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Thread: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    A curious combination of events this morning.

    1. went downstairs and found half the basement flooded.

    2. But it was clean water.

    3. With some research (and mopping up) realized that it was from the humidifier on the furnace. It drains into the floor drain, but, the floor drain was full of water (hmmm?) so there was no place to go but up. literally.

    4. So, a little more research revealed that there was a blockage (not quite 100%) in the drain pipe from the stack on the north side of the house to the one on the south side. which meant the house bathrooms were fine but not the apartment or the laundry.

    5. Ended up renting a very cool 50' snake from Home Depot - automatic feed - amazing! and managed to blow out the clog.

    6. In the midst of this discovered the anti backflow unit in the aforementioned drain didn't work so dirty water could flow out of the drain into the basement. Replaced it as well.

    so, to recap. Yes I had a flood but it was clean water and in cleaning up I managed to clear a clog which could have caused a dirty water or even sewer water into the basement which would have been so very much worse.

    Oh and the whole thing - rental, new valve etc etc was less than $100. Not sure I could have found a plumber who would have pulled into my driveway for less than $100.

    So yes, a nuisance but could have been so much worse and the added bonus was that I pitched a bunch of 1/2 bags of grout and other cr*p that should have gone years ago but now that it was wet....

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Glad you were able to troubleshoot and fix it yourself. Always feels good to save lots of money!
    The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. - Oscar Wilde

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    New Year's Day putting tables back found a big puddle under the high efficiency furnace. Hot water tank next to it. Hot water tank dry.

    Figured major issue, prepared to pull it apart to inspect heat exchanger....first order of business was to pull the water trap. Quick grab a bucket to catch over a quart of water.

    Trap plugged. Flushed it out and almost three weeks later still fine.
    Scary

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    Darth Vader Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    I hate plumbing!
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    I do too, Bayless. It either goes really bad or fairly good. Going to ruin a perfectly good day soon replacing batroom lav faucet. Hoping the shut-offs work!

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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    The plumbing fittings in the US seem to not have a standard so it is difficult to mix manufacturers products. Also Shower mixing valves and mixing taps seem to change on a regular basis with no thought to spare parts for last years model.

    Maybe a slight exaggeration but it does seem that way at times.

    Not too fond of plumbing repairs myself.

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by 65_BRG_Sprite View Post
    I do too, Bayless. It either goes really bad or fairly good. Going to ruin a perfectly good day soon replacing batroom lav faucet. Hoping the shut-offs work!
    Hope you have better luck than I usually do. Turn the shut-off valve - valve cracks or pipe joint leaks. Replace what's needed, and follow the detailed instructions "Tighten until sealed, but not too much."

    For me, electricity is either *on* or *off*. With plumbing, it's either *leaking* or *about to leak*.

    OK - back to enjoying our major ice storm.
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayless
    I hate plumbing!

    Same here.

    Been lucky here so far, the only plumbing issues have been self-induced. Sooner or later I know the in-slab copper is going to be a problem, though.
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    [/COLOR]Same here.

    Been lucky here so far, the only plumbing issues have been self-induced. Sooner or later I know the in-slab copper is going to be a problem, though.
    when we lived in Florida I had a damp spot on the wall. Mrs JP says "fix that so I can paint." 10 minutes later 2X2' square of drywall is missing. Grumbled about it at church and parishioner says "I think there is a class action suit about that." Sure enough - some problems with the joints - don't remember the details except that they replaced it for free. Installers had been at this full time for 8 years and figured they had 12 more years to do.

    At that time I also learned that copper is affected by lightning strikes and gradually develops pinholes - Orlando being the lightning strike capital of (at least) the USA we went with Pex.

    It is currently 2 deg F here in Toronto and projected to get colder. The pipes going into the apartment are exposed in the garage and I have them insulated and heated but part of me is sitting here wishing I had gone with pex not copper with them as well.
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    My sympathies, JP. When we lived up north, sub-zero (F) temps were always a concern. Had exposed copper in some small unheated areas with a run to the detached garage. Had to insulate and heat those with a 100W light bulb! The next summer we built enclosures and fixed the problem.

    I got really good at sweating copper joints as a kid, now plumbing is like playing with Legos... with some shears and glue added.
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    When we had this house built we went with Pex, even though I've never had a problem with copper. Water can freeze in Pex and all it does is swell up a bit when it thaws it returns to its original size, or so I've been told. A lot of older homes have type M copper pipe which has thinner walls than type L and there lies the problem on durability over the years, type L is thicker, will take more pressure and will last much longer. Many local codes have been upgraded making type M illegal in new homes. Also, back in the day, a lot of contractors started using aluminum wire in new homes because it was much cheaper with no restrictions on it's use, but because electrolysis affects aluminum connections over the years and can become a fire hazard most local codes have been changed making copper wiring the only option. Heavy aluminum can still be used from the street up to the main breaker as it is thick cable and the bugs used for the connections grip and squeeze the wires very tight. PJ

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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    [/COLOR]Same here.

    Been lucky here so far, the only plumbing issues have been self-induced. Sooner or later I know the in-slab copper is going to be a problem, though.
    The builder of the homes in the neighborhood where we bought our first house installed in-slab copper covered by linoleum. This was done in the mid '60s and by the time we moved into the neighborhood in the late 70s it was common to hear jackhammers opening floors to chase leaks. Lots of folks just installed baseboard electric, but the cost of electric heat in New England was outrageous. Good luck, Doc.
    Rick

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Copper here, but the POs used galvanized nipples to the shut-off valves in the walls.
    John, BN4

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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by HealeyRick View Post
    The builder of the homes in the neighborhood where we bought our first house installed in-slab copper covered by linoleum. This was done in the mid '60s and by the time we moved into the neighborhood in the late 70s it was common to hear jackhammers opening floors to chase leaks. Lots of folks just installed baseboard electric, but the cost of electric heat in New England was outrageous. Good luck, Doc.
    Was at a church yesterday for their anniversary (I pastored there in the 90's) the whole place has electric heat because 9 months before they built the church in 1984, another church burned down because of a gas leak - so the building committee decided to be "smart" and go for electric heat - don't even want to speculate how much more they have spent over these past years.
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Copper here, but the POs used galvanized nipples to the shut-off valves in the walls.
    we got rid of the last of the galvanized (about 3 feet) with the last bathroom reno. I have one 7 foot run of copper drain that I will replace with ABS when we do the kitchen which will leave about a foot of lead under the toilet in the apartment - and that can stay!
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    Darth Vader Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    My house was built in'55 with copper under the slab. But all the nipples were galvanized. That saved maybe $5 on the cost of the plumbing? I replaced them with brass.
    Was Man nicht im Kopf hat muss Man in den Beinen haben
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by JPSmit View Post
    A curious combination of events this morning.

    1. went downstairs and found half the basement flooded.
    Would it be accurate to guess it was the bottom half? I did read the rest of the thread and saw that all turned out for the better.
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverghost View Post
    Would it be accurate to guess it was the bottom half? I did read the rest of the thread and saw that all turned out for the better.
    No! the southern half ;p
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    Re: I think generally this flood might have been good(ish)

    Here on the west coast of Florida, you have to make sure the house has been "re-piped". Apparenlt the water here eats out the pipes or something. That's why I rent, not buy.

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