Not exactly a resounding success

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Today’s been a three-Bob day. They’re never good. They’re never good because I get frustrated at wasting the roughly an hour and a half in travel and futzing around (each trip ends up taking about 45 minutes). It also almost invariably means something broke, I forgot things, or a job didn’t go as planned.

So today, it turned out I wasn’t paying enough attention when I picked up the angle-stop valves for the taps. Because I picked up one angle and three straight. So that’s annoying.

It also turns out the stupid little brass nipples I got are too short (I need 3″, not 2.5″). I also didn’t get more 3/4″ PVC pipe, which I should have. Thankfully I realised that before I got under the floor.

And I needed an extra 3/4″ 90 degree turn.

Unfortunately, I realised that after I got under the floor (when it became apparent that my planned pipe route wouldn’t work).

So. First thing I did today was turn on the water to fill the boiler. This was not a raging success because a bunch of joints leaked. These are the threaded joints (as opposed to my solder joints).


Eventually I had to dismantle several of them and trade the PTFE goop for PTFE tape. That done, and the joints retightened, and things seem better. I even turned on the boiler and pump controller for a few minutes, and everything seemed to be working (apart, obviously, from the fact there’s no gas supply to the boiler).

So eventually it was positive, but it took quite a while to reach positive.

Then I went and grovelled under the floor. The changes we’ve made to the guttering (with the water now actually draining away from the house) seem to have worked. The surface of the black plastic was dry and didn’t look like it’s had pooling water on it. And a quick check showed the sump-pump is working. So yay.

As I revealed in my spoiler above, it turned out that I needed a second 90 degree bend, in this case because the only bit of the soil pipe that wasn’t completely covered in insulation (and which wasn’t in the hideously complex bit where all the bathroom and kitchen pipes join) was in a place that wasn’t…ideal. Which meant putting an extra bend in the condensate pipe. Which meant crawling back out from under the house, closing everything up (because I don’t want to shut a cat in there), changing, driving to Bob, buying one part at a total cost of around 50ยข, then driving back, changing, reopening the crawl space, crawling back across the floor and attaching the pipes together.

It felt deeply worthwhile and pleasing. ;-/

That done, I and because I’ve been doing sooooo well on the plumbing today, I decided to tackle the sink.

So the extra long drain that I managed to find has – I think – exactly the minimum number of turns required to clear the Crane Drexel sink’s extra long overflow and have juuuust enough to attach to the U-bend (or P-trap).

Incidentally, if you’re wondering which one it is, because you’ve got a Crane Drexel sink and you don’t want to spend $300 on a replacement drain, it’s this one:


However, the seal that came with it didn’t work very well with the sink. Also, because the crane sink’s overflow drains much lower than modern ones, it doesn’t line up (at all) with the drain holes in modern drains. So having assembled it, it sloooowly developed a leak.

The solution to this was, I think, to drill a hole in the drain at roughly the right height for the overflow. This seems to have worked… at least, it had when I left.

Irritatingly, the amount of time this took meant that I didn’t end up putting up a single tile yesterday. So the plan for tomorrow is to sprint to Bob to rectify the incorrect length pipes and the incorrect (straight instead of) angle valves… then sprint to the house and start hurling tiles on the wall. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get them up before our plumber arrives, which would be nice. Or at least, before he gets to a point where we might want to test the hot water.

So. That’s where we’re at.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.