I Failed

I took a vacation day yesterday – about the only way I can get more than one day off in a row these days.  I had one goal for yesterday and today:  Get the bathroom to the point that it can be used.  I spent almost thirteen hours yesterday and a little over ten hours today trying, but came up short.

I got the tub leveled, to the extent possible.  I built the head wall, hung drywall around the edges, and glued the surround in place.  Note to self:  If there is one tub surround kit for $68, and the rest start at over $100, there is a reason.  The surround is extremely thin, with no rounded or formed edges, or any other features other than the flimsy shelf-like things in the corners.

Second note to self:  Make sure to buy enough stuff to finish the job, otherwise one will have to make an unscheduled trip to the local home improvement store to buy a second tube of glue midway through.  Yes, being the dumbass that I am, it never occurred to me that I might need more than one tube of adhesive.

I also spent way more time in the crawl space under the house than I care to remember.  I made three attempts to connect the new tub drain to the sewer line.  The old connection was rigged, so it couldn’t be used.  Then the part that I bought was the wrong size.  Finally, I got the right part (I think), but I got sidetracked with other tasks, and never made it back under the house to connect it.

I replaced the elements in the hot water heater, which is also in the crawl space.  The most it could manage was tepid before I started re-plumbing the house and turned off the water completely.  The old elements were intact, and didn’t have much buildup on them.  I didn’t see any evidence of excessive rust or other sediment in the tank.  Hopefully new elements will fix the problem.

I am replacing the existing supply plumbing with CPVC pipe, mostly because even I can measure, cut and glue.  Excuse me, not glue, solvent weld.  Initially, all I planned to do this weekend was run a new line from the main shutoff valve, tie the hot water heater in, and run connections to the tub and toilet.  I was going to add in tees to supply the kitchen sink, refrigerator, washer, and bathroom sink as those items came on line.  For some reason that made a lot more sense then than now, I ended up running the supply lines for the washer, and the pipes are in the ceiling for the bathroom sink, ready to be dropped down.  The next time I mess with it, I will route them into place and install the valves.

I did not, however, connect the water to the tub.  I managed to cut the appropriate holes in the surround with only one slip of the knife that created a nasty gouge.  At least it is under the faucet outlet, where nobody will ever see it.  The lines are routed into the wall, but I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to anchor the control valve.  Once that is done, and the valves put in place for the bathroom sink and toilet, I will be ready to go back under the house, connect the tub drain, and turn the water on.  I’m praying for no leaks.  CPVC is usually idiot-proof, but there are (or will be) nearly a hundred connections, and I’m usually pretty talented as an idiot.  I’m sure I fucked up at least a couple, which will need to be re-done.

Once the plumbing is done, the lines bled, and any necessary repairs completed, I will caulk the seams in the tub surround, install the curtain rod, and take my first shower.  I don’t usually do a lot before/after work.  I sweat profusely, and with no way to wash afterwards, I try to limit my activity out of respect for my co-workers who will have to smell me the next day.  However, I’m close enough that there is a good chance that the “first shower” will take place within a week.  Wish me luck.

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5 Responses to I Failed

  1. GarandGal says:

    Good luck! We’re saving to have the wall and floor under and around our tub replaced. The lowest estimate we’ve found so far is 2k. I would prefer to do it ourselves but the husband refuses to participate and I’ve never done anything of that magnitude on my own.

    • alaskan454 says:

      Thanks! It is no fun whatsoever. Had I had the choice, I would have gladly paid someone to do it all for me. Happy Mother’s Day!

      • GarandGal says:

        unfortunately we’re in a race to get the money saved before the house suffers real damage. I’m not sure we’re going to make it, which is why I want to get it done even if it’s a huge pain in the arse. I just don’t know where to start.

  2. lpcard says:

    You know I’m on vacation this week…

    • alaskan454 says:

      Yeah, but I’m not. As of now, I’m scheduled to work every day, including Sunday. I’m not going to ask you to work on my house without me being there to at least pretend to help. Thanks for the offer/reminder, though.

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