Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Closing up the Sink Wall

We took a few days away from the house to go to Giants games and forget about the whole washing machine incident.  Whoever trained that thing in Judo deserves an award, cuz that was a CLEAN throw.

Anywhere there was just wood exposed, I stapled some black roofing paper.  I also secured a piece of wood on the left in order to have something solid to secure the hardibacker to.

Since I was able to see from directly underneath the kitchen up the walls, I wanted to seal all that up from bugs and cold air.  I used about an entire can of "Great Stuff" expanding foam to seal up the bottom of the wall, then sprayed some from underneath.

I used some of the leftover pieces of hardibacker to cut up to patch the walls under the sink.

Due to space limitations, I couldn't just cut one large piece and slide it though to the other side.  Instead, I cut a piece long enough to go to the stud, then another piece to go from one stud to another.  There they are secured in.

The other side went pretty much the same.  I tried to use bigger pieces if possible to avoid having too many gaps.

Then, as usual, I used some joint compound to seal the seams.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bathroom Pipes

So the whole PVC piping in the bathroom finally got to me, and I caved.  I bought a pipe cutter from Home Depot and the extra chrome pipe pieces that I wasn't able to salvage from Sully's truck at U-Save Plumbing on Lawton Street.  I basically needed a right sided swing arm waste line.  Odd thing is that they had them there!

The key to cutting pipes (or anything, for that matter) is to cut a little bit at a time.

Here's how it all came out:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pipe Dreams...

For some reason, most people think of drugs when someone mentions pipes.  Why?  Remember how the bathroom sink backs up?
 (http://bornnraised415.blogspot.com/2010/06/installing-bathroom-sink.html)  It's been annoying me forever.  I finally was able to schedule some time with Sully to show him what was going on.  He came in on Monday to look at the stuff.  He said it wouldn't be too hard (he actually said it'd be easy).

Today, he called me up and said he got the parts and could come in to replace the pipes underneath the house!  We used Chuy's Sawzall (I LOVE that thing!) to cut out the old pipes.  It literally cut through them like a bread knife through a bagel.

That pipe was just nasty.

Here's a side by side comparison of a new cast iron pipe and the pipe we just cut out:
Sully used the snake going up through the drain to clean out anything on the vertical side, then used a shopvac to clean out anything on the side connecting to the main waste line.  He put the bands on, connected the new pipes, and within an hour, the water was draining from the bathroom sink like the house was brand new!  Sweeeeet!

Here's where Sully messed up, though.  He asked if there was anything else I needed done!  Well, there was always the kitchen sink drain that needed to be lowered!  (http://bornnraised415.blogspot.com/2010/06/garbage-disposal-installation.html)

We went upstairs to take a look at it.  He priced it out, and it was cool.  Same as the bathroom.  Me and his buddy Juan started to cut a hole into the drywall underneath the sink to expose the drain pipe.  Crap.  Issue #1 - this drain vents off to another pipe behind the cabinet on the left side.
If you're wondering why the cut extends out to the right, it's because I wanted to expose the old galvanized water supply lines.  They are no longer used since there's copper now, and they were just dead pipes sitting in the walls.  We exposed them so I could cut them out.

The odd thing about this was that to replace the copper pipes, it looks like they cut open a panel from the exterior, then replaced it.  There was newer cast iron piping in the wall banded to the older pipes, with a copper pipe connected the waste line to the vent line.

We cut open the wall in the back of that cabinet to the left, too:
GREAT!  The pipe that leads to the vent pipe goes through a stud.  Not bad, though, we just have to raise that pipe and cut a new hole.  At least it's not a support beam.

We cut through the pipes underneath the sink and put a band on to connect the new pipe.

Before we cut the pipe behind the left cabinet, Sully wanted to make sure it wouldn't fall on us.  He said he'd seen it happen a few times before, where they cut the pipe, and 30 feet of pipe above it just dropped straight through the floors.  Here's a picture of Michelle's kitchen walls exposed to see what was going on up there:
From this picture, we can see that there's a T-Joint leading off to the right side which will keep the pipe from falling on us.  Cool.  We proceeded to cut.  Even though the pipes were banded together, because a panel was cut from the exterior before, we couldn't reach the screw in the band to loosen it.  We had to cut it off.

We installed all the new cast iron pipe joints and bands, connected everything, then ran the water.  Guess what?  IT WAS BACKING UP!

The new chrome pipes under the sink were allowing the water to flow faster than the clogged pipes, and somewhere down the line, something was causing it to back up.  I thought, and Sully thought it might be as well, that the down grade from the waste line to the vent line wasn't steep enough, so Juan disconnected everything and with a grinder started to slowly cut away at the base of the vent line.  He removed about 1/8 inches, and we reconnected everything.  Crap.  Still backing up.

We disconnected everything and did it all over again, this time, grinding it down another 1/8 inches.
Check out the sparks flying.  This was serious.  We'd been working on this for a few hours now, and it was turning into a nightmare.  We kept cutting more and more of the pipe to increase the grade, and it was still backing up.  We used the shopvac to clean out anything inside the pipes, then tried flushing it down.  No go.

Here's all the crap that was in there:

We were getting close to the bottom, and it was getting harder and harder to replace the bands.

The kitchen was looking more and more like a disaster area.

Sully asked what was under us, and I said a storage room.  He asked what the pipes looked like from down there, and I had no idea.  I ran downstairs to look, and I could actually see the pipes!  Oddly enough, they were copper!  We decided to see if I could push the bottom up the pipe upwards to allow Juan access to cut more of the pipe and more room to connect the bands.  As I pushed the pipe up, I heard Sully say, "Muther fucker!  AY, ROB!  Come look at this shit!"  I let go and ran up.  Juan was holding on to the pipe piece.  It was about 3 inches of galvanized pipe banded to the copper piece downstairs.  That piece of galvanized pipe was just gummed up.  It looked like someone put a hockey puck in the pipe!

We used the shopvac and cleaned up what we could, then just removed that piece of galvanized pipe!  We connected some new cast iron pipe with a band to the copper, then reconnected everything.

Instead of connecting the chrome, we shoved the hose into the waste line to test it again.  It flowed!!!!  Sully was literally here for 8 hours!  But, geez, was I thankful!  That mess would've been a pain in the ass to get done from someone else!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moving the Washing Machine

Man.  If I could video record one thing that I've done during this whole process to share with everyone (and get an instant replay for myself), this would be it!  I decided to move the washer and dryer down today.  Why today?  I guess I couldn't really think of anything else to do, and I really wanted to start setting them up.  Sandra and I went upstairs to check them out.  She vehemently protested me moving either of the appliances on my own.  Upon tipping them, they both felt heavy - really heavy.  The dryer had a whole lot of crap on top of it, and it felt heavier than the washer, so I decided to move the washer.  I had a dolly to help, so I figured it'd be easy, right?  Just carefully roll the dolly down the stairs on the desk, down the makeshift ramp to the cement, then inside.  Easy, peasy.  I got it outside onto the deck really easily.  Sweet, I thought.  This is going to be cake.  In protest of my ignorance, Sandra decided to have nothing to do with this and went downstairs. Whatever.  I could do this on my own.  It's not like she was lifting anything.

I approached the stairs on the deck.  The washing machine glared at the rotting wood.  It had a target.  It had a plan.  It had a victim.  All was set to go.  Like a mouse to cheese, I leered at the washing machine.  I'll get you down there just fine, I thought.  I pushed the dolly down one step and pulled back.  Cool.  One down, who knows how many more to go.  I started to push the dolly to go down another step and ran into a problem.  The steps were just high enough that the wheels of the dolly were STUCK!  I pushed a little, then a little more, then BAM!  Next thing I know, I'm off the ground!  I see a branch coming towards me, so I reach for it.  It SNAPS!  I'm falling head first, I see the washing machine under me, laughing at how easily it tai toshi'd me!  I see the banister to the stair case and reach out for it.  I put pressure, on it, got my feet under me, then CRACK!  It broke, too!  I let go of it, and the next thing I know, I hear a crashing sound as the washing machine also made it's way to the bottom of the stairs!  Oddly enough, I landed on my feet!  My shins were killing me, though, so I sat down.

Sandra ran outside, like WTF.  She found me keeling over.  She asked if I was ok, I think I said, "I don't know," then sat down.  My shins had small scrapes on them.  The washing machine was upside down and leaking.  There was a branch on the floor near me, and the banister was near the staircase.  Aw, crap.  This looked like one helluva mess.

I took a while to compose myself, then limped over to the washing machine.  Sandra and I lifted it onto the grass, placed the dolly under it, then started to walk it down the ramp.  GREAT!  Rubber soled shoes have NO traction on plywood!  I started sliding as I tried to slow down the washing machine!  Sandra pushed it to slow it down, and we guided it to the bottom.  I moved the plywood over to the doorway, and brought the machine inside.

Here she sits, mocking me.  Laughing at me.  Washing Maching: 1; ROB: 0.

Bathroom Cabinets

Sandra wanted to get new cabinet pulls to go with all the brushed nickel in the bathroom.  We found some handles from Ikea that were less than $5 for a pair - SOLD!  I decided to try to put them in today, and it turned out they were wider than the existing ones.  I had to fill one of the holes, then drill a new hole for the new cabinet pull.

Patching the Kitchen Ceiling

Today, I sanded it down and added more taping compound.  Mixing this stuff is getting to be a pain in the ass.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Kitchen Back Wall

The back wall in the kitchen is pretty ugly.  By ugly, I mean it's blank.  To have the stove sitting there, effectively floating is extremely undesirable.  I've got the cabinets from Elpidio, but I still have to figure out how it's all going to go down.  Here's another one of my drawings/measurements:

Closing up the Kitchen Ceiling

I was getting tired of staring at the gaping holes in the ceiling in the kitchen, so today, I decided they were closing.

I used some of the left over steel bands to brace the gas line in the upstairs unit to the floor joists.  This will keep the gas pipe from resting on my ceiling.  I thought I had already cut dry wall sized for the holes, but I couldn't find them.  I guess this is the beauty of constantly cleaning up after myself - I probably threw them away.  Anywho, as I've been cutting a lot of drywall lately, it was really simple to do this time.

I marked an arrow to show which side was to go against the wall.

The issue here was finding something to secure the drywall to once it was placed in the holes.  I had some left over pieces of hardibacker that fit the holes nicely.  I secured them into the studs along the ceiling, then placed the drywall pieces up and secured them in with 1 inch drywall screws.

It was such a tight fit for the drywall, that it pretty much held on by itself!
But, we won't leave it like that!
Sandra measured and cut the drywall tape while I mixed the joint compound.


All the cans of paint were all over the house.  I moved them all to one place, out of the way.

Coax Wall Outlet

In the rear bedroom, the coax wire for the cable had been sticking out of the floor.  A while ago, I cut the hole in the wall and installed the box for the coax outlet.  I borrowed a coax kit from my uncle and  cut the end of the wire, so I could connect it to the face plate.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adding a Curtain in the Front Bedroom

The west facing window in the bedroom has textured glass on it, but it still lets in a lot of sunlight.  For two people who enjoy sleep in a dark room, Sandra and I decided we should put up a curtain here.  During a trip to Ikea, we bought two curtain rod holders and a throw that would be temporary yet suitable.

The rod is a wooden dowel that I bought for the living room Ugly Bookshelf.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spike of Death!

The giant Spike of Death in the walkway next to the garage needed to be taken care of.  Chuy left his sawzall at the house, so I could use it if I needed it.  Spike of Death, meet your match!

Spike of Death vs Hammer = Spike of Death

Spike of Death vs. ROB = Spike of Death

Spike of Death vs. Sawzall = Sawzall!

MAN!!! I LOVE THIS THING!  I have to get me one of these!  Er, maybe not, but if I ever need to cut anything, this sliced right through the Spike like butter!  Ok, well maybe not butter, but sparks and metal splinters aside, it went right through like a knife through a bagel!

Kitchen Sink!

Here are some of the pipe fittings I picked up from Discount Hardware Supply.  The P drop has to be at least 17 guage chrome pipe.  The rest of it is 20 guage.  The T-joint has a flange that dips downward on the inside to direct the flow from the garbage disposal waste line into the drain.  

Here's the new basket drain!  It was a Kohler one that was solid as hell from Home Depot.  I'll be damned if this one rots out like the old one!

It was something like this one to the left.

Plumbers putty applied nice n thick all the way around.

The new basket drain installed and clamped down.

Here it is from the top, before I scraped off the excess plumbers putty.

I connected the pipes underneath, and sure enough - I hit the issues I thought I would have.  Water stayed in the pipes, and the entire system just held water!  

This is not going to work...  I need to have the drain in the wall lowered about 3 inches!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kitchen Wall Socket

Remember the random wires sticking out of the rear wall in the kitchen?  I thought about it, and I need those to power the microwave!  The problem is, though, that I can't just connect the microwave to loose wires.  I need an outlet.

Chuy asked what I was planning on doing about that whole situation.  I told him I was thinking of using those wires to put up an outlet.  He said it'd be pretty simple to do, and we started working on it.

His son, Danny, was there, too.  He made me some drawings.  I'll have to hang them in the house eventually!

We had to cut a hole in the wall where the wires came from the existing outlet.  As with everything else, it wasn't as easy as it initially seemed.

We cut the hole in the wall where the new outlet was going to be.  We pulled out the old wire, only to find that there was a small hole in a diagonal cross braces that it went through to get up to where it was.  Moving the wire through it was proving pretty difficult.  With a whole lot of stabbing in the dark, we got it.

Here's the finished product, taken a few days later.