A tale of two taps

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…well, valves. But that’s not so alliterative.

So as is so often the case as the deadline for our project being signed off approaches (or us getting *another* extension) I put a bit of effort in to trying to get things finished – at least enough – to get signed off.

The bathroom is the main obstacle, that and what turns out to be the terrifying price of CVG fir plywood. Dear lord.

So over the past few days I’ve made a more committed effort to getting the shower installed (a job I’d been putting off because I suspected it would be hideous), getting the bidet installed (a job I put off because it involved disconnecting work I’d already done), and getting the sink plumbing installed (a job I put off because I hate American FIP threads – despite the fact I used them everywhere because I didn’t know the US has finally discovered compression joints).

The shower – actually turned out to be (as far as I can tell so far) far less of a nightmare than I expected.

It took a fair bit of gnawing at the tiles to get the sort of wobbly stubouts (they’re kinked so you can adjust the width to make up for – fairly big – imperfections in your pipe placement, but actually mine were pretty much spot on because I spent bloody hours getting them to the spec on the piece of paper).


Once that was up the assembly proved to be fucking evil – because it didn’t seem like the people who designed it were actually aware that ceilings exist, or that it’s not possible to pass a screwdriver through a pipe to tighten up the screws. However, after a fair amount of pondering I managed to work out an order that allowed me to actually assemble it – and incredibly – it so far has not leaked.

The bidet was the work of a few minutes in the end. It’s awkward, because the toilet is incredibly tight against the wall – a combination of me not really understanding that in the US people often seem to mount their toilets with a noticeable gap between the toilet and the wall – which is probably because the floor mounted drain doesn’t allow for any position adjustment, so the plumbers probably rough it in with more of a gap than I allowed. A combination of that – and the fact that our wall ended up being a good half-inch thicker than we intended.

Anyway, so it’s tight – which makes plumbing anything around it fecking evil.

But, it actually came apart and went back together just fine. So now we had a shower and a bidet. I mean, we can’t use the shower until we seal the floor, but we *have* one.

That left the sink.

Now look, I am able to admit that I am no exceptional plumber. I can make things work – and I’ve got a grasp of the rules that I think is probably good enough to do most basic things. But I do hate FIP joints. Loathe and despise them. So I wasn’t…thrilled to be doing it. But off I went. I knocked the tape off that covered the holes, and took a chunk of time with the hole-saw cutting through the tiles to make a bit more space because I wasn’t wholly convinced by the alignment. And then I pulled the old plugs and inserted my brass stub outs.

And then I spent the entire rest of the fucking day in an unbearably tedious struggle with – mainly – this fucking valve.


It was sat on the hot pipe, and it leaked.

I tightened it, left it a bit, it leaked.

I took it apart, replaced the tape, it leaked.

I tightened it, it leaked.

I took it apart and I replaced the tape again – with a different brand of PTFE tape, it leaked.

I tightened it, it leaked.

At some point in this process, the cold line started to weep too – and I took that apart, retaped it with the new PTFE tape… And it was okay.

So I took apart the hot line a sixth time and coated it in the PTFE goop – and it leaked a little. So I tightened it up – and it seemed to have stopped. And a few hours later I went to bed.

Then I woke up in the morning…and it was weeping again.

So I decided it wasn’t me, I went to Bob and got a replacement, and I replaced it, taped it up, and… so far it hasn’t wept.

Before I ran to Bob this morning I had the great sense to plumb in the waste water, which incredibly, also does not appear to be leaking. Which just leaves the towel rail to install, for which I will have to get a hex whatsit adaptor because last time it was a pigging nightmare without it. And then… we’re done. Well, then there’s trim.

There’s always trim.

Oh! But I also picked up some chisels to install the new pulls for the sliding doors. I do have a couple of chisels somewhere, but I’m pretty sure they’re blunt as hell and I don’t have the patience or skill to sharpen them well (although I do have an India stone somewhere). I also worked out what bit of wood I’ll use to fill the void that was drilled in the door (because I didn’t realize that they’d pocket it for something stupid).

And I ordered the fucking expensive plywood for our attic doors. Which is the other job we need to be signed off as done. Which would be epic.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.