Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finally Some Construction Up in Here!

It's been quite a while since I posted any projects that involved J tearing up something and putting it back together.  He's quite good at that, you know.  But when you get 75% of the house completed and decorated, sometimes the budget dictates a break.  And a need to save up some cash money.

So while we're saving up, we also have been exploring options to finish the kitchen (we're doing counters and one or two appliances) and also options for the floor.  So as you can imagine, J has been getting antsy to tear something apart.  Enter "one noisy shower." 

A couple of weeks ago, my sister came to visit for the weekend.  As she was in the shower and we were sitting downstairs in the living room, we heard what sounded like an amplified dripping sound.  Naturally, my explanation was picky pipes.  Old house, old pipes, surely there'd be noise.  Apparently that is not a valid explanation, thank you Bob Vila.  (That's sarcasm for those who can't deduce that)

In the blink of an eye, J was upstairs with a saw and a stud finder.  When I get around to making my floor plan, you'll see that the bathroom sits in between the two bedrooms.  This is important you see, because my bedroom went from looking like this:

To this:
And eventually, to this:
J's first thought was that there was a leak in the pipes.  Hence the hole in the wall.  So he checked by the shower head where he had previously raised the shower head and soldered the pipes.  No leak.

He next thought it was the gator bites (pieces you use in lieu of soldering) for the four way mixing valve (which is where the pipes bring the hot and cold water and mix it together so when you use the valves in the shower, you get your hot and cold water).  No leak.

The next step was to check the drain line and the overflow on the tub.  No leak.

It turns out the leak was a result of the caulking being punctured by the grout on the back side of the shower as well as the vent stack rubbing against a stud in the wall.

It all sounds so simple now, but it took several days to get this one figured out.  In the meantime, he tinkered with some wiring and put these cute blue boxes in place ("junction boxes" I am told they are called):

There were three boxes total: one to cap off wiring that went to a sconce outlet, and two to cover up exposed wiring ("from the previous owner, make sure you include that," he is saying)

Now, you might ask yourself how, after so much trial and error, he was able to figure out the problem.  Typically I would be excited to share my role in these projects as usually I only participate when blogging, this time not so much.  Sadly, this discovery came as a result of me taking a ton of showers and being told to stay in the shower for prolonged periods of time while he checked for leaks on the other side of the wall.  

Here's how our conversation went on a couple of occasions:

J: (yelling from the other room) "Stand near the front of the tub."
M: "Can't I stand under the water?"
J: "Whatever, just stay in there and don't move."
conveniently, standing where I had to stand wasn't under the water at all.  
J: "Are you standing there?"
M: "Yes..."
J: "Okay, now splash around a bit."
M: "How am I supposed to splash around in the shower?  This is not a bath"
J: "Just do it."
M: "Okay." (By this point I was bored and starting to prune so naturally, commenced singing)

End scene.

So J was happy to tear open the wall and find the source of the problem only to patch it up just before Christmas.  
He painted it New Year's weekend and we are now back to this:
And that weird, oddly placed sconce hole is no more.  

Moral of the story: don't let J go too long without a project or the boy is going to start tearing things up.  And fixing a noise that I'm fairly certain was picky pipes despite what his construction logic might say.


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