Tuesday, February 10, 2009

auwa baffromo hadfensur, part ate

Sunday afternoon, I crawled under the house with a box of tools to connect the tub's drain pipe to the plumbing pipes. I don't really mind going under the house, as it's remarkably clean down there and the soil is covered in plastic sheeting. It is, however, a very tight squeeze beneath the tub, with barely any headroom and lots of nails sticking out of the flooring and joists on which one might gouge one's head.

Upon my arrival at the site, I could see we were in trouble. The drain for the new tub sits in a somewhat different place than the old one, being as the drain itself is a bit further back from the wall and requires a long pipe to connect to the upper drain and then down into the plumbing. From my place beneath the tub, I could see that the drain was resting within a notch cut half-way into one of the floor joists. It wasn't touching the upper edge of the notch, but that was the surface that prevented the elbow we had to install into the drain from fitting. Because of the cramped nature of the area, I couldn't get my sawsall in there to carve any more of it out. That being the case, I knew I would probably have to cut through it using a piece of broken hack saw blade, which I also knew would take all afternoon.

After hacking at it for a bit, I came to another realization. In order to fit that elbow, it seemed to me that most if not all of the rest of the joist would have to be cut away. Before actually doing this, I went to fetch the wife hoping her advice would be sound. She crawled down there with me to look at the problem and decided that what we really needed to do was to chisel out more of, but not all of, the notch until we could fit the elbow in. As we don't own a chisel, we had to use a medium-sized nail-puller/crow bar and a block of stray wood to whack it with. It took a while with the both of us laying on our backs and trading striking duties from different angles, but we finally chiseled through enough to get the elbow in straight. Some PVC cement products were applied and the whole thing was ready to go.

But was it leakproof?

We had planned to use our first test-drive of the tub as a chance for the wife to take a nice soak, but instead we opted to just fill the tub with cold water. Once it had nearly reached the upper drain, I went out and crawled back under the house to check for leaks. I could see that it was leaking even before we tested the upper drain. Water was seeping out of the lower drain--not in a steady stream, but at least a good steady drip. Already it had puddled on the plastic beneath the house. Apparently when the tub drain had been knocked to one side it had lost some of its seal-power. Go figure.

Fortunately, according to the website of the plumber's putty we'd used, the stuff takes a good couple of days to fully set so we were still within a window during which we could remove the putty, reset the drain and seal it anew. And, after letting all the water out, this we did--the wife from above and me assisting from beneath the floor.

Testing the watersWe gave the whole thing a good 24 hours before doing any more testing, this time with a tub full of hot soapy water. The wife had a long soak and then I did. We'd both secretly been afraid that the new tub might suck, which would make all the work we'd put into installing it seem pretty foolhardy. However, any fears we'd had were washed away in that soak. Our Kohler tub is pretty damned awesome. It's probably the roomiest, most comfortable, deepest tub we could have chosen. In fact, I have to give the wife full credit, as she'd been the one to pick out the tub and do all the research on it.

Now that the tub's in and safe, we just have the rest of the bathroom to finish.


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