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The reason why I'm so slow to start a new project.

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Wolfman, Dec 31, 2004.

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  1. Wolfman

    Wolfman New Member

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    My house water is supplied by a well. This basically means that items that use water, will die, and require replacement much sooner than that of a city house.

    This time around it was the toilets. I had the old 3 gallon flush toilets that were original to the house. They were beginning to leak and run constantly, as well as the little holes around the rim, were plugging up from mineral deposits. I finally gave in, and replaced both of them, to stop the leaks, and subsequent running of the well when it was not needed. Of course, going to the 1.6 gallon flush will also reduce the water consumption, and use of the well also.

    Unit one, the master bedroom, goes in first. I'm surprised that the installation goes smoothly, and without any need for verbal "persuasion." I then decided to wait to do the second one, as that toilet was not in as bad of shape.

    After having supper, and not finding anything of interest on TV, my mind kept going back to the unfinished project. I gave in, and decided to get the job done. The second old one comes out as easily as the first one did. Putting the new one in place, results in the bolts slipping out of alignment. No biggie. However, in the process of moving the new commode out of the way, one bolt comes out of the anchor, and down the hole it goes. Damn, now I need a new bolt, and cannot find any of the "spares" that I just KNOW I have lying around - somewhere. My neighbour cannot find any of his spares either. Job will now wait untill day two. I stuff a rag in the hole to keep the sewer funk (septic stink in my case) out.

    I get up to get ready for work next morning. I'm getting ready for work, and hear the telltale sound of water running. It's coming from the new commode. I pull the top, and sure enough, the valve is seeping, and is overflowing into the center tube. I make a few quick adjustments, and get it stopped - again. How it decided that it needed to fill the tank higher, after several test flushes, is beyond me.

    I stop at Home Depot on the way home from work, and buy another set of bolts for the anchor. I get home, and the second toilet installs with perfect ease in less than 20 minutes. I check for leaks, and find all is well. I call it a night, and proceed to enjoy the evening, before going to bed late.

    I get up the next morning, and head into the second bathroom to feed the cats. My floor is squishing and gurgling when I walk into the bathroom. Huh? Water is seeping through the seams on the laminate flooring. I look around, and find a large puddle behind the toilet. Cursing, I get a rag, and clean up the mess. The hose, from the wall to the tank, that was just fine last night no less, has water dripping rapidly from it. I shut off the water, and drain the tank. Now I'm off to the hardware store, to replace a freshy defective hose. I get home, and replace the hose - no leaks. I try to get as much of the water out of the floor as possible, but it still squishes and gurgles.

    I'm now shuddering at the thought of having to rip that floor out, which was just installed 18 months ago, and replace it, if it buckles. :cussing:

    THIS is why I hate to do any sort of "home improvement" projects.
  2. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    I looked over my shoulder and saw you standing there in the "I hate doing home improvement projects" line up. Sorry to hear about the leak. Tough break on the laminate as you'll more than likely have to re-do it.
  3. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    Wolfman, don't you have cold water shut-off under the toilet tank?
  4. Wolfman

    Wolfman New Member

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    Yup, it was the hose between that valve, and the tank that was leaking.
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    And did you shut it off?
    Edit: I should have said ... and you did shut it off?.
    Go to the hardware store and find an appropriate "stainless hose clamp" and replace them on both ends of the hose or whatever type of stuff you have.
  6. Wolfman

    Wolfman New Member

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    Yes, I shut it off. Ya kinda have to, when you replace the hose, otherwise, I would have had ALOT more water in the bathroom. :eek:: I have already replaced the leaking hose between the valve and toilet, with a new one for a few bux. I had gotten lucky in the manner that I had a longer than typical gap of off time between the two days workshifts, due to being scheduled for 1600 to 0000 tonight, instead of my normal 0800 to 1600. Now, I'm praying that the floor does not buckle and come apart. It's gonna be expensive to lay new pergo on the floor.

    The story was more of a "how everything snowballs" when I embark on a project around my house.

    For example, when I was doing the remodelling of the house two summers ago, I was originally only going to put tile down on the floor in the kitchen, and not replace any of the cabinetry. During the preperation to do the tile, I found huge quantites of insulation packed under the dishwasher, and a wetline along the cabinets due to mouse waste. The previous owner took VERY poor care of the place, and the mice literally took over while she lived there. I ended up gutting the entire kitchen when I found this additional mess.

    Another one was the $20 shower head that should have only taken 5 minutes to swap out. Instead, it cost me a day of work, and I had to cut a hole in the wall to remove the copper elbow at the top of the pipe due to the chrome pipe coming out of the wall, snapping off while swapping the shower heads. Thankfully, that one happened before I got the new wallpaper up in there.
  7. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    This is why I like living in an apartment. Something needs fixing, I call the management company and they send the maintenance man over. When I bought my projector I knew I'd never be able to install the ceiling hooks for the retracting screen, so I called them, and they sent the maintenance man over. When I move out they'll have the maintenance man patch the holes and charge me for it. No muss, no fuss, leave the fussing to us... errrm, them.
  8. Wolfman

    Wolfman New Member

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    Mebbe so, but when I want to have a loud obnoxious party, I can do so without bothering a soul. Not to mention that I couldn't have my massive fur mountains for dogs either. The check I write every month for the house payment, goes to something that I own, unlike the apartment, where you are financing the landlords newest boat.

    This house may remind me of the movie "Money Pit" sometimes, but I wouldn't trade it for the ritziest apartment in the world. :mrgreen:
  9. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Wolfman, i feel your pain. i built the house i sold last spring. it wasnt my first, but it was the first i did nearly entirely on my own. and i did have a few things that did not go smoothly.

    and yes plumbing was involved. to save money, i got a factory 2nd one piece fiberglass tub/shower combo, it was less than 25 cents on a dollar since one of the biggest tub manufacturers was in a small town a few miles from my house.

    well for the first 5 years everything was fine. then my ex was cleaning the tub fixtures and banged them hard enough or something (not really sure what happened actually) and the cold water valve started to leak. well i did have a crawl space to access the tub and so that wasnt a problem. the only thing was it was against an outside wall so it was irritating in that i had to deal with insulation while working in the area. but replaced the valve and thought all was well.

    ok, now what i didnt know was that less than a week later, it started leaking. as for me, im a in and out in less than a few minutes guy when taking a shower, especially when at this time i was having to be at work at 5 am. well my ex took normal showers and started noticing that the floor was wet after taking a shower. she just thought it was her being careless and didnt think nothing of the fact that i had a solid leak proof shower door on the tub enclosure and it was a one piece effectively eliminating most leak areas.

    well to make a long story short, i was home one morning making coffee in the kitchen while my ex was bathing my son in the tub and all of a sudden water started leaking onto my head!!

    soooo, besides fixing the valve, )the tile in the bathroom survived), i also had to redo the kitchen ceiling too. (a much much harder job than the original install because of the kitchen cabinets!)

    p.s. the incident had nothing to do with our breakup.
  10. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Around 6 years ago I bought a new house in the 'burbs. Very nice, and I was very comfy. However, when homes are spaced 1.5 ft apart (Eave to Eave), a noisy neighbor quickly becomes apparent. Same as a loud party down the block.

    Fortunately, those were rare. Though there were always noisy, squealing kids playing on my lawn, and neighborhood dogs invariably used my lawn as a communal toilet. Early 2004, it was time to finally sell, while the market was so good. I just couldn't see having a home, being single.

    I'm currently in a high-rise condo, which is mine. I have equity and an asset that appears to be slowly gaining in value. I also have perks that I didn't have with a house, chiefly the heated underground parking with carwash bay. In a climate like this, that is truly a God Send.

    The high-rise is all reinforced cement, even the interior partitions. So far, it's extremely quiet. There are strict rules about parties: eg, not in your suite, but the specially-constructed "party room." About the only time I'm aware of noise, especially a raging argument (Another reason I chose to remain single!), is when I'm in the corridor.

    So I much prefer my current living conditions. I only have a cat for a pet, so most condo's and apartments don't mind. Like Daniel mentioned, I have the same maintenance situation. If anything goes bonkers, I call Maintenance and somebody else deals with it. I'm just too busy to have to deal with that day-to-day crap.

    I have a fairly secluded "hobby" farm that I picked up cheap, it was a repo. Sadly, there are a lot of those farms here in Manitoba. The nearest neighbor is around 1.5km away, so I have absolute privacy and quiet when I want it. I built a new home on the property 2 years ago.

    The new home has ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) walls almost a foot thick. Combined with the ICF, that's like having R40 walls. The house is quiet as a tomb. R60 roof, tri-pane windows, super efficient gas furnace and central A/C, etc.

    I ran PEX tubing from a central plumbing manifold, a "Manabloc," made by Vanguard Pipe. Since each faucet or commode has an individual shutoff at the Manabloc, in addition to shut-off at the device, it's very easy to isolate one misbehaving gadget without losing water anywhere else.

    I did most of the finish work and the plumbing/electrical myself. That saves a lot of money, though it used up all my vacation time and weekends for two years.

    One thing I did was put down cement backer board in the bathrooms and upstairs laundry room, since that is the most obvious source of leaks. I sloped the floor and put a very small drain at the lowest point. For most minor leaks, it's the difference between an absolute disaster or just a minor annoyance.

    I put thinset on top of the concrete backerboard, and cheap 12x12 tile on top of that. Linoleum is also a good choice too. Due to the risk of water leakage, I would never have carpet, parquet, or laminate, especially in a bathroom.

    Another thing I do is shut the water system down, even if I'm away for just an hour or so. It's an easy habit to get into. I have a ball valve at the pressure tank, and those are much easier to operate than the gate valves.

    I also turn off the main breaker to the submersible pump. Especially during a lightning storm, it's easy to cook a pump if you don't shut them off.

    To summarize, here is what I do to reduce the chance of plumbing leaks to an absolute minimum:

    1. When gone, shut off the main valve at the pressure tank and shut off the submersible pump.

    2. Keep the master valve at the washing machine off unless I'm actually doing laundry.

    3. As mentioned in the other posts, use the "proper" stainless flex to connect commodes, washing machines, sink faucets, etc. They're expensive but prevent most leaks caused by that cheap plastic flex.

    Sorry to hear about your plumbing misadventure. I've "been there and done that." The joy of owning a home and all that.
  11. Wolfman

    Wolfman New Member

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    So far, knock on wood, the floor isn't doing anything wierd. It no longer squishes and gurgles. The seams are still spread open some (presumably due to warping from the water), but there is no indications as of yet, that the pressboard material is coming apart underneath the laminate. I'll be keeping an eye on it. There are no new leaks with the new hose.

    Jayman, I hear what you're saying on the tightly spaced houses. IMO, they are only marginally better than an apartment. I have 6.5 acres of property. It's nice having the neighbours "pushed back" away from the house.

    Every time I look at a new housing development, I shudder at how close they are building them. I don't like the concept of being able to touch my next door neighbours house.
  12. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    jayman... this thread is not for the purpose of telling us how to do it right... after our adventures, we probably have figured that much out...
  13. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Dave:

    Actually, I've made mistakes with renovations and especially with drywalling, and couldn't really figure out what I did wrong. Since I'm not a contractor, I was stuck reading a one page pamphlet and wondering why everything worked perfectly in the pamphlet and was a disaster in my house.

    Helpful advice from folks who have learned "the hard way" really saved my a** in those sort of situations.
  14. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    lol...

    take it from someone who has tried to do something with those pamphlets. they leave a lot to the imagination
  15. BobA

    BobA New Member

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    Wolf, I feel your pain... I couldn't fix anything in my house if my life depended on it... thank God for the Yellow pages and credit cards... I don't cook either, but make a good reservation.

    Bob Andersen
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