Since my last post I’ve gotten a bunch of smallish projects done, and I’ll address those before going into the stairs project and the painting project:


I spent a Saturday wrestling monkey wrenches over my head and broke back the galvanized water pipes to the most convenient joints, and substituted in PEX. I got everything installed, turned the water back on, checked all my joints, and found no leaks at all. Yay!

Then I noticed a drip. Grrr.

Turns out that I had a pinhole leak in a section of the galvanized that I hadn’t even touched. So I got to turn the water off again, heft the monkey wrenches again, and break out another section of galvanized. Luckily, that was the last of the work for the day. There’s still more galvanized, but it can wait until I can buy a manifold and replace it all.

I also ended up having to replace the kitchen sink supply valves (and then the flexible supply lines as well since they were clogged with galvanized pipe-rust), and the PEX-compatible ball valves were so easy to work with I don’t see any particular reason to mess around with copper stubouts and compression valves at all — just run the PEX out of the wall in a chrome sleeve and crimp a valve onto it and you’re all done.


Of course, all the plumbing work was in support of putting in a new electrical panel. The guys from Kemly Electric came out and did a great job installing it and putting in the new mast, and then a couple days later the city moved the wires and put in the meter, and Kemly came back and set up the feeder line to the old panel.

I’ve moved the bathroom circuits and the cooktop circuit to the new panel. I suppose I could move the dryer circuit but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. The rest will have to wait until I start renovating rooms.

More Plumbing

Shortly after installing the supply lines, I went to run a load of laundry. I came back later to find the utility sink completely full of water. Apparently the drain had chosen that moment to clog. Since it’s the drain that serves the washing machine, the kitchen sink, and the dishwasher, I needed to fix it immediately.

So I basically rebuilt the entire trap, with long-throw bends and a cleanout, so it won’t clog as much and if it does I can unclog it without having to cut it all out again.



Through all the frustration and work, I kept telling myself I was not going to call a plumber, dammit.

That completed, I decided the next day to finally install the new garbage disposal that’s been sitting in a box under the sink for almost a year. Installing it was pretty easy, except when I realized that it was physically larger than the old disposal and therefore the shunt over to the sink trap was at the wrong height.

So I basically had to completely rebuild that trap as well. Sigh. At least it’s now built so that it won’t accumulate ick in the shunt pipe, and I installed an air access valve so at least the kitchen sink now has a vent.

Kitchen disposal and trap rebuild

The neat thing about the garbage disposal is that it’s very very powerful. The damn thing sounds like a tractor engine starting up or something.

I think that’s it. Now on to the stairs…