Monday, March 26, 2007

Wye me?

I was nervous about cutting into the 4" pvc drain line between the soil stack and the existing wye which is 4" from the foundation wall. Only going to get one shot at this insertion. I was so nervous about this job that last week I even tried to reason my way out of prepping the drain line for a future bathroom altogether. "Maybe when we're ready, we can hire a plumber to splice the line." Yeah - do plumbers actually crawl into 8" crawl spaces to cut and splice drain lines? Might as well do it now, while the floor is still off.

First step was to dig out from under and around the section of drain line to be cut. Second step was to clean the pipes. Third step was to measure. Fourth step was to walk around, delaying - er, visualizing. Then measure again. Cut.

Glued a piece of pipe into the new wye so there would be enough pipe on both ends for the rubber sleeve. Slipped the rubber sleeve on the pipe downstream. And now for the moment of truth, the gluing and inserting of the wye (you get like 3 seconds with pvc cement). Got it! What was that cracking sound?

Yes, a coupling further up the line had cracked. Grr! It actually just fell apart. Sanded and re-cemented, then Erika poured some water down the kitchen drain and I kept my hand under that joint, waiting for water. None! But no - there is a leak back down the line where I was working, at the old wye (not the new one). How the hell are we going to fix that one? There's really no more room for cutting and splicing because it's so close to the foundation. Hope there's a decent pvc sealant on the market, because even a slight leak downstream from the toilet is really no good. Tomorrow.

Erika sez: Though I was mere feet away from John, I was in another world. He was gingerly gluing PVC together and I was gleefully tearing down a wall. Yes, the little kitchen wall that we've been looking forward to taking out since the first time we went inside the house is now in wall heaven.

With a crowbar, I'd taken off what I could two nights earlier and this time we'd brought the Sawzall with us. Having never used it before, I figured I'd experiment with it on, you know, a major bit of demolition.

I sawed through some thinnish pieces above the ceiling joists so I could pop off this wide plank that was sitting on top of the wall header. (Rain of dust and god-knows-what as we tipped it down off its long bent nails.) Then I attacked the header where the wall met the load-bearing wall that separates dining room from bathroom. I can't say I went right through it--found the tool pretty challenging, what with all the VIBRATING and the holding above my head and the chunks of wood CHIPPING OFF into my face. My first cut was crooked and John had to help me. But after the header was cut on both ends, I was able to pry it off pretty easily. And once the header's out, you got no wall. Down came the door frame (laid on the kitchen floor for re-use in the bathroom), down came the studs, down came the last of the drywall.

I have to say this is probably my favorite project so far. Taking down a wall! Damn! We are living some life here. And the place is starting to look really open now, the way we've imagined it.

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