Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I was framed!

After a long hiatus that consisted of a trip up North, and moving out of the apartment, we are finally (mostly) moved in!

The last thing I was able to accomplish before moving day was framing up the new opening to the entryway.

I checked, and the wall is not load bearing, so the giant 2x10 that was there previously was massive overkill. It just so happens that framing it up with 2x4s took about 15 minutes with the miter saw, and was up and in the wall in about 10 minutes more. I just had to trim some lingering nails from the old arrangement, and the new opening slid right in (with a hammer tap or two).

However, the ease of the framing was to be completely counteracted by plumbing issues. First, the apartment flooded for the second time in 6 weeks. However, that was not the end of the issues with plumbing. Next, I noticed a small drip coming from one of the outdoor spigots. I tried to close the valve back up, and the thing fell apart in my hands! It was now at a full flow out the top siphon relief valve.

Here's how I fixed it:

First, I twisted on the spigot, hoping that it was a threaded pipe. The spigot head came off in my hand, with twisted (obviously damaged) copper on the end of it. Next, I needed to get to the spigot from the inside. There was a lot of insulation, so a screwdriver couldn't get all the way through to the drywall. I found a metal tube that was from my grill, and started to push it in.

Finally, I felt it push through, and left it there to find out where it poked through on the inside. We thought that it would be somewhere in the master closet.

Close! But no cigar. It was about 3 inches outside the closet, under the vanity in the master bedroom.

I just went at the drywall with my hands, and with a pocketknife.

I widened the hole enough to where I saw a copper elbow (bottom of the hole in the above picture).

I then cleaned out the area all the way from the brick to the drywall, allowing some space to install the new spigot.

I cleaned out some of the foam around the pipe to expose enough to desolder the elbow and replace it.

I wanted to replace it with a compression fitting.

I got at the elbow with a propane torch, but it wouldn't budge.

After 15 minutes of trying to heat the elbow and pop it off the copper pipe, I gave up. It was just stuck to the pipe. One trip to the home improvement store later, and I had a pipe cutter. After some sanding to get rid of the melted solder, I cut the pipe and removed the elbow assembly.

From there, the rest was easy. I shined up the end of the copper pipe with a tool (which I broke while I was using it), stuck the compression fitting on the end of the pipe, teflon taped the threads of the new spigot, and made sure I had a good seal as I threaded it into the elbow. It took two tries to get the threaded joint to not leak, but it worked out fine! Then I just filled the foam back in, and called it a day!

Next plumbing issue occurred when we tried to wash a load of laundry. We came home to a puddle of water on the floor and pouring out of the garbage disposal! It turns out that there were tree roots blocking the line, and causing the overflow. As we were waiting for the plumber to come out, we figured we'd at least dry the clothes. No such luck! The dryer was a 4 prong plug, while the house had a 3 prong outlet! After another trip to the home improvement store, we got the right cord, and Lauren installed it.

As if that wasn't enough, the day after the plumber cleaned out the tree roots in the plumbing under the living room, the toilet in the master bath started acting up (not flushing)! As we tried to diagnose what was going on with that, we still had shower and sink capabilities. That was, until we got word from the next door neighbor that we were turning the side yard into a pond! That's right, the sewer was backing up into the side yard. It turns out that the cleanout cap had blown because of a clog somewhere between the street and the house. One emergency call to the city later, and I had a picture of another root ball, about 20 feet from the house in the main sewer line. The next day, we had the same plumbers out with a roto-rooter to clear that out of the line.

Thankfully (knock on wood), we haven't had any more water issues. In fact, besides a small tv/internet outage, we haven't had any issues since then.

I ended up having to move the bird feeder line, which was originally between a tree and the corner of the house. It was pulling out on the soffit, so I redid the line between the two trees. I like the results.

From here, we have a few things on tap for February.
-Setting up the garden
-Redoing the sprinkler system as a drip irrigation system
-sanding and painting in the living room
-More unpacking

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