Tuesday, 14 February 2017


About month ago our twenty-three year old gas cooker finally gave up the ghost and died. It was no real surprise to us for the grill stopped working last year. We were not too bothered at the time because the oven and the top burners were still working efficiently. 
Sooner or later we would need a new cooker so we visited various retailers to find a good replacement.

In the middle of January we made our choice.
I particularly told the shop to ensure that the cooker was fitted with burner jets suitable for LPG  bottled gas (Butane) which is used here in the countryside as there is no piped gas supply.
I was informed that all of their cookers ran on ‘country gas’ and we arranged the delivery date.

The New Gas COOKER

The new cooker arrived, the defunct cooker was taken away to be scrapped and all that remained was to make the connection to the gas bottle. I had done this a great many times in the past and it had not been an obstacle.  I intended to do the same again, to the chagrin of the retailer, who said I needed a gas fitter to obtain a certificate. 

I competently made the connection without any leaks. Next job was to  the plug cooker into the electricity supply for the oven illumination and the six igniters.
Then came the first test, igniting the rings.
There were long yellow tips to the flames and the same phenomena also occurred in the oven.
Very clearly there was a problem. The burner jets were for the piped natural gas which is supplied to cities and towns.

Next morning I rang my supplier and informed him of my discovery. 
As I listened to his utter nonsense he tried to blind me with suggestions such as having fitted a bottle of ‘dirty gas’ which I totally refuted. Finally I was informed that the cooker had a kit with alternative burner jets, so I agreed to engage a Gas Fitter to replace them. 

The fitter arrived and then the real fun started. I don’t think he had ever changed burner jets before or even remove the various cooker parts, such as the top and front access panels. I ended up working alongside him, sometimes advising him on how to do his job. 


Re-assembly was even more humorous than taking it apart. We did achieve a sense of order eventually and used all of the screws that we had removed without having any left over. 
Then came the first test. Yes, the four top rings had blue coloured flames, as did the oven.


We then ignited the grill. Damn and blast! 
The igniter worked, we could see it sparking. The gas was coming through, we could smell it. But no ignition, we had a banjaxed grill.
I said “ Xxxk it !..... Disconnect the xxxxing thing! ........ The retailer can have it back.”

Our gas fitter was with us for three and half hours, a job that should only have taken an hour.

One week later (last week) a replacement stove arrived along with the Gas Fitter.
More fun ensued, a lot more fun this time. There were gas leaks at the connection and he was mystified. I explained that at the pipe connection union, where there was a fibre washer it had a tapered thread and that it did not need any PTFE tape. So he stripped off the tape and guess what ?  No leakage of gas - Heron was right. I did though ask him for a certificate of worthiness and it is my belief that I had earned it!


  1. I can for sure understand that this was no fun at all being in the middle of it, but this was very entertaining, Melvyn!!
    They should have hired you instead of those whimsy bicyclerepairmen ( my mothers expression for people who doesn't know their business) I am relieved to know they didn't blow up your house!!! How did you make your cooking and baking during this merry time, open fire in the garden?? What did mrs H say about you crawling on the floor with bolts and taps? I'll create a great certificate for you. Heron is right!!!

    1. We had a variety of meals most of them with mixed salads, cooked chicken, smoked fish and a few lunches in our favourite restaurants, one them featured on this blog recently. Tonight we celebrated with a home cooked curry. Oh' Mrs H was our coffee maker throughout the torment and also she is quite used to seeing and hearing me when I'm doing improvements/maintenance in the home. Thank you for your great comment Solveig.

  2. Good thing you were there to advise the fellow... you might not have had a house left

    1. Mrs H said that the thought did cross her mind !
      But... I never considered that Gwen, I guess I'm an innocent at large putting my faith with the fairies :-)
      Thank you for the comment.

  3. At least I know who to contact if my cooker packs it in :)

  4. We have propane and when we got a new gas stove my husband and a friend converted the burners with a kit that we ordered. The store that sold us the stove, we knew it was meant for natural gas, wanted over a $100 to convert it. My husband and his friend did it in an hour.

    1. Yes Janet an hour is all the time that is needed which proves that our didn't know what he was doing, thank you for commenting.

  5. So good you didn't have to do this kind of work on dangerous equipment that could possibly explode! That's certainly one supplier that won't be receiving a 5-star rating.

    1. I have always taken great care when working with inflammable products Mitch.

  6. Hi Mel - what a pain ... I hate that - when they think they know better ... but things still don't work. Oddly just had the gas man here ... I don't have gas, haven't had any in the 9 months I've been here ... numerous returned 'letters' ... a gas man to read the meter, and again - the meter had been taken away .. this morning the gas man commeth ... can I see your gas meter - I said there's no gas meter - no wonder British Gas charge so much for energy!!!

    I do hope the new cooker matches up and you're getting some home-cooked food ... sad tale, thank goodness for professional people - cheers Hilary

    1. Thank you for engaging Hilary. In regard to the Professions - all I can say is that some of them are idiots too, not all, just some !

  7. Flor said :
    Well done Mel. You are a gas man with great patience and another story to bring a smile to the lips of the sacred sane who enjoy a good yarn.
    Goodman yourself !

  8. Ah' I bow with gratitude for such praise from a hardy man of The Kingdom of Kerry :-)

  9. I'm glad the cooker saga is finally resolved, however i feel our luck with gas appliances has tranferrd across the miles as our ancient boiler heated its last radiator at the weekend! It was 27 years old so just a little older than your faithful old cooker & given good service! So the hunt for a reliable gas engineer is underway i do hope we have better luck than you!!! Enjoy your home cooked meals x

    1. Oh' what rotten bad luck just proves old boilers aren't what they used to be - no staying power ! I wouldn't recommend the gas fitter that we had.....
      Thank you for the comment Snappy xx


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