Monday, October 8, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Plumbing the Depths of Insanity

Betwixt and between chipping off cement from the backsplash, some of our brain cells started thinking about the plumbing for the kitchen sink. Por qué, might you ask?

This is por qué:

It’s a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, coated with expandable foam. 

Let’s do a quick review of what we are dealing with:

  • Currently the hot and cold water pipes, along with the drain, come up from the floor. As you can see from the above picture, wood was used on the base of the cabinet to patch the open area surrounding the pipes. And, oh my, what an expert job that is. Due to what we can only presume was an additional way to prevent bugs from coming in, foam was sprayed around the wood patch and the base of the pipes. Groovy.

  • The shut-off valves for the hot/cold water lines are waaay at the top.

    David replaced the valves not long after we moved in, because the old ones broke off in his hand when he tried turning them off to install a new faucet. Ahh, quality workmanship at its best. 
  • There are no shut-off valves for these lines outside of the house. The only way to turn water off is to turn off the main water valve, which means we would have no water, whatsoever.

  • We already ascertained that the existing cabinet is sitting not on the floor tile, but the cement pad of the house; a difference of about 1 ½”. 

  • We also know that our contractor, Kim Longsworth of Bessa Décor, would prefer that the hot/cold water lines and drain come in through the wall behind the cabinet. This will make for an easier installation, because the unit can be slid into place instead of being lifted over the existing pipe fittings.
Once our brains stopped exploding with all of these fun facts, we got down to business of coming up with some solutions to our problems (with the aid of a stiff drink).

While it would mean an easier installation for Mr. Kim's cabinet crew, initially we were loathe to have all the plumbing re-routed. But once we realized the existing pipes would need to be cut, even if we didn't re-route the pipes, well, if you're going to do a job, might as well do it the right way.

So we'll bring in a plumber to put holes in the concrete wall to accomodate having the water and drain lines piped from the outside. We'll also have shut-off valves installed on the outside.

With that in place, we can turn off the water from there, disconnect the existing pipes under the sink, and cut them off as close to the base as possible.

The cabinet will then be lifted over the tile and taken away. The final pipe nubs coming from the floor will be trimmed off and capped.

The void from the missing tile will be filled with concrete and allowed to set.

Then the new cabinet can then be installed, with holes drilled in the back for the pipes coming in through the back wall.

At that point, we can run new pipe from the exterior shut-off valves into the house and attach everything to the sink.

Now all of this hinges on the fact that we will need to know from Mr. Kim when he expects to have that cabinet piece ready. With that date in hand, we'll allow about three days before that date to cut the pipes, remove the existing cabinet, do the cement pour and have it set-up.

This, at least, is the plan as of right now. We think it will about a month to six weeks before the cabinet will be ready, and who knows what other surprises await us between now and then. In the meantime, we have adopted the mantra of "Que es lo que es; lo que será, será" [It is what it is; what will be will be].

1 comment:

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