Inspector Clouseau Rides Again?
Regular readers may recall that the last time I had been quiet for an unusually long time was because the farm house was absorbing an inordinate amount of my time and attention.
We are now in inspection mode. In order to be completely finished we need something called a Code of Compliance certificate from the local council. The first ‘final’ inspection that we had about a month ago resulted in a two page list of items ‘requiring attention.’ We’ve given them attention. Lots of it. The inspector man came out two days ago for a second ‘final’ inspection and we passed!
Is it time to celebrate?
There is another part of the inspection process that involves paperwork. And one of the pieces of paper you need involves certification of the gas system. Now I’m not adverse to the idea of ensuring the safety of a system that pumps explosive gas through the house. But I would have thought that inspecting the system would occur a little earlier in the process.
So yet another inspector shows up. He is very serious. Gas is not a laughing matter. He does his inspection thing and zeroes in on the gas cook top. It isn’t a stove, it’s a cook top built into the kitchen counter. A hole was made in the countertop and the cook top was wired, piped and screwed and glued into place. I.e., you can’t move it. And that is important to the story.
He gets out a ruler and measures. And measures again. And scratches his head. And purses his lips. And shakes his head. And tells me that he must go to his car where he has his portable library of regulations.
I recognise this as Not A Good Sign.
He comes back with a book which says that the burners on a gas stove must be 200mm from the wall. And the ones in our nice new kitchen are 190mm. According to him, any attempt to cook on the stove will result in a conflagration and concomitant immolation. And the pasta won’t be al dente.
As we used to say, I understood where he was coming from. But. Ten millimetres! That’s this big: ——– . One lousy centimeter! The alternatives seemed to be moving a wall, moving the stove top, which is embedded in a hole in the kitchen counter, or, I guess never using the stove.
So I stopped laughing long enough to ask him why a professional kitchen design and building company would build a kitchen that didn’t comply with the law.
Did he say, “I’ll have their license for this!” No. Did he say, “Shit happens.” No. He said, and I quote, “They don’t know about these regulations.”
Like Elvis, I guess that Kafka hasn’t left the building either.
It turns out that the problem can be easily fixed. By installing a fire retardant surface on the wall. “Talk to your kitchen people,” was his helpful suggestion. I immediately formulated a conspiracy theory.
“And what are they going to tell me?”
“You can use glass, stainless steel or tile. They can help you.”
“Help?” I thought to myself, but I actually said, “Did you say tile?”
He consulted his regulations. “Sure. See, right here it says ceramic tiles have a gβΔTLc3/(να) and a k/(ρcp) (m2/s) so you don’t have to worry about u0Lc/ν!”
“That’s great!” I said.
Stainless steel and glass might have been beyond my skills, but I figured, how hard would it be to put up some tiles?
How much tiling experience do I have, you ask.
None. Not a bit. I took a 3 hour class at a local tile shop and they gave us a DVD (where everything looks a lot easier than it really is, let me tell you).
Fortunately, my friend Peter has a lot of experience and he helped me.
Sic transit the weekend.
But it looks really good. And so was the pasta.