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I have written before about the total lack of mechanical knowledge and aptitude of my eldest brother, and of the fact that he is a legend amongst his family and friends for being so totally lacking in knowledge of even minor repairs around the home. As I wrote at the time “His finest utterance was on the subject of wine; he had been persuaded to buy a different brand of booze at the supermarket, and he had tried to get the cork out of the bottle for twenty-seven minutes before learning that the bottle had a screw-top!

He called me up some years ago to ask my advice on a gas boiler and hot water shower problem he thought he was having, and he was astounded to learn that I could solve his problem over the phone whilst being some 300 miles apart. He called me again to again ask if he was doing the right thing in taking up an offer and estimate from British Gas for the complete replacement of his gas boiler for the princely sum of over £2,000.00, as the fitter had recommended a salesman to call because the boiler was ‘old and in need of replacement’.

I asked my brother if the boiler had passed the ‘safety inspection’ which the British Gas CORGI fitter had carried out, and he replied that it had passed, and he had the certification on his hands. I then told him to find a local Gas Repair Company from the Yellow Pages, and get a second independent opinion.

He called me back a week later and thanked me for the advice, as the independent Company’s salesman had stated that his boiler was perfectly sound; but when it eventually went wrong, and was ready to be replaced, his Company would be pleased to do the work, fit and commission a brand new boiler, for the princely sum of £650.00!

I write of this because I trust neither the Government, B&Q, British Gas, or indeed any independent ‘Assessor’ to speak the truth when dealing with things which the average householder just does not either understand or appreciate!

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