Tag Archives: plumbing

Toilet Tragedies and Other Holiday Fun

January 9, 2013


I had always relegated it to urban legend, those tales of Christmas-Day plumbing emergencies… but to my shock and surprise, those things REALLY do happen. And who else would it happen to but ME!!!

We were getting ready for bed late one night when my son ran breathlessly into the room. “The toilet is not flushing and there is water squirting all over the floor.”

{insert screaming, crying emoticon here}

We are a family of six people and our old house has two toilets. The one downstairs doesn’t work so well so the one upstairs is the mainstay. This toilet was installed way back in 1962, however, so you can imagine the amount of water it ate with every flush. And worse, the drains are so poor here that we would have to hold the flushing handle down until all the water was sucked down the bowl. I estimate that the sucker wasted 10 to 15 gallons of water with every flush. Yes, our water bill is atrocious. So I couldn’t say I was sad to see the old porcelain hag go. But at 11:30 at night on a holiday weekend?!?!?! Noooooooo!

Providentially, I had an extra toilet on hand. It was actually a miracle. In late October, Delta Faucet asked me if I wanted to try out their latest toilet, with SmartFit™ and WaterSense® technology! Sure, I said, imagining that I had months to install it….. my my my, such are the plans of mice and men…

We trudged upstairs to check out the damage. I knew the old toilet leaked a bit — the floor is spongy and it squeaks. After a quick caucus, we figured the wax seal beneath the toilet was shot, and since we have to remove the old thing, why not install the new Delta toilet now? The box said it had an EZ Out™ Toilet Removal Kit, so maybe something will actually be easy for us this time?

We rolled up our sleeves and set to work. The hardest part was removing the old toilet. Those screws were welded on by time and eternal moisture problems. Good riddance.


The EZ Out™ Toilet Removal Kit is really neat! It has a stiff block that is actually a compressed sponge. You plunk it into the old toilet bowl to remove all traces of water. The kit also has gloves (YAY for that!) a plastic scraper the remove the old wax ring, and a plastic bag to throw the wax ring away. My son actually got excited (it was his first toilet project) and wanted to scrape the wax ring himself. Son, BE MY GUEST!


Yeah, he looks tired. It was only 2 in the morning… 😐


We unboxed the new Delta toilet and I got my first look at it. Delta had sent me their luxurious Corrente series toilet and it’s beautiful! It’s narrow, so it fits better in the small space. It’s also elongated and taller than average!!! I can’t tell you how important this is. I sometimes get a stiff back in the mornings, and it’s not fun to have to .. well, you know. Those low-to-the-ground toilets are fine for 6-year olds but let’s face it we haven’t had a 6-year old here in a decade. Time for the toilet to grow up.


Yes, the cat made sure we were doing everything just right. She often joins in on our projects, which is OK except when she gets too close to the wet paint or, in this case, the silicone adhesive… *sigh*


The tank is so tiny! It has a special contraption inside — this must be the WaterSense feature. It only uses 1.28 gallons per flush! And the flush is very powerful, so no flushing twice. It works perfectly even with our sluggish plumbing system.


Here Livvy is supervising the toilet seat installation. Delta even provides that in the package!




Now if I can only convince the cat to use the thing…

So Delta saved my skin that night. It was a true miracle that we had the toilet on hand, truly. I love Delta products. I think they are built to last. I have lived in a lot of old homes, and I’ve only ever seen Delta products stand the test of time. We are still using the old Delta faucets here, installed by the previous owners in the late 1960s. They faucets never leak and are still working perfectly. That’s proof of some good manufacturing there.

Here’s the poop on the new toilet we installed. It flushes without any problems and we love it!

  • RSL (Rigid Supply Line) model is available for use where required by State or Local Plumbing Codes.
  • Maximum flush power while saving you money, Delta 1.28gpf WaterSense labeled toilets are virtually clog-free.
  • Features the exclusive SmartFit™ tank-to-bowl connection and SmartFit™ supply line, reducing potential leak points, over-tightening of the fasteners and cracking the toilet.
  • Delta toilet kit includes the tank, bowl, toilet seat, mounting hardware, SmartFit™ supply line, wax ring and SmartFit™ Multi-Tool. No additional tools required.

Oh, and we did find out the reason for the old toilet failure — when we lifted up the old toilet, the drain was filled with a wad of those “flushable” wipes. It was my wonderful job of running a plumber’s snake down the pipe to loosen everything down there. Yeah. Don’t you believe it when those wipes manufacturers say their products are flushable — they are not!

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How to Clear a Clogged Drain Without Chemicals

September 13, 2011

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Those magical drain chemicals lauded on television aren’t all they are cracked up to be. When I got my first clog here at the old homestead, I used drain cleaners. Clogs in old plumbing can be pretty intense, and the clogs were never relieved after waiting only a few minutes, as per the chemical’s instructions. Instructions notwithstanding, I did it again and waited longer. Bah. Didn’t really work.
Hanging drainpipe
I didn’t know the damage that the chemicals could do until one day the husband went to look at a pipe under the sink. When he touched the chrome “S” trap, it fell to pieces in his hands. :-O The drain chemicals had eaten through the pipe.

I never use chemicals anymore. Folks with septic systems should never use chemicals, as the chemicals will disrupt the septic tank processes and perhaps harm the environment.

I’ve had very good success with my own physical techniques. Sure, they are messy and some of them are not for folks with weak stomachs… but my plumbing is intact. And I have a very weak stomach when it comes to plumber’s bills.

Baking Soda and Vinegar
I usually use this technique for the kitchen sink downstairs. I dump a healthy serving of baking soda down the drain. I then add a cup or two of vinegar. The base of the baking soda combined with the acid of the vinegar produce a chemical reaction– bubbling and mildly explosive. I press my hand over the drain to force the chemical reaction down the drain. For mild clogs, this often works.

The Manual Method
Believe it or not, many times I can unclog a bathroom sink by fishing around inside the drain. I have an old rat-tail comb that I reserve for this purpose. Bathroom sinks are more prone to get clogged with hair, floss, and soap scum. I stick the comb into the drain and fish the debris out. Then, I flush the drain with very hot water.

The Plunger
Not just for sluggish toilets, the toilet plunger works perfectly for the bathtub drain. Run a little bit of water into the tub to create a small pool of water. Place the plunger over the drain and chug down a few times. If the plunger wheezes and air sputters out, there is not enough water in the tub to create an air-tight pressure. I fill the tub a bit more and repeat the process. I’ve been doing this for a few years and it always fixes the clogged drain.

The snake.

The Auger
Also called the “snake,” I break out the plumber augers for the big dogs. There are several different kind of augers, and you should really use a certain one for a certain job. There’s the basic snake, a mere cable of just a few feet. This is good for small bathroom sinks. Then there’s the large auger, with a hefty metal or plastic bowl-shaped housing. I use this for big jobs like waste line cleanouts or big clogs in the bathtub drain.

The manual auger.

Finally, there’s the closet auger, which looks like a stiff whip. It’s a long pole with a handle. You insert the end of the pole into the toilet bowl. The end of the pole has a plastic end to protect the porcelain from scratches from the metal cable. I once had a serious toilet clog when one of the kids accidentally flushed a washcloth down the toilet. Back then, I didn’t know what to do except call my local plumber. He showed up with the closet auger, stirred things around for about 5 minutes, and charged me $100 for the visit. While some plumbers would have charged more, it was a hefty fine for a wayward washcloth.

Here’s a great video I found on how to use a closet auger.

An Ounce of Prevention…
As always, an ounce of prevention is worth that proverbial pound of cure. Old timers claim that one sure-fire way to prevent clogs is to dump scalding hot vinegar down the drains once a month. That sounds like it would work– the vinegar and hot water would clear any residual grease and soap scum, yep. But I have half a dozen drains…. I’d have to gallivant throughout the house doing this every week?!

My own preventative measures include the following:

  • Always pick up stray hair after combing your hair.
  • Never NEVER never dump grease down the drain.
  • Never dump paint or other congealing liquids down the drains.
  • NEVER NEVER NEVER dump food or bones down the drains.
  • Be vigilant about what goes down the toilets. No paper towels, baby wipes, etc.

A monthly treatment of vinegar and baking soda helps, too.

Who knew plumbing could be SO interesting! Thanks for reading. 🙂 Hope this helps!

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Blast From the Past, July Heat Wave Edition

July 22, 2011

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My son’s Biology course is finally over (the kid “A”ced it, too!!), so our summer has begun and our thoughts are turning toward wrapping up a few of the undone projects from last year’s renovation. I’m not planning any big projects this year– I tend to intersperse them every other year, for sanity’s sake! That, and I still have to pay off the kitchen renovation.

But we really can’t do much this week because of a very intense heat wave that’s hit the Northeast. I suffer in the heat, so I’m waiting until it passes before I attempt any projects. I remembered that about this time last year, we had a stretch of unusually hot weather, too. What were we doing then? I checked it out.

OH YEAH. Insulation.

Oh gosh, installing insulation in July is a nasty job. You have to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, dust masks…. and the fiberglass seems to shake loose from the batts and go right for your face. But the job is SO WORTH it come winter. The house has never been toastier. Ever.



We also installed our plumbing about this time. We used the new-fangled material, PEX. It’s a very stiff plastic material, a suitable replacement for the super-expensive copper.



Have you heard about all the copper thefts going on? There’s been quite a bit in my area. These jerks will raid an entire house, ripping out the plumbing so they can sell the copper at the scrap yards. When we went to the scrapyard to sell our old copper pipes, the scrap yard took my husband’s driver’s license information! Apparently, the cops are monitoring the flow of copper in the area.

Did you notice how the husband installed the PEX into such lovely rings? 😀 I love the PEX manifold system. When we went away for a week-long vacation out of state, turning off the water supply was a piece of cake. And when we have to turn off the water supply to a fixture, all we have to do is turn the valve at the manifold.

Going over these photos is somewhat therapeutic for me. I’m not getting any new projects completed, and I feel somewhat low about that, from time to time. It’s easy to get discouraged with so many small (but important) things to do yet. Looking over the photos helps me remember how far we’ve come. I’m really praying that next year, we tackle the upstairs level. And get new windows. After that, it’s just the exterior and yard!!! Oh, and maintenance. :-p

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Old Home Owner’s Malaise

June 13, 2011


Maybe this is normal. I don’t know.

I’m suffering from a severe case of the Old Home Blues. I have absolutely no energy to tackle any projects around here. Not the garden, not all the undone little projects from the kitchen renovation from last summer…. and when I encounter a “new” problem, I just want to go to bed and pretend it isn’t there. Right now, if I could sell and make a profit, I would. I would get a new house (in old-house speak, a new house is one that was built post World War II). ALL the plumbing and electric and insulation and windows would be done. Maybe even have nice carpeting and a deck and a downstairs toilet that doesn’t bubble when the upstairs is flushed… It would be the next thing to heaven. yeah.

Oh, I’m down in the dumps about another plumbing problem. Honestly, I kinda thought we were over the plumbing problems, last year after we replaced everything—well, ALMOST everything, and that’s the problem right there.

The handle to the bathtub faucet broke off yesterday. I dropped a small plastic container of hand soap on it, and BOOP it snapped. Just a handle, though. Tub handles are replaceable, easy– you screw off the old and screw on the new!! EASY!!!

*violent sobbing*

The faucet handle stem is plastic. The stem is the rod inside the handle that turns the water supply on and off as you spin the handle. Every single diagram I have ever seen shows metal stems. The screw off. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Except mine. Mine’s plastic. And they don’t screw off.  Nope, the system is all integrated. The chrome sleeve escutcheon, the valve body inside the wall. All integrated. So we can’t just screw off the old and screw on the new. We have to GUT THE BATHROOM WALL and replace ALL the copper pipes to install a new valve, stem and faucet fixtures.

tub faucet plastic stem1

You can see the plastic stem end that broke off.

tub faucet plastic stem2

The chrome sleeve will NOT budge. I think it’s welded to the valve (inside the wall). There’s no threaded flange to screw on and off. We managed to remove the plastic cartridge from the sleeve. I’ve never seen anything like it in a tub handle, but then again, I’m no plumber. I can understand the cartridge inside as plastic.. but plastic for the STEM?! The rod that sticks out upon which the entire handle spins? It’s born to fail.

tub faucet plastic stem4

tub faucet plastic stem3

I don’t think this type of tub handle set is even made anymore. We would kinda like to modernize the whole thing, but we’d have to replace the whole thing, a monumental task. This is the valve from the “access panel” behind the shower. Note that the panel covers the right side of the plumbing. There’s a wall stud there. We can’t replace the valve, anyway, unless I hack through the wall with a reciprocating saw.

tub faucet plastic stem5

Do you hear that banshee-screaming-like sound? That’s not the wind. That’s my whining, all the way from New York State.

Hey, if any of you old-timers have any advice to offer me, please do. 🙂

Update: I’ve done more research online, and it looks like the plastic cartridge is replaceable (the brand is Universal Rundle). I even found an online store that sells them!!!!! That’s encouraging. The Hubs is going to decide whether he wants to simply replace the cartridges and leave the cob job cobbed, or replace the entire valve system to something more modern. We’d have to rip out part of the wall for that…. it’s not a large portion of the wall, but I foresee some issues. I only pray that all the twisting and shaking we did yesterday to get the handles apart has not broken the seals around the copper pipes! Pray that we don’t get a leak!

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Find the Kitty Friday, Late Edition 10/15

October 15, 2010


Find the Kitty Friday

Where the action is, there is Livvy.


We finally got the gas dryer installed. The Hubs installed the gas line. It’s actually not a very difficult task (yea, SHE says, haha!). The key is perfect measurements for the gas pipes. We were going to hire our plumber to do the work, actually, but changed our minds over the summer. We found out that our plumber had taken a few dangerous short cuts when he installed the gas line for us a few years ago. He’d used one of those flexible stainless steel pipes (coated with yellow plastic) to rig up to the main gas service line pipe. He then stuck it up into a hole into the laundry room, attached a flange on the end, and connected another yellow flexible gas pipe from the flange to the dryer. Plumbing codes say that for main service gas lines, you have to use solid, black pipe.

One we saw how non-complicated it is to install your own pipe, we decided to do it ourselves. It’s also saving us upwards of $1000. The hardest part is making accurate measurements. You also must test for leaks with soapy water. I also test for leaks with my very sensitive nose. 😀

So anyway, we got the dryer installed. THANK GOD. I had been carting 15+ loads of laundry every week to the local laundromat all summer. WHAT a chore. Of course, as soon as we get the dryer installed, Livvy wants to be a part of the action. I love this cat. Everything is new and exciting to her, even laundry. LOL.


Yet we still have no heaters, downstairs. We have an electric space heater for the most chilly of days, and are bundling as best as we can in blankets. The heaters require more gas lines, and The Hubs has not had any time to get them installed yet. I tried to encourage him, by patting him on the back after doing such a great job with the dryer line.

“Thank you so much! It’s works great!! Are you happy about such a job well done?”

“It’s over,” was all he said.


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Our Dishwasher Dream…

September 16, 2010


…came true!

A little background: We are a family of six. For over a year, I babysat several kids, making it TEN people to cook for, and to clean for. Imagine the humungous stacks of dishes we had to wash every single day. We couldn’t renovate the kitchen at that time, and there was no room in the kitchen to shoehorn a dishwasher. We washed and washed and washed by hand.

My kids prayed and prayed for a dishwasher, prayed and prayed for a kitchen renovation…

Ladies and gentlemen— I’d like to introduce to you—-


Our new baby!

We went without a kitchen sink for over a week before getting this in (the kids were washing dishes in the bathtub!). The first night The Hubs rigged it up, the kids and I grabbed the chairs and placed them in a circle around the kitchen. You’d think we were gearing up to buy gold coins or something! We switched it on, and — GLORIOUSLY — the machine started. It WASHED the DISHES! What a monumental moment!!!

Yeah, I’m a little exuberant. If you had to wash mounds of dirty dishes in a bathtub, you’d be a little excited, too, I’ll bet. 😀

I purposely purchased the cheapest dishwasher I could find, online. It’s a HotPoint. No fancy buttons, no fancy doodads, no special heating element. It’s a super-simple barebones machine. I had heard some stories about folks spending several hundred dollars on fancier models, only to have the fancy models croak quickly. Those electronic panels on the fancy models seems to fry very easily. That makes sense– the dishwasher generates a lot of heat with water, creating steam. Water is the enemy of electronics…

Anyway, there’s only one option on this machine: WASH. There is a toggle switch for heated dry or not, too. We tried both, and the heated dry does dry the dishes a little faster. The kids want to use it, so it’s fine with me.

I LOVE MY DISHWASHER. Glory to God, our prayers are answered. o/

By the way, here’s a frugal tip for keeping your dishwasher in tip-top shape: instead of using commercially-made rinse-cycle liquids, use white vinegar. It will keep the dishes spotless and squeaky clean, while at the same time keeping mineral deposits from clogging the inside.

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Totally Drained

July 20, 2010


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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Preparing For the Renovation

May 4, 2010


It’s crunch time.

I haven’t posted since Friday, but it hasn’t been because I’m slacking! Things are really starting to take shape. I’m assembling materials, earning money to pay for all the materials (so far, I’ve incurred NO DEBT to pay for anything!!), making my plans, assembling a work schedule, and meeting with plumbers. I’m still not firmly decided whether to do my own plumbing.. I’d rather not. PEX is easy enough, but I am doing so many other things and I’m feeling pretty stressed about the plumbing. $3000 is a big, big pill to swallow, though…. *sigh* I met with another plumber today, and will meet with another later, so I’m weighing my options here. Lots of these guys envision the Sistine Chapel of plumbing when looking around… but I don’t want decorative, superior plumbing, I just want to have drains and not smell sewer gases anymore. It’s great that these guys take great pride in their work, but I can’t pay for top-notch design. Many are willing to do things in stages (which is good), but I’m happy with Studor vents and they want to cut into studs and create a network of vent pipes. Not sure what to do here. All I want is “sufficiency.” My home is an average home in a below-average neighborhood; I don’t want to over-renovate it.

In other news, we got our new window. It’s FIVE feet by FOUR feet! That’s twice the size of the existing (crappy), broken window we have right now. OHHH let me tell you, I am SO excited at the prospect of having daylight around me while I work!


Imagine glorious daylight streaming through this baby!

It’s a side-sliding, too! Yay! My existing window is this little aluminum hole in the wall– a single-hung type. But the aluminum is so warped that I cannot open it. It takes one of the taller guys to whack the thing open a few inches. It’s a pretty dismal kitchen I have right now. I cannot WAIT to have something clean and pleasant. Who knows, I may be inspired to cook again, lol.


The old window. The curtains cover a nasty crack in the corner of the glass.

We also got two new toilets for the bathrooms, the 1.6 gallon toilets. The existing ones date back to the 60s, and they are huge. They also have almost no flush power (probably due to the plumbing drains)– with those old battleaxes, we have to hold the flush handle down to flush anything here… and watch as a gadzillion gallons (and accompanying dollars) literally go right down the drain. The water bill here is mortifying. I’m hoping that proper drains will fix most of the problems.


I got these two toilets for $50 off apiece! (I love Lowe’s!). I went to Lowe’s last week, and spotted one of their sale flyers. In it was a sale on a particular toilet– the toilet was high rated and dirt cheap (4-star flush power and $79). I looked and looked but couldn’t find the model. Finally, I asked the two Lowes dudes, and they couldn’t find it either. So they called their manager, who said to give me the next model up (upgraded) for the same $79 price!!! I flipped! So I got a 5-star flush power model for $80/each. They Lowes dudes were fun, too; we cracked jokes and talked about how fun it is to work at Lowes (and to even have a job– this IS New York State, after all). So kudos to Lowes for great service and showing me favor. I appreciate it. 😀

We also got most of the garden planted this week, too. I’ll have more on that in a future post. Things are really starting to come together. Yay! I can’t wait til this is all over in three months!

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Going With PEX Plumbing

April 22, 2010

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When I gut the kitchen in a few weeks, all the house plumbing will be exposed for us to see. I’ll be able to view the condition of the pipes and see for myself how miserably the system was installed previously. I’m expecting to find a disaster behind the plaster and lathe, so we’re gearing up for replacing everything. Unfortunately, even though I live a mere 30 minutes from the Copper City (Rome, NY), copper is very expensive. It’s also difficult to install (propane torch and soldering). We’re going to be doing the bulk of the plumbing ourselves, so we’ve opted to go with the PEX system.

In a nutshell, PEX is like heavy-duty garden hose. You use the piping for your water supply system. The pipes come in lengths anywhere from 5′ to 1000 feet, so the only connections you’d ever have to make are at the supply in the basement and at the fixture shut off valve. No joints, elbows, or fittings in the walls. VERY nice. PEX has been used in Europe for over 30 years now. I first heard about it on This Old House about 10 years ago. I’m looking forward to using it. The Family Handyman has a good article about it, too.

Right now, I’m shopping around for supplies. The PEX piping is not terribly expensive (a fraction of the cost of copper!), but the crimping tool is $100 or more, and the fittings are rather pricey (it’s a good thing I don’t needs loads of fittings). I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see that my favorite online store, Buy.com sells PEX supplies! There’s not a ton of PEX, but enough to make it worth my while, especially with the piping. Buy.com has everything! I used to go there once a week or so, to check out their great sales on electronics every week, but then I started to peruse the store for my household stuff, like vacuum cleaner bags, cleaning products, garden products, and hardware. They also have a ton of books on home improvement (and some great textbooks, too).

So I’m happy. I’ll be saving a ton of money on plumbing by doing it myself, and doing it with PEX. I have a lot of homework to do– right now, I’m learning about pipe diameters for optimal water pressure. I’ll have more on PEX as I go along, and definitely give my opinions about installing the system. You already know my opinion about Buy.com– they rock!

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I Am Becoming Desperate

November 29, 2009


There are days when I feel a very strong urge to just start pulling down walls here. We’ve managed to live with the lack of electricity upstairs, and the endless strings of extension cords throughout the house. But when it comes to this kitchen, I sometimes go tilt. Last week was like that.

Our kitchen was not the original room for the existing kitchen. I think this area may have been the housekeeper’s quarters. This area became the kitchen probably sometime in the 1940s or so, and then a very shabby remodel was done in the late 60s. It’s a dark corner of the house, and the kitchen is shoehorned between the dining room and the living room; so half of the small kitchen is a hallway and a stairwell and there’s a big (unused) chimney taking up space. And did I mention that it’s ugly as all get-out? Dark brown cabinets, bright orange laminate countertops, ugly yellow-brown busted tiles, a drop ceiling… and multiple paint jobs of bright pink, powder blue, dark brown wall paneling, and green paint? I detest this room. We’ve thought about getting new countertops, but I stubbornly resist. The kitchen is falling apart; to place new countertops in this crumbling kitchen is like putting a new paint job on a rusting Model T.


I am making serious plans to totally gut this room next summer. I just can’t stand it anymore. LOL!

Well, what started my desperation all over again was when we had to fix a plumbing leak under the sink. […]

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