Monday, July 11, 2011


i've been plumbing. not the measuring depths, nor marking things vertical….installing pipes. we are putting in a gas (propane) water heater to replace the electric water heater that came with the house, part of which's problem is that it is about as far as possible from the kitchen and our bathroom, plumbed with 3/4 inch copper thus wasting much hot water (should be 1/2 inch), not to mention electricity is expensive. so the new water heater is in a new place closer to the kitchen and our bathroom. so that requires gas plumbing and hot and cold water plumbing. hope you all kept up with that. doesn't matter really if you didn't.

this house is on a concrete slab. the original water plumbing in the slab has been replaced by plumbing in the above ceiling crawlspace. i have done a lot of plumbing under houses. water leaks are never good. a leak under a house is messy and muddy and a pain to fix. a leak above the ceiling is fairly quickly a disaster of some size. i pressure test everything with air.

that's the ladder on top of which i stand. my upper body is then through the hole in the ceiling.

this is the view up in the attic. the black pipe just on the left is the new gas line.

meanwhile the garden is thriving in the heat. it has been in the 90's for days. we have two rainbirds set up to water the entire garden. their rhythmic clicking and the swoosh of water is comforting. we tend to plant things a bit too close. tomatoes interfere with basil and peppers. tomatillos sprawl over marigolds. it starts out looking bare with little bitty plants waaaay apart, but fills in quickly.


  1. The beauty of gas hot water is that you can take a hot bath even if the power goes out, unless you have well water and no generator.
    Ceiling water pipes? That is scary. Of course a leak would be instantly spotted.
    Glad you are keeping the garden growning and are obviously feeling pretty darn good.
    Stay cool. We are still in the hundreds.

  2. that powerless hot water is what we're after. we have a generator that will run the well. it will do the electric water heater too, but will use about $15-20 of gas and take an hour.

  3. your plumbing skills (and building in general skills) amaze me. Is there any household need you can't take care of ?!

    I can hear those rain birds...they ARE comforting. Kind of like the sound of the clothes washing machine doing chunka chunka chunka.

    This weather also is good for drying your clothes on the deck -- I can see it now. I've even been drying some clothes on my little kitchen porch, though Dad is afraid someone will steal them!

  4. A good job well done, roger. It's so comforting to make the kind of improvements that make it easier to get through power outages or other upheavels.

  5. We have distance between shower/heater too.....maybe we need to get motivated.....thanks....

    AND that GARDEN! Once again, here in Portland, it's rained and stayed cool. IT IS JULY!!!!!

  6. looks like a good project -- makes sense to make things more efficient. and roger, you are a man of many skills!

    the garden's looking good, too.

  7. Hey guys,

    Plumbing is like all building materials, the plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy due to the need for clean water, and proper collection and transport of wastes. Thank you so much for sharing it.....

  8. I agree with you on that one. Pipelines installed beneath our houses are harder to fix, and sometimes, you need to completely replace your flooring to reach certain pipes. On the other hand, it is easier to fix pipelines that are installed above the ceiling. It might cause leaks to the roof, but it is more noticeable once there are wet spots accumulating in one area.

  9. Personally, I am a proponent of above-ground plumbing rather than underground plumbing, although there are less risks of encountering a problem with the latter. For one, above-ground plumbing can easily be affected by the elements, like the weather and animals. But the thing is, with it, you can immediately know if there's a problem in your system. And as Earlene said, you don't need to have your flooring replaced just to have some certain pipes replaced or checked.