Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 3: "There will be blood"

Yes, today's blog entry has a title similar to a new release from Paramount Pictures, but it has nothing to do with a Western. Rather, the first blood was shed during the course of this project. Today was "rough in the plumbing day," and Jeff, owner (and master plumber) of Grandville Plumbing showed up soon after Jim arrived to plumb in the supply and drain lines for the new shower and sink. Well, soon after he began his work, he cut his hand and he asked that I document the injury. Thankfully, Jeff took his injury like a man and he sullied on, replacing the old galvanized steel piping with copper pipes. Years ago, some plumbers used galvanized steel piping instead of copper because it was cheaper to use. The problem with using galvanized piping is that there is the possibility for bi-metallic corrosion to occur. I will not bore you non-science types as to why it happens, but what happens is that the steel pipes slowly corrode. It is simply a matter of time until the steel pipes dissolve and we have what Deirdre terms a "liquid incident."

Today, the new bathroom really started to take shape. Jim and Jeff installed base to the shower, after Jim carefully leveled the base using lots of wooden shims. Jim and Jeff showed their respective craftsmanship and attention to detail. Jim went about his work quietly and quickly, stopping only occasionally to ask for Jim or me to give him a quick hand, holding on to a pipe or straining out a drain line. At the end of the day, all of the rough plumbing work had been completed, the base to the shower had been installed and insulation was stuffed between the studs and the exterior walls. I immediately noticed how much warmer the bathroom was even before a single piece of drywall has gone up.

As I wrote earlier, you can't make an omelet unless you break a few eggs and quite a few eggs have been broken in this project already. For those of you reading my words who have never experienced a remodeling project, it is a lot messier than you could possibly imagine and your chi will definitely be disrupted. I have turned over the house to Jim and his co-workers and things are pretty much a shambles here. Not that this is a bad thing, but there is lots of dust (though not as much as was generated in our first project) and there will be novel and exciting uses for things in your kitchen. The photo to the left shows our rolling butcher block being used as a storage place for a couple of portable power tools, a place to put the charger for one of those aforementioned power tools, and did I mention the portable air compressor and the plumbing tools and supplies on the kitchen floor, too? Yes, the entropy in our home has been increased but I just need to remember that in our house we obey the Second Law of Thermodynamics, confident that with the introduction of energy that order will once again be restored.


Michael said...

I'm a bit surprised you have galvanized steel pipes there. I wonder if they were code in GR at the time they were installed. Given all the other interesting stuff you have discovered, I wonder if it was installed w/o a permit.

Lisa and Gary... said...

Good God, man. Move the coffee maker!!!