Totally Drained

July 20, 2010

plumbing, The Crazies

Yeah, literally.

I helped The Hubs install PEX plumbing yesterday.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Plumbing is exhausting work. That’s why I’ve avoided up to now. But he needed a helper, and the kids were busy… I was glad to help, but I’d rather be doing electric, or painting walls. Plumbing makes me wimper like a little kid.


Loops of PEX in the wall.

Plumbing is scary to me. Water wreaks devastation and damage to all the good things I’ve done in the walls. I like to be far, far away when the plumbing is going on. To hear The Hubs groan and exclaim “Ohhhh NO!” sends my blood pressure up through the roof.

See those PEX lines? They extracted a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get up there…


Construction materials are so colorful! But what is it with primary colors? How about some purple and green, eh?


PEX is a newer product in the United States. It’s very easy to install. In NEW HOMES. My 155-year old house put up a big stink. We first had to remove the old lead-soldered copper lines from the existing areas (and turn off the water supply at the same time, btw) to run the new PEX through the same holes. We had to do it this way because we didn’t want to hack into the support joists anymore than necessary (like the previous owners had done, see below).


BAD BAD plumber. That entire joist is without support! And for what?! A couple inches of PVC! Bad...

Well, the old holes were, in some cases, too small for the PEX to pass through; so we had to make a few holes, anyway. :S We got the upstairs bathroom connected, but the water supply hasn’t been turned back on yet (we’ve haven’t had showers since Saturday, ehe). We’re hoping we can finish the job tonight. I’m hoping there are NO LEAKS. This plumbing system runs right over my new kitchen.

Yes, plumbing makes me a little anxious….

About PEX: it’s been in use in Europe for over 40 years now. It’s a rigid, tough polyethylene plastic material. You connect the ends with crimps or clamps. The nice thing about the PEX system is that the ONLY joints are at the manifold box in the basement (near the water supply) and at the actual fixture (such as, at the sink’s shut off valve). It also has better insulating qualities than copper (which bursts when water freezes). Best of all, PEX is a lot less expensive than copper, and requires no blow torch to install!


Blue PEX for cold supply. How sweet.


Our manifold. We still have to connect it to the water supply and hot water tank. Scary stuff, I think.

We decided to leave the drains as they are. Everything is *technically* vented except the kitchen sink and washing machine (drains we have to re-do, anyway). Well, the upstairs bathroom sink needs a little drain work, though. Apparently, the previous owners didn’t bother to actually CONNECT the pipes together! Sewer gases belch out from this open pipe area. Not a pleasant smell when it’s been 90+ degrees for over a week. Mmmmmmm.

Hanging drainpipe


I can’t wait to install our new 1.6 gallon toilet (let me rephrase that– to HAVE it installed). We have one downstairs, and when that sucker flushes, IT FLUSHES. I swear I feel my hair move with the downdraft. Yeehaw! No more holding the flush valve and praying that the contents go down! I’m really looking forward to that. Yeah, plumbing can be exciting sometimes. LOL

ANYWAY. Once we have surmounted the plumbing hurdle, I can finally start installing the sheetrock. Maybe by Thursday I can start. Here’s hoping I get a shower before then….

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6 Responses to “Totally Drained”

  1. Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" Says:

    My dad could do a lot of things, but he never liked plumbing either.

  2. Carole Says:

    That plumbing manifold is actually beautiful. Totally cool! Prayers going up that there are NO LEAKS! 😀

  3. Marg Says:

    Gosh,I really do hope you take a break now. That looks like a lot of work but it is really awesome that you can do all that. Hope you can get it all done. It looks to me like you are doing a fantastic job as little as I know. Anyway it all looks good.
    Actually this is fun for us seeing how it is all done.

  4. Janiss Says:

    Drained is right! And I hope everything drains well for you, once you turn the water on. As with the electrical work, the plumbing looks pristine and beautiful.

    I had no idea about the PEX pipes!

  5. Secondary Roads Says:

    We’ve always had iron or copper pipes until we moved here. I liked the copper, because I can cut, fit and solder very well. We now have ABS with some iron. I’ve read your account and looked carefully at the PEX. That manifold is a great idea. I also like the color coded tubes.