To Plumb or Not to Plumb?

April 5, 2010

kitchen, plumbing, remuddling

Hey, did you know that the word “plumb” in plumbing comes from the ancient Romans, meaning “lead”? The Romans innovated plumbing. They realized that cities were cleaner and had less disease when fresh water was piped in and sewage waste was piped out. However, the Romans lined their pipes and water cisterns with lead. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize the toxic effects of lead to the brain. Some of those crazy emperors we read about may have had lead poisoning. :S

Well, anyway, that’s the long way of saying that I have been consumed with learning about the plumbing system of a home. I met with my plumber over the weekend, and he gave me a general estimate for the work to be done here.



I’m seriously reconsidering my pledge to “never do plumbing.” Yikes $2400 (without New York State tax included) is what I wanted to spend on the ENTIRE KITCHEN.


Plumbing is pretty cut and dry. The problem is that the system here in this house is unvented. Can you believe that?! A “professional” plumber (he is a plumber, but he did this work on this house as a favor for his sister who was the trustee of the church that owned the house before we bought it… if that is comprehensible at ALL) did the work. He slapped things together. Not only is the system lacking vents, the pipes for several fixtures are not attached/secured. Nope! Dear Remuddlers: simply owning and wearing plumbers’ uniforms does NOT make a plumber. You must KNOW the concept behind good plumbing and DO it CORRECTLY. See?

For example, the drain pipe under the bathroom sink is a little smaller in diameter than the drainage plumbing behind the sink in the wall. All the guy did was poke the sink drain pipe into the wall drainage pipe. If the sink is ever clogged or a large rush of water is draining in the sink, the drain water backs up and comes gushing out through the opening inside the vanity cabinet.


And there’s a lot more.

Problem is, connecting everything to the vent stack. I would have to slice open the existing vent stack (there is one vent stack, it’s for the tub and toilet upstairs) and connect the downstairs toilet, downstairs, sink, kitchen sink, washing machine drain, and upstairs sink into it. That’s a lot of cutting.


I don’t know, folks. I could save a lot of money by doing this myself… but I think I’d probably have to ditch the entire old system and start from scratch (as I decided to do with the electric here). That would take a lot of time. I could buy them at eBay cheap, and resell them when I’m done, that wouldn’t be a problem…

*sigh* I’m a little discouraged, I guess. I haven’t even begun, and already the costs are piling up!

Oh well… I’ve been through tough times before, and the good Lord has helped me through. Keep me in your prayers. I don’t know what to decide, which way to go. I’m thinking I may have to bite the bullet and hire a guy, but this will double the cost of my kitchen re-do. Not sure what to do yet.

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