Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 2 - Problem Solving, Pipe Cutting, and Plumbing Lessons

I will just go ahead and put it out there.  I got further into the DIY world than I had planned today.
My Dad had me cutting pipes in Ms. H's bathroom so we could put in the new ones for the tub/shower faucet.

I learned about soldering pipes (something I never would have the guts to try on my own.  Luckily my Dad has done this before so I watched him and learned.

This pic below is a pipe cutter.  I've never used one before.  It has a circular blade like a can opener and it clamps onto the pipe, and each time you turn the whole thing around the pipe, you turn the knob, tightening the blade, and you keep that up, tightening and turning around until the pipe is cut through.

Then Dad cleaned it with a metal brush, inside and out.
 Next he asked me to brush some of this cream on the parts of the pipes that needed to be soldered.

 And then - the part that really freaked me out.   The blowtorch-thing that heated up the soldering metal and melted it at the spot where we needed them joined.  The soldering metal seeped into the teeny space between the pipes, then once it cooled, if all had been done right, the joint would not leak.

 And onto the next cut.

Dad made me cut the old pipes.  This went against everything in my body!  But cut I did.

Now, about that built-in dilemma?  If you missed it, you can read about the pipe in the wall that surprised us, here.

The bottom line is I wanted to put some recessed, built-in shelves in the wall above the toilet. But a vent pipe was right smack in the middle of the wall.

I'm sure for some amount of time and money we could move it.  But that's not in the cards for us.  So, we have to work around it.

I sketched out what I'm thinking about.  I hope it translates here...Starting from left to right:
The mirror/medicine cabinet would be recessed. Then we would add a piece of drywall or wood trim, flush with the wall, about 4 inches wide.  Then a set of recessed shelves, about 10 inches wide.  Next another piece of drywall or wood flush with the wall, then the last set of recessed shelves.
The whole thing would be the same height and would be trimmed out together so it would look cohesive. You with me?

Basically, I added the first piece of trim, between the mirror/medicine cabinet so that when we put the piece of trim to cover up the pipe, the built-in as a whole would look symmetrical and not like there was a random piece of trim stuck in there.

Kind of like this but without the sconces, and another set of shelves to the right:
Traditional Bathroom by Norwich Architects & Designers Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Besides all that, the toilet got hauled out today.  And yes, they are laughing at me for constantly taking pictures.  :-)

So along with a lot of plumbing work, here's how the day wrapped up.

Til tomorrow,


  1. Oh...I'm envious of everything you're learning. I've always seen how to cut pipes and take out old toilets on TV but nothing beats actually doing it yourself!

    P.S.I love the idea of recessed shelves!! I can't wait to see how everything turns out :)

    1. You are such a sweetheart - thank you so much for reading! I'm so lucky to be able to learn from and work with my dear ole Dad on this. :-)

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