As is quite usual here, we’re not connected to gas mains. If people do prefer gas, for heating or cooking, then you usually find that they have it delivered and huge cannisters will be located somewhere about the property and we didn’t really fancy the eyesore or the faff. So we’re all electric here – and that includes the boiler. Or, the water heater, which we inherited. This really old fashioned tank has been located in the outdoor cellar, a good place for it as it means that it’s not taking up space in the house. But that’s probably the only good thing about it.

Our current bath is tiny – it’ll be replaced by something much more substantial in the next renovation project – but the capacity of the water heater is so small, that we’ve never actually been able to do a proper fill up of the bath, with hot water, without also topping up with the kettle. That’s right, it’s one of those really old fashioned water heaters that empties and then fills up and you have to wait for the water to heat up again. Gawd!

Luckily, the renovated shower room downstairs has sufficed and we’ve delayed on getting the inevitable boiler issue sorted. Until this weekend…

We hadn’t realised that quite a serious problem was brewing in the cellar until we spotted a small drip, drip, drip from the boiler. A call was made to our builder who said he’d come out as soon he could and a bucket was put under it – and we thought that all would be OK, for a little while. But, like with most renovations, things sometimes don’t go smoothly. And when they don’t go smoothly, there’s always more expenditure…

Yep, this is the sight that greeted us at the weekend. With the top beginning to blow and rusty water streaming over the sides, we knew that it was time to act. But, we’d never bought a boiler before. Although we’d obviously had new boilers in houses back in the UK, they’d always been sourced by plumbers who knew what they were doing. This time – although we did have advice from our builder – we had to largely sort it ourselves. Thank goodness for Google and translation apps ๐Ÿ˜‰

Two years ago, we wouldn’t have known where to begin – buying a loaf of bread was a challenge in those days! But, like I said in the last blog – where there’s a will, there’s a way. Having since navigated the purchasing (and subsequent MOTing and insuring and all of the complexities that this entails) of two cars, a new kitchen and bathroom and sorted out all utilities and broadband, we knew that we wouldn’t be defeated by a boiler. Renovating a house, we are now regular customers of Bauhaus, which is the equivalent over here of B&Q, and this was our port of call for a boiler.

The one thing that we noticed immediately was the difference in price between boilers hereย  and back in the UK. Interesting blog, eh? BUT, when soooo much expenditure is going into a big reno, this difference in price is a GOOD thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ We feel quite proud of ourselves that we navigated this purchase of quite an essential piece of house kit, in a different country and in a different language – and now are very close to having a proper full tank of hot water. Which means, that for the first time since we moved here, just being able to turn on the tap and a bath can be filled. Without recourse to a kettle…

Next step is actually having it fitted. We’re reliant on a builder who is brilliant and who can speak perfect English – which is super important when negotiating building works – but who is also very busy, and so we have to be very patient. However, we are crossing our fingers that he’s true to his word and barring any unforseen complications, arrives to tonight to instal. We’re dreaming of that deep, hot bath…

UPDATE

Things here do often happen very slowly and you have to just accept it, generally and go with the flow. But, no so with our boiler. True to his word, indeed, our builder did arrive in the week and installed the boiler. What we’d do without him, we just don’t know! Establishing that network of trusted people – however small that network is – is crucial to living a new life in a new country. He’s introduced us to more people who have helped us to do things, especially with the house, that we would never have thought we could do. And, because he now knows us and we know him and there is trust between us, he does go that little bit further for us. Meaning that he called out to us – at no additional out of hours charge – and fitted the boiler one evening this week. Meaning that we can now have a shower again, and for the first time since we moved into the house, fill the bath to a reasonable level, without resorting to boiling a kettle ๐Ÿ˜‰