Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clogged bathtub

I woke up Saturday morning with Gloria, my glorious wife, proclaiming that the bathtub was draining really slow. I took one look at it and knew that the trap was in the process of becoming clogged. Our house featured an old bottle trap for the bathtub.

I was really sad because we just finished putting in the drywall and I did not want to tear it all out ... so I decided to only replace the portion from the bathtub to the main drain. I really don't like to do that because we will inevitably have a problem with the toilet or something and need to replace everything.

Nevertheless Gloria left for work and my Son and I went to the locale home improvement store to get supplies. I wouldn't be able to do the actual work until just before the store closed so it was imperative that I got everything to cover every contingency.

Gloria comes home from work and I start working. Two quick cuts with my  reciprocating saw and the piping below the floor is gone. I start to remove the tub drain and quickly realize I did not purchase the tool needed to remove the tub drain.

So off to the store to buy the tool in the picture. I quickly return home in the hopes of getting this part done just in case I forgot to purchase something else. I inserted the tool and started to attempt the remove the drain. The keyword is attempt. This quote unquote superior tool was no match for this tub drain that must not have been removed since the house was built. One of the parts of the tool snapped. :( so I had two options return to the tool right then and get another one and try again or attempt to cut the drain out. I  decided to wait and attempt to start installing some of the other piping that would go to the drain. When I realized that I had the wrong size connector. Just then my wife realized she was supposed to give someone are ride to work so I called it quits and left with her. When I got back I pulled out the reciprocating saw and managed to remove the tub drain without damaging the bathtub too bad. I followed the directions for the new tub drain exactly with out measuring. When I went to connect it to the tub it put the drain right on top of a joist and the overflow was too tall. But I had already cemented everything together so I needed some couplings to cut the pipes in half to adjust for the fact that this is an old tub and by no means is it standard.  And that ended Day 1 of no bath since I didn't have the material I needed to finish.

The next day was Sunday and I didn't bathe. Talk about being self conscious I was walking around trying to stay down wind of people when I was outside and making sure I didn't stand too close to anyone at church. Right after church I stopped at Lowes and purchased the correct size couplings. While there I also purchased 10' of 1-1/2" ABS, a p-trap, and an flexible coupling as a gift to myself.

But we had another worship service that afternoon. When we finally got out of church and we were invited to my Father-in-law's birthday dinner. So off we go to the birthday dinner after hanging around for some time I look at the time and realized my favorite home improvement store, Lowes, is closed. And tonight was do or die this tub had to go in even if that meant i put a water hose as the drain to make it work.

Oh by the way did I mentioned that because of this repair work the toliet sometimes would flush some water to the basement :( smh

I quickly made my measurements on the tub drain to modify to standard kit to fit our bath tub. Ba Da Bing Ba Da Boom done. I then dry fitted the p-trap and the rest of the pipe to ensure a proper slope to drain the bathtub and to reconnect everything. Less than 30 minutes in total to finish the project. I was really proud of myself but I hadn't tested for leaks yet.

However it was time to work on my gift to myself. See the reason I knew the bottle trap was on it's way out was because the bottle trap that went to the washer machine did the exact same thing. Except I never fixed the washer machine's bottle trap. How was I doing laundry?

Well I'm not saying anything about how I managed the laundry. So while the glue for the bathroom was curing I removed the bottle trap to the washer machine, and cut out a large piece of the old pipe. Then I ran a piece of metal inside the remaining pipe all the way to the stack just to make sure there weren't any other clogs. I put everything together and now I have a proper drain for the washing machine.

Back to test for leaks for the bath tub. Turns out I put the rubber gasket for the tub drain on the wrong side, I had to tighten the flexible coupling to the old cast iron pipe, and I had to adjust the trip lever to get it to function properly.

I then started a load of laundry to test the washer machine only to discover I forgot to tighten the p-trap. But everything else was great. I was upstairs playing on the internet when all of a sudden I hear a sudden down pouring of water. I jumped up and started running. A spin move around my bass guitar and amp, a hurdle over my son's tricycle, I open the door to the basement taking the stairs two at a time and run to the washer machine. I'm looking it over trying to find the water only to realize. That the water I heard is because there was a rainstorm outside. LOL

I went back upstairs took a bath and went to sleep.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

House History

Yesterday afternoon as I was walking into the house from doing some yard work my neighbor from two houses to the north flagged me down. We briefly discussed some of the recent events in the neighborhood and then she proceed to revel to me that it was her Uncle who built our house! Before she was born her Uncle built the house. Back then our house was actually considered the country. Her uncle had Shetland ponies which he kept and a garden. The little guest house we have behind the house was actually a barn! Which explains quite a bit about the roof. He also had larger regular size horse further west in a pasture. After a few years of living in the country he decided to move into the city.

A lawyer/banker purchased the house. The lawyer/banker and his wife were avid gardeners. His wife had a really large strawberry field, and they grew grapes along the fence along with all your other usual garden fruits and vegetables. During the summer they would host large family gatherings and they had a large brick outdoor grill. It was during this time that the barn was converted to a house and the master bedroom and patio was built. I always knew that it was an addition so it is nice to know who built it. The lawyer/banker and his wife also used the fruit cellar in the basement to make wine. The husband had German shepards and his wife had a yippee little Pomeranian. Evidently they would sit out on the back patio with their dogs and look out over the land. I'm sure this was all before the highway was built.

Finally a mechanic purchased the house. He did not take care of the plant life or the house for that matter. He was a tall heavy guy and after many years of working on cars his back gave out and he had to give it up. His wife used the guest house as a daycare.

And then we purchased the house in 2011.

It is always great to know your history.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Random Projects

Taking a quick break from the bathroom to do some random projects through out the house.

First Gloria decided we needed to finally install some hardware for some drawers in the hallway. Then we decided that it was time to replace the original porch lights since they were half filled with bugs and yellow and not that bright. Finally I resumed work on the bathroom in the dark (I had the power off since i was doing some electrical stuff also) putting in an additional stud. Well the last picture will show you what happened on the opposite side of the wall. Enjoy the video