Boiler Flue and my Weird Neighbour...Very Easy Question

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by Marianne Amy, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    Hi, I apologise in advance if this isn't appropriate for this site:

    Is it possible my peculiar neighbour is deliberately firing off his boiler flue when I am sitting beneath it on my doorstep? He does vindictive things that he can't be directly accused of. We are in a two storey block of flats and he lives directly above me. His fuel meters and boiler flue are right outside my front door but I don't know where my flue is yet so I can't experiment.

    I feel like I am losing it, like Inspector Clusoe's twitchy boss. When I sit on the step during breaks, letting my cats out (it started this summer), after a little while his flue inevitably fires RIGHT up and clanks and lets out huge power plumes that smell of gas. It would be just like him to turn his hot water on full to make it steam or something - is that how it works? Could he control the output, making it go full pelt so as to interfere with my moments of peace? Or is this paranoia? It's the kind of little games he plays, he is like Gollum and he keeps all curtains and blinds shut at the front where he can peek at what i'm doing out there. Cheers now!
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  2. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Is it possible? Yes, absolutely. If it's a combi boiler - which is very likely - then all they'd have to do is to turn on a hot tap as you say; that powers a combi up to 'max' right away = big plume + initial smell of unburnt gas.

    Is he/she actually doing this? Possibly - who knows.

    Are you paranoid? Possibly - who knows...

    I think that has it covered :)

    How can you prove/disprove it? By taking notes. But you'd also need to know if the flue plumes out when you are not there - how can you do this? Do you have a window that overlooks it?

    Most combi boilers have what's called a 'pre-heat' setting where it fires up for a number of seconds every - I dunno - 10 minutes or so? to keep it 'hot' so that it can deliver hot water instantly when required; it could be their boiler is doing this.

    I don't think there's any way you'll be able to tell what's going on unless you monitor it for a few days, noting down every time it comes on when you are not on your step coupled with how often it comes on when you are.

    How often do you sit on your step? How long do you sit for? And on how many of these times does the boiler fire up?

    Finally, can you post a pic of the boiler flue and it's location, please - it does sound as tho' it's been badly sited.
  3. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    Hi! Well thanks for this info and insight. Now I know for sure it's possible, I am gonna go full-pelt Poirot and do exactly what you suggested. I have a window that overlooks his flue. Yes, it is gonna take some effort and I may never know for sure. I will get a pic of the flue, maybe later today or tomo.

    I've noted that since the summer it happens nearly every single time I am out there, but not in the garden area, only when perched on my doorstep reading and supervising the cats (not an area where cats survive if roaming).

    I sit for about 10 to 20 mins if reading and it's warm enough. He would be able to hear me coming down my stairs to the front door I reckon. It usually takes about 5 mins max before I get a good old full-steam-ahead face full of his combi steam & gas. Yes, it's a combi, we are with the same landlord.

    I have read about the distance requirements for flues and I reckon it JUST fits the regulations. As I said, will take pics and maybe even measure distance. I don't want him to know i have totally cottoned on if he's doing it on purp (he is I know he is!) haha.

  4. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    "Most combi boilers have what's called a 'pre-heat' setting where it fires up for a number of seconds every - I dunno - 10 minutes or so? to keep it 'hot' so that it can deliver hot water instantly when required; it could be their boiler is doing this."

    Duly noted! I imagine it'd be a gentler stream of vapour than the blast I experience. It'll blast then blast again and again for a good few seconds each time. I reckon each time it blasts and I hear a "CLUNK" it might be him turning the tap back on. I shall start my research's quite a minor thing but it's for my curiosity...he's so weird.
  5. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Yes, as you say - the 'pre-heat' setting is usually quite innocuous, but turning on a hot tap full will often be more obvious.

    BUT we mustn't jump to conclusions!

    Hopefully plumbers will tell us how often a pre-heat fires up 'cos I'm not sure.
    Marianne Amy likes this.
  6. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    Are you out there smoking by any chance? It's possible he doesn't want the nasty smell near his place?

    More likely though is that it fires up all the time anyway and you just happen to be there.
    Allsorts likes this.
  7. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    That's a good - both - point(s)!
  8. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    Not smoking, no. Maybe it fires up all the time, but I don't think it does, not so fiercly. It only started this summer since we fell out last November, it didn't used to happen. Cheers for responding, sorry if it's a daft thread for this website.
  9. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    .... maybe your neighbour hates your cats?
  10. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    Here's my brother's response to me telling him I put this thread up (I asked his advice after posting incase no-one responded!)

    You told this to Screwfix? Why Screwfix? LOL! [​IMG]"
    Allsorts likes this.
  11. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    maybe he's a loon! he hates me cos i asked him to turn his tv down a couple of times and asked him to stop leaving massive piles of food on the ground. he has some sort of mental/personality problem, he's notorious.
    Heat likes this.
  12. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Well-Known Member

    Look at it another way his gas bills are gonna be massive
    Marianne Amy likes this.
  13. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Well-Known Member

    Unless his behaviour escalates i would ignore it
    Marianne Amy likes this.
  14. Marianne Amy

    Marianne Amy New Member

    oh yes, i am pretending to ignore it. but i am curious and i want to see if my hunch is right.
    i have a plan.
    i'm going to stand with the door barely ajar, or sit by it on my stairs and wait an hour or so and see if it goes off then i am gonna go and sit on the step (When he's deffo in) and see what happens. :p
  15. DIY womble

    DIY womble Well-Known Member

    Its not me
    Marianne Amy likes this.
  16. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    ...apart from the 'notorious' bit.
  17. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Then get yer bro' over, send him out to the garden - as far from the door as possible - get him videoing the doorway on his phone, wait a goodly bit so's the flue has a chance to plume, and then you come out and have a seat...
    Marianne Amy likes this.

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