Friday, May 30, 2014

Plumb Done!

When I ordered the replacement faucet from Amazon, it told me the estimated arrival date was June 10th - June 15th since it has to be shipped from Korea. Well evidently it got the speed boat over because on May 17th it arrived and on May 18th, I had to make another dreaded trip to the store for fittings because of course, it didn't need the same fittings I put so much time and effort into finding for the first faucet. I dreaded the trip to say the least.

But I had to make a trip to the ATM first and decided that since I was only a few blocks from the small family owned hardware store I would give them a try. I have stopped there several times in the past but they either didn't have the fitting I needed or only had one when I needed two. The big box store always has enough and the fitting I need but sometimes it takes me hours to figure out just where it is. This time I walked into the small family store and hooked a left into the plumbing fitting aisle. Seconds later an elderly gentleman asked if he could offer me some help. I showed him the supply line for the faucet and said I need to go from this to 1/2" solder connection and about one second later he had the proper fitting in my hand. I told him I needed two and in another second I had another fitting in my hand. Needless to say I was a happy camper and thanked him profusely for his help.

Back home I quickly soldered up the threaded ends to a small length of pipe to a valve so that I could shut them off in the future as necessary. The old valves I had removed during demo were old and badly corroded due to being really cheap valves and so anytime I redo a sink, I correct that problem. So all I had to do was cut off the capped copper lines and solder the valve assembly to the head of the pipe. Due to my past troubles, I knew that getting the lines very dry first was the key to success so I made sure to thoroughly dry out the lines before soldering.

I soldered both joints and turned the water on only to discover a pinhole leak in the solder joint on the bottom side of the right hand valve seen below. I tried again only to have a leak in a different place. This time I got my head way down in there and inspected the situation. The cast valve bodies aren't at tight a fit as regular copper solder fittings and the gap kept opening up. So I carefully soldered it a third time with my eyes inches from the area and a flashlight trained on it and after several attempts, thought I had a good solder joint. I turned on the water and had a pin leak on the backside where I couldn't see. So I cut off the whole thing, soldered is upside down in the garage so that the solder could puddle at the joint instead of running down the pipe with gravity and soldered a sleeve fitting at the end of the pipe stub. As I said earlier, it has a much tighter fit and when I slipped it down on the pipe stub under the sink, it soldered completely on the first go. So the moral of the story is, when soldering cast valve bodies into your system, solder them using gravity to help the solder puddle on the joint first even if it means you then have to use a sleeve fitting to connect it back to your lines. Because someone else has done some connecting before on these lines, I now have one sleeve on the left side and two sleeves on the right but none of them leak and that is what matters to me. About 15 minutes later, I had the faucet in place and the supply lines hooked up and was in business as you can see below. This whole sink was a battle for me but in the end, I won and hopefully I don't have to fight another plumbing battle anytime soon.

So with my mother-in-law still in the air on the way back to her home country for the summer, I finished the bathroom project in the nick of time. Now I have to cede it back over to my wife and the bathroom downstairs now becomes the man shower. After my wife got everything set up in the new bathroom, I took a few pictures to show the completed thing. Now I'm going to take a few days off and move onto something else for a change.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, that's quite lovely.

I'm curious though. The torso feed in the shower. Are they coming out at pressure or are they quite gentle.

Ed said...

Vince - Since I went with separate valves on the left, you can open and close them as much as you like to adjust pressure. Full bore, the pressure is enough to go across the shower to the back wall. This ability was extremely desirable after I removed the flow restricter in the shower head. I only open the valve part way now and get a decent flow.

kymber said...

Ed - i commented back to your comment on my blog a few posts ago. i told you that until i get a homemade vanity like the one your built - the friendship is over. i mean it.

i am awaiting said vanity to arrive in the mail. until then there will be no further communication.

i still send much love to you and yours. i looooove that freakin bathroom!

your friend, but not communicating with you until i get that vanity,

Ed said...

Kymber - Since it was a custom built vanity, I would need airfare and of course meals included during my stay!

I'm sure Jambaloney could turn out a similar vanity using scrap tires, some rubber hose, and a pallet or two! He can build anything!

edifice rex said...

I agree with the others...lovely!! I especially like the light fixture over the vanity. Never seen one like that before.
We have an old Ace Hardware here in our little town and if I was ever unsure about what parts I needed for plumbing, and wasn't going to Birmingham, I would go there. Those older guys always knew what parts were needed. I would go to them for lots of other supplies too. They got bought out by another family and have remodeled the store but I think they rehired some of those old guys.

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - My wife found that on somewhere. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it uses those candelabra bulbs which burn out quite quickly but I was able to find LED versions to put in there so hopefully I won't have to change them anytime in this decade.

sage said...

Nice work!