Is the Customer Always Right?

An eager landlord leads me upstairs and instructs me about the loft ladder.  ‘That’s where you will find the feed tank for the radiators” he explains.  I agree with him, that is where you would normally find a feed and expansion tank. I make my way into the thick hot air of that cramped and dusty space to emerge, about 30 minutes later, having re-establised a cold feed pipe with new isolation valve to a once dry tank.  Sweat drips off my nose and my arms prickle and itch with loft insulation fibres.  I hate working in attic spaces at any time, let alone during the hottest temperatures of an English summer.

I pad downstairs and open the compartment door to the boiler. There, I cast my eyes upon a shiny silver filling loop and a couple of new Pegler isolation valves.  I reel in what this means! If you’re a plumber you’ll know that I’ve just got very hot and dirty in that attic space for no good reason at all. The filling loop is all that was needed to refill the radiators.

I didn’t charge for the time I spent up there and that’s fair enough. As the expert in this situation it would be hard to argue otherwise.  May I learn never to take the customers word for it and always doubt their plumbing prowess! It’s easy when you’re working long days to just go with their organisation. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve been caught out like this: I remember the time when the customer told me that he had turned off the water to the house at the stopcock but turned the tap all the way anti-clockwise rather than clockwise so that the water couldn’t have been more ‘on’ than off.  Fortunately, the valve popped back in without a fuss and there wasn’t a subsequent flood of water, just a short vigorous spray that woke me up to the situation very quickly!

Oh that I would stay ‘woke!’  Forgive me if I seem rude but I do just need to check ‘that’ myself and not just take your word for it.