Category Archives: Plumbing

Of plumbing and leaks…

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That’s right, leaks. The other day I went to test the water; connect the hose to the house, turn the bugger on, and wait for the terribly exciting sound of rushing water through the walls. Terribly exciting, that is, until you start having a look at the shut off valves that are undeniably weeping with the drip of death. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but when 5 out of 6 possible connections were leaving little puddles at the bottoms of my cabinets, my peace of mind went from la di da, to house leaking panic.

My nieghbour was equally stumped. Having put everything in with care (plus teflon tape), and never having seen so many leaks at one time, I began to consider possible plumbing curses that Little Yellow may have contracted. Not that I’ve made a point of pissing off any plumbers, but one has to wonder.

I felt really bad that things weren’t going according to plan and, seeing as it is my house, decided I ought to know how to fix this sort of stuff…so I picked me up a wrench and got to it. I flooded the underside of my cabinet taking the hose off, I smacked myself full in the face with the aforementioned wrench, and had a one sided screaming match with plumbing in general, but I fixed those %*@& leaks. You can just call me Ella the plumber 😀 (best not).

The dripping was only occurring at threaded connections leading up to the shut off valves, so I took them apart and put on new brass connecty bits as the old ones got totally buggered in the act of their removal. This time I used tape and pipe thread compound. Overkill, you say? It aint leaking, I don’t care.

I’m sorry to have been terrible at putting new posts up as of late. Things are going beautifully and Little Yellow is getting really close, but once I fall behind I find it hard to get up to date with so much missed information. It doesn’t help that my camera (his name is Harold. I don’t know why) has suffered a terrible melted chocolate incident that seems to have adversely effected his workings. He still takes pictures, though you can’t see what you’re taking pictures of, so I’ve also missed photographing some processes that ought to have been documented.

In any case, I aim to put up some summaries in the next few days. My sink, shower, door lock and cabinetry are all in, and my awesome futon bed has arrived! Oh, and I’ve stumbed upon two wee kittens that I don’t think I can live without 😀 The cat at the barn had 7 and most are on their way to being feral if they don’t get homes. It’ll be a little while before I take them (in the meantime I visit them every day) then in I go, head first to 2 cat responsibility. I’m excited!

Sink holes and light fixtures…

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Gathering the nerve to cut into Flemming’s irreplaceable counter tops took a lot of thought. A lot of thought, a lot of measuring, and a lot of ‘you can do this’ talks with myself. But all went well, and I also drilled holes for the faucet behind. Somehow everything just barely fit in the tight space.

The faucet was presumably designed for a thinner counter, so I had to chisel down about 3/4″ between the knobs on the underside to make it work. I know the router would have been faster, but I didn’t want to risk it going all skully wompus on me and, in memory of Flemming’s approval of hand tools, I spent the time and did it the old fashioned way.

I ended up with a lovely stainless steel sink (16″ outer rim to rim) from Opella. The plan to use an old brass jelly pot fell by the wayside as it turned out to be just a little too small, so I bit the bullet and bought a proper one. Probably for the best though, because it came with a seriously nifty cutout template.

I’ve been slowly compiling my light fixtures for the last few months (the wonders of ebay), and it’s so exciting to see them all up! I have 6 lights on the inside; 1 from the ceiling, 1 over the window seat, 1 in the kitchen, 1 for the pink room, 1 for the bathroom, and 1 in my sleeping loft. I found the cheapest source of well made, solid brass fixtures (I adore brass) to be little, clear glass lantern types intended to be used outdoors. It cost $54 for all 4, and they make me think of fairies 😀

They are meant to be turned on and off by switch, but since I only have switches for the ceiling and window seat lights, my neighbour put in little pull chains through a hole drilled in the back and they now operate brilliantly at the source.

The main ceiling light/chandelier from hell was the hard one. The amount of space available at the ceiling peak is pretty narrow, and it was clear upon looking there was no chance the 5″ wide ceiling connect-y bit that is supposed to cover the workings was going to cut the mustard. The solution came in some kind of copper cup thing from the plumbing section at Home Depot that happens to match the fixture perfectly. My awesome neighbour rigged it so that it’s securely attached to the ridge beam and contains all the crazy wiring up there.

It certainly wasn’t easy though. I had idealistic plans of removing it every time the house goes down the road, but I can assure you that after the time and trouble that little shit gave us, I’ll just be taking out the light bulbs and wishing it luck. Guess I could bubble wrap it or something.

What a beautiful change to have all the lights up! It looks more and more like the space I want to live in with every day. And really, you pull a cord or flip a switch and the things just turn on. I like to think it’s magic 😀

More plumbing, more siding and a bit of determination…

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This has been a delightful little week of progression with wall paneling, plumbing, window borders and siding having all come on a fair ways. Perhaps the most exciting happening occurred on Sunday afternoon when my neighbor got the plumbing ready enough to hook up to the hose and I watched as real live FREAKIN water came into my house!!!!

There’s nothing connected to the pipes (like a sink) or anywhere for the water to go (like a drain) so we just attached a temporary bendy tube doohicky and stuck it out the window, but it totally worked and it was totally wonderful 🙂 The next step is to put in a gas line from the water heater to a propane tank and figure out my sink and shower faucets/ drains. Looks like luck put metal support bars for the trailer directly under my planned locations so the latter should be interesting.

My dad has had a chance to work on the house for the first time in over a month and we’ve been putting up siding all over the place in the last few days. I had been in a sort of building stalemate with cedar siding for a little while so I’m really grateful for the help.

Sometimes it seems like there’s so much to do that it can get procrastinatingly overwhelming. I have tendencies to start on several hundred small projects (with no particular regard for a sensible order) leaving lots of things partially done. While this is fun for my short attention span, it does little for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with actually finishing something.

But! I have become recently determined and procrastinate I shall not! I will finish the exterior of Little Yellow by this coming Sunday! I am on a mission! I am excited! I may be underestimating my time frame. Right, Sunday…

Plumbing started…

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This weekend, my neighbor began the task of running pipes through the walls. Though I worked on more wall paneling and wasn’t much at all involved, it’s a very exciting step to Little Yellow’s housedom and is making a good dent in the list of things about this project that scare the pants off me.

I don’t really know the specifics, but the procedure included an RV water entry, a water filter, a 50 ft roll of semi flexible pipe stuff called pex and a bunch of other plumbing related things that I should probably know the names of. And of course there is the most important part which is my shiny new water heater.

It a tankless model (requiring a 12v connection and propane) called an RV500 from Precision Temp. I’m still not sure how it all works but I believe the 12v DC tells the thing to start working and the propane heats the water as it runs through the pipes. It only runs when a hot tap is turned on so it is supposedly very efficient, and is considerably more compact and lighter than having a 10 gallon tank on board. A review that helped my decision can be found here: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2010/03/product-spotlight-precision-temp-rv-500.html

I looked religiously for a less expensive alternative, but most everything else I found was either not intended for moving structures or not intended for indoor use. I also researched a cheaper competitor by Girard, but heard too many negative comments to be convinced. I spoke with the company I got my heater from before buying it, and they said they had stopped carrying the Girard because of numerous complications. So, I coughed up the funds and bought my very own RV500. It looks pretty mental to me, but my neighbour seems to find it straightforward enough so hopefully it’ll get up and running soonish.

Monday brought a confused little snow storm that has been hovering around the last few days, intermittently dumping down bouts of promising flakes between constant sputters of tiny slushy bits. Basically it’s too soggy for spending extended periods of time outside, so my dad and I have been working in the big house by the fire on my window seat bench. It was finicky and used a shit ton of clamps, but it looks half way decent. I’m looking forward to the sitting part.