Personal, Plumbing Job, Note

Well, the sub-floor is rebuilt, the joists have ‘Sister Boards’ over the water damaged spots, I’m done being “under the house” and today I did the final construction adhesive and nails on the last bit of subflooring carpentry.

Then I laid some temporary cheap linoleum and was able to use the existing “closet flange” (think “water closet”) to remount the old toilet.

Also the main kitchen / garage drain was roto-cleaned and is now working so washer and sink are again alive.

With all that, the spouse returned from her holiday week away.. (Seems she was unwilling to use the “portable potty” …)

So why “temporary linoleum?

Well, as in all projects, mission creep sneaks in. Spouse has decided she would like a newer “throne” in the throne room and a better more interesting floor… Not being willing to fund a month away from home, I figured I’d put in a temporary floor finish while we work out what the final finish will be.

So “some weekend to come” I get to remove the old toilet, lay a new finish floor over the subfloor, and reset a new toilet. Once we know what toilet and what finish flooring…

So I’m curled up with a nice pack of Grolsch as we enjoy a home with working plumbing from one end to the other and the spouse at home too.

It’s been fun finding out that I still am pretty good at carpentry, even structural, and my plumbing skills are intact (modulo not having a power roto-rooter in my kit… and the plug being beyond what I’ve got… But a man’s gotta know his limitations ;-)

I found using a 2 lb. hammer (or maybe it was 3 lb. for the mini-sledge) under the house, directly over my face, was a lot of physical exercise.

So was all the crawling in / out / and climbing up. Dragging 5 foot 2″ x 6″ joist sister boards (probably “over kill”, but IF I’ve decided to reinforce something, it’s going to hold up an elephant when I’m done ;-) and keeping track of a framing hammer, mini-sledge, crowbar, adhesive gun, box of nails, etc. etc. all in a 2 foot max height crawl space is, er, “challenging” in it’s own special dusty musty dirty oppressive way.

Let’s just say I’m glad to be done “under the house”. I’m much happier on the roof or in the garden ;-)

So hopefully the “watchful waiting” for any signs of water leakage will end tonight and we’ll just have “future enhancement requests” left on the Honey Do list ;-)

That was my “Holiday”. How was yours? Better, I’ll bet ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to Personal, Plumbing Job, Note

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    Working in a dry dirty knee deep crawlspace by yourself dragging material and tools is real torture on a old man’s body. add to that everything is over your head.
    Too bad you didn’t have a battery power driver to install the sister frames with deck screws, way-way easier then nailing them with a 2lb single jack, and it doubles as a flash light! I have worn out one and am working my way through the second one. a lot easier to control then nailing and if you make an error in placement just unscrew and reset. Best tool investment I’ve ever made. Was A set of,drill motor and screw driver with batteries & charger.! The screws are expensive but so is my time and body! Use the star drive only.
    You really earned your beer break this time!…pg

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve got a big tub of “deck screws” about 3″ long and used them to build the fence ( 2×4 to post joints and 2 x 8 “kick board” to post joints) but for some damn reason I thought it would be easier to just pound a few nails in and let the thing glue up! I usually use my drill with a Philips driver and the deck screws; and thought about it….

    But by the time I figured out it was better (again…) I was 20 foot from the access point and with hammer in hand pounding nails. Just thought “Oh, hell, just nail them in and be done”… Likely would have been better to have crawled out, set up the drill, put the deck screws in “the hole” and screwed the sister boards to the joists… but the notion of making that crawl (again) to set up the job (again) was just not my idea of “happy”… and by the time I figured out that nailing with a short throw on the hammer (as the joists at the toilette support were way closer than 24 inches and likely less than 16) I “only” had the two shorter sister boards to place… so “pressed on”… ( I put a 2 x 4 where the prior subfloor was cut to support the old boards, and a 3 foot section near the front of the toilette, then a 5 + footer near the back support was my first placement…)

    Yes, it’s that sickening feeling of “Oh, I’m 1/2 way done and had I figured this out at 1/4 done I could have made it all easier but now it’s just changing technique for no net gain given the work to change method based on lessons learned… ”

    Oh Well.

    Job done. ALL plumbing working to spec. only “Gee I want better than before” TBDone… ;-)

    And yeah, I’m happy to hoist a few at the moment ;-)

    “May I not live long enough to work with a hammer in the crawl space again!” Skoal Skål Skál !!

    FWIW, I’ve run out of Grolsch and I’m back drinking house “Hard Cider” yet it somehow tastes just as good now ;-0

    So I’ve got a few body aches and pains, yet some “You sit around too much” discomforts are gone… Overall, I feel better than 2 weeks ago. These bodies are made to be used. Aches are the bodies way of saying “Oh, I need to do more repair in that area”… yet some of those growth hormones get moved all over in the blood flow. We MUST work some areas hard to keep the rest in basic maintenance. We evolved with over worked parts providing the HGH (Human Growth Hormone) needed to keep the underused parts maintained. To do nothing and be too idle is to refuse maintenance and die.

    Unfortunately, it is natures plan that if we do NOT feel aches and pains of use, we are dying.

    So get out there and hurt!… There’s always beer (or cider) as pain killer ;-)

  3. Steven Fraser says:

    Grolsch Bottles are perfect for bottling your home-brew. Save them.

    Also, there is a fun trick you can play with them…. a misdirection ‘majik’ trick. If interested indicate that, and I will send you the destructions.

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Crawl space work is not anywhere near the top of my fun list. Glad you got that all sorted out.

    The sense of accomplishment when you finish a project like that makes up for a lot of the discomfort at the time, but strange pains in strange places the next day reminds you how much that sort of work is worth.

  5. Steven Fraser says:

    @Larry: Only 1 day of pains? You are blessed.

  6. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: Agreed on aches and pains. Use-or-lose is a well-known bodily-development optimization that fights atrophy and prioritizes the development which supports current use patterns. Singers ( I am trained as one, and do it avocationally) know that the fine tolerances of muscle balance once enjoyed 50. Some ( I have heard recordings) make a transition into vocalism that can survive into the 80+ year range. Not so common with women (I only have heard 1, but inspiring, nonetheless) but a few gents have done a creditable job late into the 70s and early 80s, (thinking Gedda and Jerome Hines, here). Lets see some new research into Mitochondrial restoration, ok?

  7. Steven Fraser says:

    Gee, that last post was cut up. …of muscle balance one enjoyed at ages less than 50 are more difficult to maintain at greater ages.

  8. John Howard says:

    I hear you… did some of the same a few summers ago. A friends plumbing kept plugging up and she would call the roto-rooter guy to come out and clean it. This would happen 3-4 times a year. I crawled under and someone forgot the basic rules of plumbing, one being crap don’t run up hill.

    After a quick trip to the depot to buy a coupling, saw and glue, I went back in… 40-50 foot crawl each way, but after re-strapping for the new slope and shortening the drop pipe… problem solved. Hard work on ol’ bones.

    Next I find out that she’s having the septic pumped twice a year… after a bit of investigation, a new drain-field was in order. It was mostly all machine work and not difficult at all. Just take twice as long as it used to.

  9. philjourdan says:

    Mission Creep. Been there, done that. The “new floors” in the bathrooms turned into a gutting and remodeling from top to bottom! I am just glad it is over!

  10. wyzelli says:

    I’m at a stage in life where it is far more appealing to part with a few shekels than engage with that type of physical stress. Well worth it I think.

  11. catweazle666 says:

    “Mission Creep. Been there, done that.”

    Often starts off with the fateful words “I’ll just…”!

    Now banned on pain of death in our household.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    For me, the cringe words are “can you….” or, when I’ve said something like “I’m going to mow the lawn” , hearing “While you are at it, can you also….” usually followed by some moral equivalent of “relandscape the yard with varieties custom taylored to our tastes, after all, genetic engineering is easy now”…

    I can control mission creep (after years of it…) some “others” not so much… then again, everything is easy if someone else is doing the work…

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    “Mission Creep. Been there, done that.”! ! ! !

    I understand that. 5years ago I started a small root cellar/tool shed next to one of my gardens.
    I am now putting the roof on a 14x40foot 3 story building 8-{ and it is half full of “stuff”all ready. Working on top of that roof is a bit scary, even with scaffolding. Just figuring out and building the scaffolding is as big a job as building the loft/roof framing. Takes about as much material as well. I don’t think I want to do this kind of thing, again…pg

  14. philjourdan says:

    @Catweazle – I will ban that as soon as I have a majority of the vote. ;-)

  15. Mike says:

    @EMS When you are considering new toilets, my experience would be to put American Standard near the bottom of your list. They leave the bowl dirty, more often than not.

    @ p.g You are right on with respect to power drivers and screw heads. Torx (star-head) are the most reliable head that I’ve found, followed by square drive. Phillips-heads tend to strip, either the screw or bit, unless you can get perfect alignment between driver and screw.

  16. larrygeiger says:

    Don’t like square drive. They ream out much faster than torx or philips head. IMHO.

  17. Lionell Griffith says:

    I resolved mission creep a very long time ago with the following seven work conditions.

    1. Contradictions cannot exist and therefore cannot be delivered. If one is required, at any time, progress on the project will be suspended until I decide the requirement has been completely removed. No exceptions!
    2. If I promise it, I will deliver it. If you promise it, YOU will deliver it.
    3. Does it have to work? If it does, we need to figure out “what works” means before I start working on the project. If it doesn’t have to work, the project is already done. Next project please.
    4. You are asking for a solution. I don’t deliver solutions. I solve problems. What is the problem? Be warned. If I solve the problem, you will no longer have the problem. Otherwise, I will tell you if the problem cannot be solved.
    5. The project is ready for delivery ahead of schedule and below budget. If you could have only one more thing, what would it be?
    6. If the “one more thing” requires the project as completed to be materially changed in design and/or function, the project will be delivered as is and a new project will be proposed if possible.

    The customer comes to me to help him solve his problem. That means he doesn’t know how to solve it himself. Thereby making “the customer is always right” almost always wrong.

    The customer can specify what “it works” means to him but cannot specify the material content, the tools to be used, nor the design of the project. If the customer cannot accept this and the above terms, no amount or kind of compensation is worth the endless chain of problems that will result. The reason being is that the customer is more interested in the power and control nature of the relationship than in the solution to his problem. THAT is the essence of a no win situation. Thus it is a no bid or a contractual escape clause situation.

    This way a mission can creep only if I allow it to creep. Otherwise it is not a project, it is a career going nowhere.

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