Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend of the Plumber's Crack

I will spare you any pictures of the crack itself.  Instead, I'll share some new pictures from all of the progress made this weekend. 

First, we were able to find the flange we needed at a local plumbing supply store (meaning it's so old that Home Depot and Lowe's don't carry it).  They close at 11am on Saturday morning and I got there at 11:05.  They were kind enough to let me in and interpret the notes Andy made for me although I'm sure they're hoping I never come back.  The toilet is a Kohler model with a no-slam lid option.  It's one the of the taller models and has a low flow (eco-friendly) tank capacity.  I appreciate that the higher toilets are nicer for tall and elderly people that don't like to get down that low, but those of us with short legs find the tall toilets present a whole new set of challenges (i.e. my feet don't touch the floor!!).  Andy will have to make me a step!

 New flange installed before Andy soldered the pipe in place.

No slam lid.

Project complete!

 The more exciting project this weekend was the installation of a booster pump for our water service.  The new water heater helped with some of the water problems and we wanted to see if we still minded the low pressure as much once we had consistent hot water.  We still minded it -- greatly!  Andy did a ton of research and the only true remedy was to install a free-standing pump that literally boosts the water pressure.  In order to qualify for the pump you have to get a minimum of 10 gallons per minutes (gpm) off the water main.  We got 10 gpm -- it was close!  Andy ordered the pump and it was delivered this week. 

 Pre-installation.  You can see the water meter and the main supply into the house just above the work bench.

 New valves, guages, and pump installed.

 The pump -- it was bigger than I expected and smaller than Andy expected.

 Extra pressure gauges show the pressure before the pump (about 24 psi) on the bottom and after the pump (about 60 psi) on the top.

FYI -- the minimum water pressure allowed in the state of PA is 20 psi and when I say minimum I mean minimum allowed, not minimum desired.  At 24 psi we were barely squeaking by.  Now we function between 40-60 psi.  Average residential water pressure is around 60 psi.  It makes for a whole new showering experience!

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