boiler completely disconnected and capped off (return and flow, mains supply and hot and cold feeds, but not gas supply). Pressure held perfectly. Before reconnecting, the expansion vessel was noted to be quite flat, so this was pumped (but they stated this was unrelated as pressure was not rising with heating on). Boiler now reconnected, but is still losing pressure. So, BG say it's a system leak. Okay, but why is there pressure loss in the boiler when we use the isolation valves under the boiler? BG say those valves definitely hold water as they were used when disconnecting the boiler - however BG suggest that they 'can hold water, but perhaps not pressure'. That doesn't makes sense to me Before we start ripping up flooring looking for a leak, can anything think of a reason that may have been overlooked? Is it possible for the isolation valves to 'not hold pressure' but happily 'hold water'? Is there 'something' different when using isolation valves compared to completely disconnecting and capping off return and flow pipes? Any thoughts, however obscure, would be much appreciated!
  4. Have you thought about a water meter? Our bill is half what it was compared to the one we would get calculated from rateable value of the property (2 adults, 3 kids).
  5. I've run a web development company for nearly 10 years now, and know that as with any industry, 'expensive' doesn't guarantee value for money. If you are going to invest in a third party to deal with your site, you have to ensure you are getting a good return on your investment. I've seen all sorts of clients in my time - some simply want to concentrate on running their business, so are happy to pay a lot of money to have a company deal with the site for them. Some want to retain a level of day-to-day control, so we'll make sure they have a good content management system in place. If you want to deal with it all yourself, that's fine if you feel you have the skills and time to dedicate to it. Using a DIY hosted solution is always an option, but you'll normally have to accept being somewhat confined in what you can and cannot do within the limits of the system you are using. Also in the case of these hosted DIY services or anything provided by a third party, make sure you know what your options are should you find (for example) the hosting unreliable, or you are generally unhappy with the service. Can you take your site away with you? Who owns the design? Who owns the 'site' as a whole? What about the actual content and product database - will you be provided with an export of this, or is it simply a case of being switched off, end of story? Can you walk away with everything you need for your new developer to quickly recreate your site, or do you have to start completely from scratch? What happens if the service provider goes under? TBH, there's plenty of great free and commercial scripts out there that can get the job done, but there are a lot of skills you'll need to learn - design, coding, copywriting, hosting, site admin, SEO, marketing, dealing with web enquiries and customer problems, browser testing, usability, accessibility, legal issues and requirements, web traffic analysis etc etc. For me, I think it's all about getting the marketing nailed and then working on your conversion process once people come to the site. Sites do not need to be gorgeous, but they need to do very specific tasks well - i.e. customers need to find what they want quickly and easily, and your desired conversion 'goals' need to be achieved (i.e making a sale, getting them to contact you with an enquiry, sign up to newsletter etc).
  6. The auto suggestions feature on Google is simply based on the most popular searches people are making. However, there is some manipulation going on, and that's been admitted by Google. They have purposely changed the suggestions was under pressure from the entertainment industry to remove words like 'torrent' after the name of popular films etc. Actually, just checked, and if you just type the single word 'torrent', nothing comes up at all (in the auto suggestion box).
  7. You usually get a % discount annually or quarterly by paying by direct debit, plus sometimes the entire plan will have per unit prices lower than quarterly billing plans (before any DD discount).
  8. 1) You'll be in credit at this time of the year, because you build that credit up over spring/summer to help pay for the excessive usage over autumn and winter. 2) Your direct debits are being increased by around 20% as your unit prices for energy have been increased by around 20% (maybe more if you've just come off a plan). This is how variable direct debits work, and they usually get it spot on over a 12 month period. And if you don't like it, either switch providers or move to quarterly billing and don't bother with the 'direct debit' discount. We were with Eon until recently, and they were pretty good with ensuring we were pretty much zero balance each annual review. And if they owed you money, you could request it paying back at any time. Shame their current tariffs suck as we'd have stayed with them.
  9. British Gas haven't admitted it, some poor phone support guy was put on the spot and asked to provide things he doesn't even remotely have the ability to provide, like email server records and recordings of a phone conversation. How are they going to prove it either way? Companies don't keep email server logs for events that happened 15 months ago (6 months is the voluntary code requirement), and if it was sent by royal mail, there'll be no record either (unless sent via 'recorded signed for' - unlikely). Assumption is always going to be that it got sent and the OP either lost it, went to his spam folder, forgot about it etc. Onus will be on the OP to prove otherwise (IMO). Not fair, but realistic. As the OP says, he barely uses gas, so it seems pointless getting in a strop about something you'll never be able to prove for what must be a rather small sum of money. We all know all these energy companies have confusing tariffs and cannot be trusted as far as you can spit, which is more reason to keep more alert on your own situation and continually check your bills and consumption. This way you pick up mistakes quickly, rather than discovering 15 months later when there's nothing you can realistically do about it.
  10. You can't really expect them to back date your account just because you insist you never received an email from them. I know it's frustrating, but it all sounds very 'he said she said' and I doubt you'll get far with Ofgem with this. Basically you can't prove you never received the notice and they can't prove they sent it, but it's most likely that they did. Ultimately it's your responsibility to keep an eye on these things, so when a bill comes, actually read through it to check the details. You say your payments were gradually rising, so most people would have been checking to see why rather than assume they were just using more. It only takes a few minutes to check your account. I'm surprised they didn't inform you via letter that the websaver was ending, other suppliers do it that way. But was there nothing in your online account indicating what package you were on? Did you ever check what the current unit prices were that you were paying? Is that possible from your online account? Did they not tell you the plan end date when you originally signed up? Of course, giving grief to a random customer service rep rarely works out too well. Better to be ultra-polite and they tend to bend over backwards for you. Anyway, if you say you haven't used much anyway, I reckon now's the time to head over to energyhelpline.com and switch - chalk it up and make sure in the future you make a point of always spending 10 minutes checking your bill each quarter.
  11. LOL, yeah I realised while typing that I may be asking the impossible How about reasonably priced and honest?
  12. Can anyone recommend a decent drain repair company/person? We have a suspected broken underground drain, but want a proper investigation first to confirm how bad it is before deciding whether to get the insurance involved or not. Not keen on dyno-rod and the like, would prefer someone local, reliable, honest & reasonably priced
  13. As many have said, Aldi has always done the speedy checkout system, I really don't see the problem, it means shorter checkout queues. If you want to take your sweet time packing your bags and holding everyone up, go to Sainsbury or Waitrose, it seems to be more acceptable there. Must say though, Aldi are no longer 'cheap' and a lot of the food is ropey IMO. Plus many of the Thurs/Sun specials are not really that special any more, mainly just 'okay' prices. LIDL seems to be the best of the 'budget' supermarkets, the food selection seems better, plus nice fresh bread.
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