Friday, September 24, 2010

July was mostly spent traveling and relaxing, but August saw some serious work getting done. Unfortunately it was mostly restricted to tasks where it's really hard to see progress. In order to raise the door frames to a useful level we had to install new lintels. Installing those properly is a very time-consuming process, but we got it done.

In addition to that, the plumber finally got started on the hot and cold water lines. By now they should be done I hope, with the exception of the exterior hose connection which will have to run on top of the concrete subfloor. The drains need to be done too, the plumber apparently expected us to do that ourselves (we got started since we had intended to lay concrete much earlier, so we needed all drains in the floor done). He wanted to do some fancy PVC system, but we insisted on copper since every manufacturer of plastic pipes has his own patented system - what if you want to add onto the plumbing or repair 20 years down the road and the company no longer exists? Copper pipe ist standardised in the whole metric part of the globe and fittings will likely be around for quite a while.

Now for some pictures.
The original cold water line came up from the cellar in the back hall, next to the door leading into the kitchen. There is a good 1m of dirt between the cellar ceiling and the hall floor at that point. The water meter sits in a niche on the side of the cellar. What the original plumbers did in 1976 was to simply hammer the pipe down through the dirt until it bottomed out into the cellar. Unfortunately, at a later point, the cellar was partially rebuilt (that specific section now has a vaulted brick ceiling instead of being dug into the clay, an ancient way of building cellars that occasionally collapse), and the niche now has a concrete lintel above. So far this isn't really a problem, we could unscrew the old pipe from above, pull it out and use to hole to get the new copper pipe down. Unfortunately, there is more to the pipe than it seems. Before it goes through the lintel it bends twice and has a horizontal section. That makes it impossible to get out without digging deep down in the hall. After 25cm of rock hard clay we ditched that idea and decided to drill down into the cellar in the bathroom where it is much easier to get to.

As you can see while we were at it we also installed conduit for a future light in the cellar.
So far there is none. Seriously!
The spot you're looking at is just below the tub, near the drain. All this is going to be covered with concrete, waterproofing and insulation, so technically this isn't really part of the bathroom (important because of the electric code).

All other plumbing is in too, sink, washing machine, toilet and small sink in the WC.

Oh, and of course the first final door frame and door got installed (even though it's not done so far)!
Unfortunately it seems like I forgot to take a picture of that! Will be corrected the next time I get out there, promised!