APRIL 2010                                         Click on (most) images for a larger view.

       

mmm... I can't remember what I was feeling or thinking here - I know I look a little perturbed but I think I was concentrating on the complexity of our plumbing of the hot water tank, stub-outs for the passive solar heater, and clothes washer faucets and drain.

       

Here we are caulking the stub-outs for the trap-arm under the bathroom sink.  The whole waste system will be filled with water for the test - don't want these bursting open!

       
       
We really enjoyed working with the pex piping - it is easy to work with -  cutting to length and joining with barbed brass fittings.  Here we are making connections and crimps on the last of the installation. The tool you use to check the crimps is a go or no-go gauge.
One of the things that we learn in this adventure is to handle setbacks. We were excited to finish the plumbing. We bought a pressure gage and mounted it on the hose-bib in the laundry. Pumped up the other end to 80 psi with the compressor and "POW!", one fitting blew. Turned out we forgot to crimp one fitting. After fixing that we pumped it up again and "HISSSSSSS", another fitting was loose. A third try and it seemed to hold but the next morning it had dropped 20 psi. A slow leak...

 

 
So we started with the soapy water and started to slather the fittings looking for leaks (a shaving brush worked well) . We finally found two of them on the pipe threads of the hose bibs. We removed the leaking pipe and were amazed how the cross-linked pipe moulds itself to the shape of the fitting in such a short period of time. That crimping tool really works to clamp the copper crimp ring on to the pipe around the brass fitting.  Fixed them and thought for sure we had it that time. Overnight it lost pressure again.  Then we realized that the seals on the hose bibs were dry so they were not holding a seal... so we ran the water through... increased the pressure again and it held!  We kept the pressure on it a few days to make sure before we called our inspector out for the rough plumbing inspection.

First thing in the morning the inspector was to come we set up the plugging of the drain system from the old house to the town.  We need to fill the entire waste system in the new house with water so it must be plugged at both ends.  We used double inflatable test plugs inserted way down into the pipe such that you need an extension on the plug hose to attach the compressor to.  We used a long flat stick to slide the plug down in to the pipe then used another stick to push the plug down in to place.  It's kind of scary - what if that thing gets stuck in there?!
 
uncovering to the old house... inserting the first test plug... attaching the extension hose... pushing plug in to place...
front yard plugging... in position and expanded. system filled with water... caps caulked and taped...
 

Here we're doing some work on the pressure reducer valve at the entrance...

The water level is holding in the waste system and we've pumped the pressure up to 140psi for the water pipes and we're ready for the inspector!... AND WE PASSED the plumbing inspection!!!
       
We had capped this vent during the testing and here we are continuing the run to join up with the header through the kitchen roof.  Then we framed it in with a bulkhead.

 
Now it's on to electrical!  We start in the kitchen...

The detailed preparation for wiring is taking much more care and therefore time than we anticipated. Not only have we re-worked the electrical plan four or five times (because it is way easier to move wires on a computer screen than re-snaking them), but Laura is also taking great care to pre-position all the outlet and switch boxes so that they do not conflict with the trim and are properly centered and aligned.
 

thermostat cover wider than light switch plate... milled blocks to attach boxes to line them up under each other... keeping track of circuit number for our reference... getting right in there with running and cutting wire...
 
checking the reference book... wiring a kitchen receptacle... done!  
       
       
   
       
We were originally going to run cables through a raceway but then thought it would not be architecturally pleasing so instead we drilled holes in the floor joists and fed the cables through. 
       
       
       
   
       
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