So I accidentally created an open plan bathroom

Today I had a few little jobs planned. Turn off the water, cap off the leaking pipes, cap off the bathroom sink taps (where the valves didn’t work) so I could remove the sink and the rotting subfloor below and the leaking drain, cap off the leaking cold tap from the laundry area. I’d spent yesterday digging out my plumbing tools – although I can’t find my awesome little pipe cutter*.

Rothenburger self-tightening clip on pipe cutter

Instead I had one of the tedious manual-tightening one that seems to be all that I can see in the store here**. Still, with only 2 pipes to cut (I thought), it wouldn’t be so much of a problem. Of course, to use that pipe cutter meant that I had to remove great chunks of drywall, but I wasn’t too hassled about that. And so I set to on the shower. Having turned off the water at the main I started removing the drywall – and discovered exciting things like “oh, hey, you clearly damaged the mains wire running through the wall behind the bath when you remodelled, but insulation tape is a fine solution to that…


And having a crossbar crushing it as it goes through the stud is totally not a problem.

As a side point, I am intrigued to know what the purpose of this string is…


I suspect it’s “holding up” plumbing, or it was, it’s disconnected now :-/

Eventually it became apparent that the only way I was going to be able to successfully cut these pipes was to whip out the two studs. Since they were stood on rotting timber I wasn’t convinced they were adding much to the wall anyway… the only problem was I ended up having to disconnect the cable that was running through them. That necessitated removing more drywall.

Eventually I managed to get the pipes capped off – after scraping the pipes back to the metal to get a good enough seal – my wire wool was insufficient to get rid of the corrosion from the leaking, which wasn’t a surprise, but was tedious.

Success! Onto the next bit I thought. I whipped off the leaking laundry tap – and replaced that with a cap…

On to the the sink.

It rapidly became apparent that the sink cabinet was held on with hidden nails… and the cabinet was sturdier than the wall it’s attached to. Despite the fact that bits of the cabinet were well and truly rotten from the leaking pipework. Which was (is) faintly unnerving. Still, after a brief conversation with Mrs. Sledgehammer, the cabinet was removed. The sink and granite counter I managed to save so they can go to Habitat.

Then I went to remove the failed valves. Only… it turns out that they’d not screwed the adaptor to the crossbeam in the wall. Well, they sort of had. One screw however is not sufficient to hold it well against a possibly 40 year old valve being undone. So while I managed to get one of the valves off from the nipple, and replace it with a cap; the other copper-pipe-90-degree-to-the-nipple*** – that fractured at the soldered joint.

Which I suspected, then confirmed when I turned on the water. So then I had to run into town to grab another (expensive) cap – make a large hole in the wall to get the pipe cutter in (thankfully no studs needed to be removed for this one) and then lop the end off the pipe. At which point I discovered it’s not actually attached to anything under the floor – thankfully I had a good enough hold on it that it didn’t escape. It’s now held in place by the earth cable which I repositioned.

Then I finally capped it off and cleaned up.

And then realized we now have a very open plan bathroom…

Still, all that drywall will have to come down, but we’re waiting on the quote before we can get the**** truss diagrams so we can submit this permit. I’m beginning to feel pretty frustrated by the inability to progress, at all, because everything is contingent on the main permit. And the main permit is contingent on us finding a contractor.

And no one seems to have any urgency, except us. But you can’t be shirty with people about timeframes because there’s so much work available they don’t need to do it.

I’m really beginning to wonder if we should just have done the roof ourselves.

* For the sake of speed, I did have a quick look in the DIY shop today, but couldn’t see one… Do they exist in the US? Anyway, not finding it means I’m going to have to search harder.

** Though I haven’t looked very hard.

*** Whatever that’s called. There’s a whole bunch of bits of plumbing I’m not sure of the name of.

**** sodding