Bathroom Tap Pt. 4

Final leg of Saturday’s plumbing work (see Bathroom Tap Pt. 3 for the events leading up to this).

I now had the PEX through the floor and attached to the supply. I went back up to the bathroom to install the new PEX to pipe thread straight quarter-turn valves, and the new extension lines. When I removed the old 90° quarter-turn valves and extension lines, I found a major source of the low water pressure.

The old valves and lines were severly plugged. I tried blowing air through the lines, and there was strong resistance to even that.

Where did all of that detritus come from? I suppose many years of buildup in the old galvanized lines. If this is any indication of the future, I expect to have the chance to replace more line over the next couple years.

Now that the new valves were in place, I opened the main valve on the whole-house water supply. This way Tiffany could have water in the kitchen and garage as she needed. I headed back into the house to make sure my new pipes weren’t leaking and at the front door I heard a roaring of a water jet.

Uh-oh! I sprinted back to the meter and shut the water off as fast as I could. Then Tiffany asked me “should the tub be running full blast?”. Well that was a relief. I had only forgotten to close the tub tap from when I had drained the pressure earlier. So I shut the tub off and turned the main water back on.

At this point, I thought I was only a few minutes away from the end of it all, when I realized the extension line felt funny as it connected to the old faucet…

Uh oh.

The hot water supply within the faucet itself (a 1/8 inch copper line) was corkscrewed and wouldn’t be letting much water through anyway. There’s a good chance it was already this way, because I found evidence of a previous leak and someone had wrapped one of the joints apparently to try and stop it, so maybe they overtightened the hot supply at that time…There’s an even better chance that I did this to the supply when I attached the extensions.

It was then clear that we needed yet one more trip to Home Depot. Tiffany quickly got Katarina ready, and we all three went to pick out a new faucet.

While in Home Depot, my dad video-called us and I couldn’t hear him very well, so I told him I would call back. When we got back home, I was tired and wanted to finish the job rather than talk on the phone. I called him back anyway.

As I installed the new faucet and drain, and took the chance to clean years worth of sludge out of the trap, he talked with me and told me some of his stories of fixing these kinds of things.

It was a beautiful moment.

Bathroom Tap Pt. 3

I had finished all the prep work, and I was prepared to install the new water lines to my bathroom faucet (check out Pt. 2 if you missed it).

Throughout this project, I had many more trips in and out of the crawlspace than I am expressing. Also I took more trips to Home Depot than are written. I was so new to all of this, that I was taking one single step at a time (e.g. crawl down and take a measurement, come back up and check it, crawl back down and drill…) rather than compiling my steps into efficient groups.

Anyway, for my first time cutting the PEX, I used a utility knife with a new blade, and rolled the pipe as I made the cut. It worked decently well, but I did freshen the edges to get a nice smooth line sans burs.

Crimping was more challenging than cutting. Mainly because the crimping tool was bulky and the copper rings, that fit the half inch pipe, are quite small. However, in only a couple minutes, I had a proper length of PEX with an appropriately affixed brass adapter to connect to the water supply.

It wasn’t too long till I had both lines connected and up through the floor.

I thought I was home free at this point. I had all the hardware I needed to plug into the old faucet; two straight pipe to PEX valves, two new extension lines, even flanges to spruce up the holes for the PEX entering the bottom of the vanity. Just a few more minutes and I would be finished….

I’ll write the last bit of the story tomorrow.