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Sunday, 17 January 2021
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September 2006 PDF Print E-mail

A frantic start to the electric and water are finally on their way to the caravan.

Friday 1st

After a generous day's notice, we are moving out of our existing house today.

A very early start, having picked up the van yesterday. A lot of stuff to move, some of which is going into storage, some is going to the caravan for when we move in, and some is going into Emma's Mum's place - a bit in the loft and other stuff into her house where we are living for the near future. Whether it all ends up in the right places is another matter !

We manage to vacate the house by 1pm, drive to the storage place and unload the van contents, return to our ex-home to collect one of the cars and drive the van back to the hire place, return to our ex-home-town and squeeze in an hour's meeting with the architect, then drive both (still full) cars to Emma's Mum's house.

A long day, and although not as upset to leave as we expected (the house didn't feel like a home anymore by the time it was emptied), it's not really sunk in that we don't actually have a home any more.

There is a real sense of "no going back now", it's a big step and without a home to back home to each night, the full impact of the task ahead becomes apparent.

Also, the electricity company were supposed to be fitting the meter at our site today - when we drove up to look in the evening it hadn't been done. Whether that's because we weren't able to be around, or because I haven't left enough room for the meter in the meter box, we don't know - something to phone up about on Monday.

Finally - the highlight of our day. We log on to our internet banking, and with the proceeds of the house sale - see the largest bank balance we're ever likely to see !!

Monday 4th

Rang Powergen today to find out why the electric meter hadn't been fitted on Friday - only to be told they never actually booked the visit. So we now have another date - 2 weeks away. At least it wasn't difficult to get hold of Powergen on the phone, unlike Severn Trent.

The Severn Trent "New Connections" department is the hardest place to get through to I have ever encountered. It's taken me 2 days of calling to finally get through. And when I ask what date they have allocated for our connection, I get a not-very-confidence-inspiring confused answer and a "I'll email our scheduler to find out, we'll call you back". What do you reckon the chances are ?

Wednesday 13th

Not much to report recently.

I am getting increasingly frustrated with Severn Trent - it's been about 5 weeks since the trench inspection and still no sign of them supplying a connection date. On the rare (4 or 5 out of 30+) attempts when I have managed to get through by phone, I get the same response - "We'll email the scheduling team and someone will get back with a date". Guess what...

And the architects still haven't finished the construction drawings and submitted them for build regs approval. This is a very frustrating time.

On the upside, we spent the weekend away and went to see Robbie Williams live in Leeds !

Thursday 14th

Another day, another long wait on the phone to Severn Trent, another promise to "email the schedulers who'll get back to you".

Friday 15th

The day of the electricity meter fitting and connection. Arrived reasonably early on site to complete the earth wiring to the meter box and caravan, and connect the outside sockets to the meter box. By mid morning, the guys had been and installed the meter - so the site now had electricity. Here's an exciting shot of the meter box:

Photo of temporary electricity meter box

Before I hooked up the caravan, I wanted to have a good look at the existing wiring to check what state it was in, and earth it properly. Spent the rest of the afternoon pulling consumer units apart and checking connections...just the one melted wire was found !

Saturday 16th

Emma and I were both on site today. Emma spent the day starting the transformation of the caravan from last-minute moving-day storage unit to a home. I finished checking the wiring, and hooked the caravan up to the electricity supply.

Thankfully nothing went bang, and what a novelty - we had lights, and could plug the vacuum cleaner in !

The caravan is looking much more homely now - all we need is water and we can move in.

Monday 18th

Another call to Severn Trent. Only took about 10 minutes today before I got through, and after some fairly stern words I eventually got a connection date - Wednesday next week. And I don't need to be on site, which is good - one less day to take off work.

ll I need to do now is put some fittings on the end of the water pipe !

Friday 22nd

Our first bit of post in the new letter box that I recently fixed to a makeshift gatepost at the top of the drive. How exciting !

Monday 25th

Stopped by on the way home to start filling a bit more of the trench in. I had another ton bag of pea gravel delivered at the weekend to bed more of the exposed water pipe with.

Tuesday 26th

A bit more trench filling, though having a cold & sore throat means I'm not operating at 100% and the distraction of chatting to John our neighbour was a welcome one !

Wednesday 27th

We have water - hurrah ! So far it's only to the standpipe, I should get the caravan connected by the weekend.

Photo of running water

Saturday 30th

A busy day on site today trying to get the caravan ready; Emma cleaning up inside, and me trying to get the water connected.

I thought I'd bought all the fitting required for the water, and had nearly finished - but when I came to connect the final tee into the standpipe I realised I was short of two little plastic pipe inserts and therefore scuppered. So we retreat to our lodgings for the night, picking up the pipe inserts from the nearby B&Q on the way, determined to finish tomorrow and move in.

And that is the end of September, another frustrating month.


1/2. Consumer unit
Written by Philip
Wednesday, September 20 2006
Lee, be careful with the incoming mains terminals! we had one cook a few months after we connected up, the terminal is welded to brass links behind the breaker this snapped while I connected it, I didnt notice until it cooked three months later

2/2. Consumer Unit
Written by Lee
Thursday, September 28 2006
Philip Thanks for that, I'm going to be giving things a good check over when we start using some real power - IE the electric shower in the caravan!

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