Thursday, March 19, 2009

The fun with gas never ends

Each Saturday morning we wake from our dreams of the cavalry riding in and doing a large amount of work for a reasonable price and head downstairs, turn off the gas, and get back to the pipes..

I've been lagging on posting pictures and details because it all looks a bit monotonous: a run of pipe, a piece of pipe being threaded, pipe wrenches tightening the new piece in, cutting the next obstacle out of the way. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The fun and exciting part is how every 5 feet there's an old unused gas line, or something unimportant like the main water line coming into the house, that's completely in the way of the gas run and has to be moved before we can continue.

Here's a selection of pix of threading gas lines

Here's a little slice of one section of the room.. It's a bit busy, but a decent representation of how much is involved in running not all that much pipe.

This is getting close to the end of the run to the new tankless water heater.

It may seem like hooking up a new water heater is a distraction from the work to get the heat up and running, but a) we need to complete the entire gas run for this floor so we can pressurize/test it and have it inspected, and b) our current water heater I bought on craigslist goes out at random with increasing regularity. Like last night right before shower time.

Moving on to to some of the cutting of unfortunately placed pipes.. This is a hot water line running to the lone bathroom in the house

We need to replumb the water lines in the house and Dan has been trying to get the permits approved to use Pex tubing instead of copper (it's better in 100 different ways.. Dan should do a post on that at some point.), but has been turned down several times. Pex is legal and approved, but until August is at the discretion of the local building official.

This is what that pipe looks like on the inside. It was so gross I absolutely couldn't convince the camera to focus on it!

This is one good reason for redoing the water lines, which we would do right now if we could just get that permit..

This is one of the more interesting action shots of cutting random pipes out of the way. My dear husband takes the most flattering pix of me working

Here we had not only pipes, but also walls in the way of the gas runs.

There were notches already in the joists, but they were for a smaller diameter pipe that was apparently bent here and there because they were only sort of aligned.

I widened the notches a bit and made them just a smidge taller - they can't be any more than 1.5" into the joist, which is just barely more than what they need to be for the 1" gas line to fit, so I had to be pretty careful not to cut outside the lines.

The pipe made it all the way through the field of joists only to knock right up against the top plate of a wall, so I took a notch out of that too..

..only to get the pipe to the other side of the wall where it knocked up against a water pipe!

Take that little story and repeat it over and over, and that's what the last month or so has been like

This is the far side of that water pipe after it was removed.. it's extra special because from this point on it's a single pipe that goes all the way to the kitchen sink. With no joints, our two options were taking the whole thing down and replacing it, or threading a cut end in place to attach a fitting and connect to a temporary line. Since our goal here is to get the gas done in order to have heat sometime before midsummer, we went the thread-in-place route

And it worked great! Here Dan has it all threaded and hooked up to a shutoff valve, which was then hooked up to the previously mentioned on-its-last-legs soon-to-be-retired water heater.

We've been agonizingly close to done with the pipes for awhile, but now we're actually close enough to start thinking about pressurizing the lines and testing! So I made a little test fixture that has a pressure gauge with a quick-connect to hook up to our air compressor, on one half of the same size union that connects the main gas line into the house up to the gas meter.

<-- action shot of me disconnecting the gas meter

And here's the little gauge sitting at 10 psi


until it went to 9

then 8..

I should've taken a picture of the giant air bubble that appeared the second we got soapy water on the fitting at the end of the main run right where it splits in 3 directions.. but it was a little too depressing. Basically, one of the pipes I threaded, conveniently located in the dead center of everything so that a good half the piping needs to be disconnected in order to repair it, was leaking like crazy.

This being the end of the day Sunday, we disconnected everything past that point, and attached the temporary flexible line to the current water heater to that point and called it a week.


Ayse said...

Nice belly shot. Most mommy bloggers go for that posed shot in front of a white background to show how far along they are, rather than the super-flattering up-the-shirt view.

Modulo next weekend, when we will be destroying our own house, give us a shout if you want us to put on our cavalry uniforms and stop by to give you a hand.

The MadScientist said...

What you don't like the pic of Irene squating down tightening the fittings at the meter?

Thanks for the offer of help we're not sure what we are going to get acomplished yet this weekend...plumbings mostly done, need to rough in some electrical and fix the leaks in the heating manifold...