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  • You guys actually do this all the time?

    Well, I've got a couple of other large repair/remodel projects going on, and since access was pretty good while doing those jobs, I decided it was a good idea to change out the 40 year old galvanized in the entire house for brand new copper piping. Sounds easy enough, right?

    So, I've been crawling around under the house for four days, with a little plastic box full of tools and fittings and a flashlight. The crawl space is always a place I avoid. It's filthy dirty, there's nails snagging and poking you from above, concrete chunks jabbing into knees and elbows, choking dust, the occasional corpse of a dead critter (years old - I fixed all the vents when I bought the place), a few black widow spiders that do not relish my company... and at 200 pounds I don't fit in there too well. I'm working alone, so if I need something that isn't in the little plastic box... all I can do is mutter a few well-chosen expletives and start the long haul back to the surface world. I've added a water softener, so there's additional lines carrying unsoftened water to certain places (irrigation system and such)... and I plumbed one of those stainless restaurant type sinks into the garage (very cool!)... but it's all just more pipe to run.

    I should finish up installing the new system today. Then tomorrow, I cut over from the old to the new, check for problems, and go about tearing out the old pipes (I don't like all that old stuff remaining...I'm just funny that way). There's a couple of lightly charred spots (not bad) but overall it turned out ok. I have a little stainless toothbrush that I use to scrub up each joint and inspect....they look pretty good so far.

    But....What an ordeal. Yesterday, I thought to myself, I better clean up my act because this is surely a little taste of hell and I wouldn't like to take up eternal residence in such a spot. All that was missing under there was satan, and I'm sure that's because even he would steer clear of that damn crawl space. It's only been 4 days but I'm totally desperate to return to the surface world.

    I have no questions this time. I just want to make the comment that I definitely have a new appreciation for what you guys do. Helluva way to earn a buck. I have a sissy job in an office. My hat's off to you all.

    -Andy

  • #2
    Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

    How 'bout some pictures Andy.
    I've been sitting home the last few weeks making oragami out of my bank statements I could use some viewing enjoyment.
    What kind of faucet did you mount on the backsplash of the prep sink.Chicago makes a nice one.

    Thank's for the rub.Been a while.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

      andy, i use to do repipes for days on end. but usually i had another plumber. 1 man gets old going in and out. did plenty by myself and it was never fun.

      fortunately i don't deal with crawl spaces much anymore

      but when i do, i take my propress and am in and out with the pull of a trigger.

      no torch, no flux, no fire extinguisher. just a tubing cutter, inner-outer reamer, a sharpie marker and a cordless propress. no need to wait for the dripping water to stop either.

      welcome to our world

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

        My second year in business I decided to take on some renovations of flooded homes.

        One slab home, two raised homes, replaced 100 feet of gas line in one (20 feet underground), changed the cast iron vents, relocated fixtures, changed galvanized to copper, inspections, etc. I did 70 percent of this by myself.

        Two of the jobs I was paid no problem. The last one took me 7 months to collect the final check.

        After all was said and done, I was scratched, (my hands felt like they were perforated), bruised, pi$$ed off at customers changing plans, disorganized contractors, and chasing checks.

        So I hopped into my drain cleaning van and drove off into the sunset.

        People have an easier time letting go of the money once they see the water go down.

        It feels good to be appreciated, thanks.

        Lenny

        Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

        I know, it doesn't make sense.


        http://www.hebertdraincare.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

          Thanks Andy.

          Good to have someone get in the field and see what's bad and good.

          Some of us can't believe the math you probably can do either.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            no torch, no flux, no fire extinguisher. just a tubing cutter, inner-outer reamer, a sharpie marker and a cordless propress. no need to wait for the dripping water to stop either.


            rick.

            That's whats nice about the pro-press, No flames for when your under a house!
            Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
            New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

              Hi Guys,

              The job is still going on. I had hoped to have it cut over today but didn't quite get all the details handled yesterday. So I'm still at it, but pretty sure that it will go "live" tomorrow.

              Keep your fingers crossed! I hope I didn't use up all my good luck by not burning the place down.

              >> "How 'bout some pictures Andy."

              I'll see if I can get some of the sink, but it will be a few days. I mail-ordered the faucet and it's not here yet. So now I just have it roughed in. As far as snapshots of the re-pipe.... I only have one camera and it's definitely not going under there!!

              >> "What kind of faucet did you mount on the backsplash of the prep sink.Chicago makes a nice one."

              It's good to hear that you like Chicago Faucets, because that's what I decided on. I ordered a floor-mount foot faucet (part number 625-RCF), which I thought made a lot of sense for the garage when your hands are really mucked up. The sink backsplash is drilled for an 8" center set, so I have to punch a central hole (conduit punch should work) to mount a swiveling gooseneck spout.

              >> "no torch, no flux, no fire extinguisher. just a tubing cutter, inner-outer reamer, a sharpie marker and a cordless propress. no need to wait for the dripping water to stop either."

              Rick, right now to me that sounds great. But I imagine that propress rig is probably beyond the means of the non-professional. I've found that flux and flux brush are the biggest problems under the house. I use a zip-lock bag to try to keep them clean and isolated but somehow flux seems to get everywhere anyway - a mess.

              Once again, you guys deserve a lot of credit for making a living doing this. I've done a lot of major projects in all areas.... electrical service panel upgrades, room additions, kitchen and bath remodels... but nothing has been near as miserable as this re-pipe.

              Ok, back to work for me!

              -Andy

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                Rick, right now to me that sounds great. But I imagine that propress rig is probably beyond the means of the non-professional. I've found that flux and flux brush are the biggest problems under the house. I use a zip-lock bag to try to keep them clean and isolated but somehow flux seems to get everywhere anyway - a mess.
                The ProPress website says that my local HD rents the rig. I'm going tomorrow to get one for the day. I have a stub for my irrigation coming out of a home that a plumber left me. It's short and surrounded by vinyl siding. Not going to take any chances with coming close to that with a flame.

                Mick

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                  Originally posted by Fireguy97 View Post
                  The ProPress website says that my local HD rents the rig.
                  Originally posted by Fireguy97 View Post
                  I'm going tomorrow to get one for the day. I have a stub for my irrigation coming out of a home that a plumber left me. It's short and surrounded by vinyl siding. Not going to take any chances with coming close to that with a flame.

                  Mick
                  Told you, didn't I Ben?

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                    Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                    Well, I've got a couple of other large repair/remodel projects going on, and since access was pretty good while doing those jobs, I decided it was a good idea to change out the 40 year old galvanized in the entire house for brand new copper piping. Sounds easy enough, right?

                    So, I've been crawling around under the house for four days, with a little plastic box full of tools and fittings and a flashlight. The crawl space is always a place I avoid. It's filthy dirty, there's nails snagging and poking you from above, concrete chunks jabbing into knees and elbows, choking dust, the occasional corpse of a dead critter (years old - I fixed all the vents when I bought the place), a few black widow spiders that do not relish my company... and at 200 pounds I don't fit in there too well. I'm working alone, so if I need something that isn't in the little plastic box... all I can do is mutter a few well-chosen expletives and start the long haul back to the surface world. I've added a water softener, so there's additional lines carrying unsoftened water to certain places (irrigation system and such)... and I plumbed one of those stainless restaurant type sinks into the garage (very cool!)... but it's all just more pipe to run.

                    I should finish up installing the new system today. Then tomorrow, I cut over from the old to the new, check for problems, and go about tearing out the old pipes (I don't like all that old stuff remaining...I'm just funny that way). There's a couple of lightly charred spots (not bad) but overall it turned out ok. I have a little stainless toothbrush that I use to scrub up each joint and inspect....they look pretty good so far.

                    But....What an ordeal. Yesterday, I thought to myself, I better clean up my act because this is surely a little taste of hell and I wouldn't like to take up eternal residence in such a spot. All that was missing under there was satan, and I'm sure that's because even he would steer clear of that damn crawl space. It's only been 4 days but I'm totally desperate to return to the surface world.

                    I have no questions this time. I just want to make the comment that I definitely have a new appreciation for what you guys do. Helluva way to earn a buck. I have a sissy job in an office. My hat's off to you all.

                    -Andy
                    well if the plumbing thing doesnt work as a second career you should become a writer. i was cracking up thinking of some past ones ive been on. thanks for the appreciation
                    Mike
                    Clark County Plumbing And Drain
                    www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                      >> "well if the plumbing thing doesnt work as a second career..."

                      I can pretty much guarantee that plumbing isn't going to make the short list of career options for me!

                      Fortunately my short stint in hades (not having a propress, I supplied my own flames) is more or less complete as of a couple days ago. I did have a pinhole leak. Oh joy, I got to go under the house again. Turns out the leaker was a 1" elbow in a tough-to-access spot.

                      I decided the best thing to do was cut out that section, re-make it in the comparative luxury of the well-lit garage, and then splice the new assembly in with a pair of couplings in easier locations. Fortunately I had an extra elbow. But, much to my chagrin, I could only find ONE 1" coupling. Off to Home Depot. The bin marked "1 INCH COUPLING" was full. Just my luck, it was full of 3/4 inch couplings. The kid working there thought the answer was clearly to buy two 1-to-3/4 reducing couplings, which they had many of. On to Lowe's.... 20 minutes away. What's a little more time at this point?

                      Finally back at under the house, with one end of the new assembly sweated in. Moved over to get the last joint (ah, that sounded so good) and... pffft....out of MAPP. Good thing I had an extra tank. Probably the most tortuous 30 feet away of my life.

                      Once in a while God reminds us who is really the Boss.

                      As long as I was already well layered in dirt, I decided to revisit all the other joints, now that there was water inside, to make sure there were no more surprises. All good. I brought a wet rag and the stainless toothbrush to buff off any flecks of flux that I might have missed. So now the joints all sport a beautiful satin finish. Totally out of character considering the setting.

                      Having copper instead of galvanized is nice. No more blast of rust when turning the main back on, and no more cleaning out every aerator in the house. Big difference in pressure, too.

                      Still no foot-faucet for the garage sink. It's backordered. Maybe next week, they said. Sometimes on these projects, you don't save any money... you earn it.

                      Thanks for listening to me whine and complain. May hot flux never drip on your forearms!

                      Regards,

                      Andy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                        Bumping this so others can read his conclusion. I thought it was pretty good.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                          Originally posted by HebertDrainCare View Post
                          My second year in business I decided to take on some renovations of flooded homes.

                          One slab home, two raised homes, replaced 100 feet of gas line in one (20 feet underground), changed the cast iron vents, relocated fixtures, changed galvanized to copper, inspections, etc. I did 70 percent of this by myself.

                          Two of the jobs I was paid no problem. The last one took me 7 months to collect the final check.

                          After all was said and done, I was scratched, (my hands felt like they were perforated), bruised, pi$$ed off at customers changing plans, disorganized contractors, and chasing checks.

                          So I hopped into my drain cleaning van and drove off into the sunset.

                          People have an easier time letting go of the money once they see the water go down.

                          It feels good to be appreciated, thanks.
                          When I was a hlepr, I used to be a repipen' fool...water and drain systems, sometimes both on one job. 3 and 4" CI is a back killer Did a 40 unit apt. complex repipe once, emphasis on ONCE. Me and and another guy cutting out old and installing new. Every so often the plumber would check in on us to inspect our work. 2 friggin weeks I spent under that bldg. Then we had to replace the 20' deep sewer.

                          The last repipe I did was about 10 years ago. Good riddance.
                          The body can only take so much abuse from crawling around under bldgs day in and day out. I'm happy with drain cleaning.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                            Plumbing is really, really, really hard.

                            My 1st try at plumbing was trying to install a shower in a clawfoot tub that had none. Would you believe that epoxy solder stuff doesn't really work? Whoo'da thunk it? 2-20 hour days.

                            Second attempt was an ice maker for the new fridge
                            I F***King hate compression fittings! Also, that little vampire tap they give you doesn't work too well on brass. Old houses have a lot of charm.

                            This house had a bathroom in the basement, and the sink had an S-trap going straight into the floor. It was crooked so I pushed it straight. Easy fix right? After $300 and a cool video of the inside of my sewer pipe, Mr. Rooter told me it looked like someone used a hole saw to drill a 1.5' hole in the cast, shove in a piece of plastic pipe, then try to seal it with hydraulic cement. When I pushed the pipe around it actually bottomed out in the drain, blocking all solids from passing.

                            Ahhhhh, insured and reputable home inspectors! Great for a 1st time buyer's piece of mind.

                            Mr Rooter told me to get rid of the s-trap, go to the wall with a p-trap, jack the floor and put in the correct fitting, 2" and wet-vent the sink. He also said this was only a suggestion because he wasn't a plumber and that I still had venting issues (shower was installed the same way, no trap but a plug when you weren't using it to keep the sewer gas out) and that it wasn't even the best hack job he'd seen that week.

                            I said huh? There's tile on the floor! That's a lot of work! What's a vent?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: You guys actually do this all the time?

                              post photos.



                              thanks.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

                              Comment

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