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The problem with plumbing...

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The problem with plumbing...

Postby Daniel Meyer on Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:31 pm

Here's the problem with plumbing....

Before many, many hours (and months) of backbreaking work:
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*After* many, many hours (and months) of backbreaking work:
Image

Yeah. It's better. But it doesn't *look* better.

Sigh.

Today I sledged a 4" cast-iron sewer stack and the associated drain lines out of the house. "Sledged" is a term describing swinging a dangerous heavy weapon in the confined spaces of an attic and under the house, dodging the shrapnel and other, less pleasant flying debris, and then hauling a ton or two of shattered cast iron out of said confined and dangerous spaces.

Mass destruction and I didn't even need power tools!

Later, I did get to use several nailers repairing the hole in the roof that results from a faulty flashing around a cast iron stack over the years.

Tomorrow...beadboard! (I wonder if I can put it up with a sledge hammer...)
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby lavender_bush on Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:09 am

Daniel Meyer wrote:Tomorrow...beadboard! (I wonder if I can put it up with a sledge hammer...)


Of course you can! :roll: Haven't you seen the DIY programs where they 'age' furniture using hammers and chains?

Yours will just be a little more... hmmm.... rustic? Just think how much age/character the sledgehammer and your window weights combined could add to a little beadboard :lol:
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby brian89gp on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:59 pm

When you were smashing up the old stack, did you have much of a problem with the pieces falling down the stack?

I am looking to do much the same thing to my place soon but don't want the chunks of cast iron falling down the stack and plugging it up below the transition to new plumbing.
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby Texas_Ranger on Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:16 pm

Was the stack so bad you had to rip it out? I'm praying for ours to last as long as possible (we have a grand total of 3 cast iron waste stacks, each across 6 floors). They're just so nice! PVC waste stacks are much noisier than cast iron. I know a place where they replaced the waste stack, and when someone flushes the toilet upstairs I'm alway inclined to run to the bathroom, checking whether there's water pouring out of the wall, it's that noisy!
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby Daniel Meyer on Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:51 pm

brian89gp wrote:When you were smashing up the old stack, did you have much of a problem with the pieces falling down the stack?

I am looking to do much the same thing to my place soon but don't want the chunks of cast iron falling down the stack and plugging it up below the transition to new plumbing.


Yes, you would have to work that out...the weight of the stack had crushed the lower part of it so it wasn't any good anyway.

They make a cutter for cast iron pipe...a chain wraps it and it has cutter wheels...but you don't spin the chain, you just apply tension to it (with the handle) and it "pops" the pipe in a clean cut along the wheel...if you had to preserve the lower transition I would use one of those to cut out a section clean and then plug the lower with a rag and then smash away on the upper.

Texas_Ranger wrote:Was the stack so bad you had to rip it out? I'm praying for ours to last as long as possible (we have a grand total of 3 cast iron waste stacks, each across 6 floors). They're just so nice! PVC waste stacks are much noisier than cast iron. I know a place where they replaced the waste stack, and when someone flushes the toilet upstairs I'm alway inclined to run to the bathroom, checking whether there's water pouring out of the wall, it's that noisy!


The pipe itself was in good condition. Everything else was as bad as it is possible to be. The flashing on the roof was incorrectly installed and split to boot...so it's been leaking up there for about thirty years more or less...despite the gallons of tar...then the weight of the stack had crushed the plumbing under the house...leaks everywhere. And it was snapped inside the wall at a joint allowing sewer gas in the wall...and snapped just below the wall underneath allowing sewage to splash up and soak the joists...AND we're redoing the bathroom anyway...
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer
Author. Adventurer. Electrician. Cat God.
http://theoldvictorian.com
http://lifeisaroad.com
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby Texas_Ranger on Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:19 am

Ouch, the situation does sound bad... I think one section of one of our waste stacks has already been replaced, based on the facts that I heard hammering all day long and a plumber showed up, asking us not to flush any toilets above :D
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby Vaso7 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:56 am

I personally can see a lot of problems with plumbing the worse being my failure to ever undo the old plumbing...

How many times do I need to do something absolutely trivial and after days and days of effort still can not take apart the old stupid nut. Most of these cases end in me calling my plumber and pay high end Boston prices. For example I needed to change and old faucet. Super trivial with the only detail that I had to remove the old one first :evil: . Ok, a week later the plumber came with his assistant and the biggest wrench I ever saw. It took the whole body power of 2 large man to undo that stupid hateful nut.... It make me so mad. Anytime I do something, my plumber yells at me that I left it a little loose. Yes I say, IN PURPOSE because I want the next owner down the road not to have to call YOU to undo it when time comes..... It is a conspiracy.... In most cases those fixtures do not need to be tighten and glued like there is no tomorrow.....
ok, enough venting.
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby pqtex on Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:34 am

Vaso7 wrote:I personally can see a lot of problems with plumbing the worse being my failure to ever undo the old plumbing...

How many times do I need to do something absolutely trivial and after days and days of effort still can not take apart the old stupid nut. Most of these cases end in me calling my plumber and pay high end Boston prices. For example I needed to change and old faucet. Super trivial with the only detail that I had to remove the old one first :evil: . Ok, a week later the plumber came with his assistant and the biggest wrench I ever saw. It took the whole body power of 2 large man to undo that stupid hateful nut.... It make me so mad. Anytime I do something, my plumber yells at me that I left it a little loose. Yes I say, IN PURPOSE because I want the next owner down the road not to have to call YOU to undo it when time comes..... It is a conspiracy.... In most cases those fixtures do not need to be tighten and glued like there is no tomorrow.....
ok, enough venting.


You are not alone! It took me WEEKS to replace a toilet seat because I couldn't undo the bolt on the old one. I used almost every tool I had (and I have considerable), including hack saws. The toilet is so close to the wall that the flush handle actually touches the tile and there is almost no room to work. In addition, the bathroom is only four feet deep, so I had to work with my legs curled up and one arm around each side of the toilet, and my neck twisted around. I could probably qualify to work for Cirque du Soleil now as a contortionist. At the same time, I was working on a leak, and the handle to the cut off valve broke off. Of course, it was located in that corner behind the toilet that was even less accessible than the toilets seat bolts.


And Daniel...yeah,I understand all too well how much work can go into this house that can't be seen. My husband spent hot summer weekends leveling this house. Hot, sweaty, spider work. I've spent a boatload of money on other things that can't be seen. Well-meaning family and friends frequently ask, "Is Your House Finished Yet?" Well, duh. I have peeling paint, bare floors,tattered screens,unfinished walls and ceilings, yada,yada,yada, BUT I have a brand new water heater, new roof, all new electrical so I don't have to worry about the house burning down from an electrical short, and I have central air and heat. My house may look like a mess, but we're taking care of priorities. Add to the mix that a lot of my time is spent taking care of my parents and it is hard to make progress on some of the projects that require large blocks of time.

Jill
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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby Texas_Ranger on Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:03 pm

Hehe, toilet seats... last year I had to take down our original 1914 wood seat because the screws on the hinges had rusted through. Now it's now like the seat has been on there forever - it has been removed twice over the past 20 years, once because the old toilet bowl broke and then because we had the original high tank replaced with a modern tank, so my dad had to cut a hole in the seat to accomodate the flush pipe. It is even fastened using brass screws with wing nuts to prevent any corrosion. Still... one screw wouldn't budge. I used WD40, I tried every trick in the book (except for the blowtorch in order to get the nut to expand and loosen). When I used enough force, the screw itself came apart! The long threaded part was stuck in the nut and the head snapped right off!
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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Re: The problem with plumbing...

Postby sooth on Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:14 pm

Jill, I almost died laughing at: "I could probably qualify to work for Cirque du Soleil now as a contortionist."

A lot of people probably thing that old house owners like us are just nuts. I'm thankful that when I bought the house, a lot of the hard work/expensive stuff was already done.
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