Tuesday, December 31, 2013


So, I realize this blog has been getting a bit of neglect recently. I'm sincerely very sorry about that. This last month has been absolutely bananas, and I have been feeling under the weather for the past 2 weeks, and it just hasn't happened. However, I am pleased to inform you that the cabinets did arrive and are sitting in our basement. I realized after they got here that I don't exactly have enough upper body strength to handle the install on my own (or with J), so we are going to have J's dad come down and help us out. Bonus: he's actually installed cabinets before. The cabinets do look really beautiful, so I am looking forward to having them in.

I do want to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year (and a Merry Christmas for that matter). I am hoping to be a bit more motivated in the coming year and get this basement project completed, so we can move on to other fun things.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sugar Plumbing Fairy

Hello readers and Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! J and I spent turkey day with my parents and J's parents and had a very nice time. No major hiccups in the kitchen, either. This was the 3rd Thanksgiving we've hosted, so I feel like we are getting the hang of things. Besides the big event, my dad and I were able to tackle a project for the basement reno. And one of my friends, my mom, and I saw the Nutcracker (which was amazing) -- hence the name of this post.

While I was working on the drywall, I happened to be around the backside of the bar nook and noticed something strange. The drain pipe for the bar sink had become disconnected. For the record, I am very happy I stumbled on this prior to installing everything and turning on the water. The nook is on the top-right of this picture.

And here's another angle. Now pipes do not usually separate like this. In fact, it is pretty rare. This is the result of some poor plumbing work to begin with. We seem to be in the business of fixing mistakes from the previous owners. The worst part is that they knew this was a problem because of the caulk. They attempted to use caulk to fix this. Instead, this pushed the problem to us.

Not so excellent work. The problem was that the sanitary T was cracked on the bottom because they had left tension in the line. We had no choice but to take everything out and start over.

We used both a jigsaw and a hacksaw to remove the old pieces.
I forgot to take the picture, but this piece was replaced as well.

We did what we could away from the work space. To cut the pipes, we used the miter saw. This gave a super clean cut. To join the drain pipes, the pieces are primed using purple primer and then set using clear cement. You have about 30 seconds from the time you apply the cement until it bonds, so you have to work quickly. The steps are as follows.

1. Prime both the pipe and the joint with primer
2. Immediately, apply cement to both the pipe and joint
3. Press the pieces together. As you are pressing them together, make a quarter turn of one of the pieces
4. Hold the pieces together firmly for 30 seconds

Both the primer and cement are extremely flammable and smell horrible. We were working around both our furnace and the hot water heater, so we joined any pieces we could join outside of the work space. We also let things dry and air out a bit before moving on. I wore a face mask. It doesn't remove all the smell, but the fumes will get to you pretty quickly.

My dad joining an elbow and a coupler using a 1.5" section of pipe:

 Me joining an elbow and pipe:

We replaced everything, so here is the end result.

Notice the extra space behind the hot water heater.

Unfortunately, we had to keep the through-the-wall pipe setup. There just was no where else we could put it.

Last piece (for now). Once I know where the sink drain will go, I will finish up the trap.

Much better.

This was the offending piece. The black is the crack you can barely see.

Inside caulk in an attempt to fix it.

Despite all the photos, this didn't take us too long to do. We started at 1 with no materials and ended at 6. Plus we took a few breaks. Despite the annoyance of having to re-do work, it was a good experience as I now know how to do it and it is not nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

How about you? I'm guessing most of my readers did not do plumbing work over Thanksgiving. We also put up the Christmas decorations, so our house is looking a little more festive. I may or may not cover that in a post this year, as we haven't really changed things up too much from years past, but we'll see. Until next time.