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Lance the Plumber, Part2...
Old 08-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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Lance the Plumber, Part2...

Where was I?

So I send my lady friend (LF) off to buy a new valve assembly and some PVC primer and cement, thinking I can re-attach the fitting

Ah yes... Well, Lady Friend (LF) returns with PVC glue -no have primer- a new faucet for the bathroom -no have valve- and yours truly begins the repair in ernest.

Long story short, the faulty PVC joint between the water tank to the pump can not be repaired. So its off to the plumbing shop with the Handyman's secret weapon. Its not what your thinking (duck tape) but my small pocket size Speak Thai dictionary

I present myself at a typical Thai DIY shop house and the clerks approach cautiously; they've seen guys like me before... After a few attempts I get my list across to them: 1 90 degree elbow, 2 straight coupler, and 3. 1 meter of PVC pipe. They no have primer. Yikes, I need a hack saw too and they fix me up with a People's Republic of China special. Your correspondent is in business! ... and while polite I think the clerks are happy to see me leave

Back to LF's (I always wanted to use one of the acronyms!) apartment and to work.

But there is a pom pen (problem...)

LF says "Darling I hear something!" Me: "Na Darling, I think airplane." Yeah right, the mini Niagra Falls is back. But how? The electric breaker to the pump is still in the off position. I climb up to the roof and see water filling the tank. In a nut shel there are three pumps: 1 one filling the tank, 2. one pressurizing LF's apartment and 3 one for pumping water to the office down stairs...

I rig the water tank's float to the up position and the water stops. (Thank buddah!) I go down and drink a coffee while the tank drains. Twenty minutes later back on the roof, cut out and replace the bad joint. While the repair is curing, I replace the faucet in the bathroom.

Light at the end of the tunnel-not!

I flip the breaker to the pump and let water pressure build. But no joy, only air and intermittent water from the tap I just replace. So I shut the new tap off except it won't shut off! Brand new ceramic washerless faucet and its bad! S*^^$&!!!

I disconnect the live to the faucet and put a pipe plug in to stop the water. The pump is still going crazy, so maybe there is air in the system. At the pump I try to beed the air out, but i opened a cap on turn to many and a spring, check valve and WATER shoots up in the air

I race to the breaker panel, open the pump circuit and go back to the balcony. On my hands and knees I'm searching for the spring and check valve, looking around flower pots and hanging laundry. S^%#^!!!!

Well there is a god and I actually find the parts but how to reinstall them? Spring or check valve first? Screw it, the check valve goes in first and then the spring... 50/50 right?

I drink a coffee and try to imagine this isn't happening, I'm really dreaming. Oh well no guts no courage, so I flip the pump breaker and guess what? Pressure returns to normal, every thing works and no leaks!

LF is impressed and inquires "Darling, what you do? More water now and good!" She fusses around and brings me a well chilled Leo beer (Through all these trial the fridge worked beautifully...)

An initial ten minute job and I worked all day to finish it.

The next day I'm on the bus back to Chiang Mai
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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What an adventure! Has anything else interesting happened?
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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What an adventure! Has anything else interesting happened?
Thanks GL.

Naa, no additional adventures lately. On the other hand, just crossing the street here is an adventure in its self
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Is this pipe the regular white PVC or is it CPVC (usually ivory-colored, but can be white)? Either way, the stuff isn't very strong and subject to breakage if it's exposed to any kind of mechanical stress (e.g. twisting, pulling, etc). I don't know the rules (or how well they are enforced) where you are, but in the US, regular PVC pipe and fittings can't be used for hot water pipes. There's a good reason for this, as it will soften over time (especially at the joints) if subjected to water over 140 deg F. Everything should be okay if the water tap to the washer is only cold, or if you used CPVC pipe and the special CPVC cement (not PVC cement or universal cement). Or if you just break contact with her.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:02 AM   #5
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For water lines, I am a huge fan of PEX. I liked it so much I re-piped my house and a second house with it. A looter helped with the initial removal of copper.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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For water lines, I am a huge fan of PEX. I liked it so much I re-piped my house and a second house with it. A looter helped with the initial removal of copper.
Aside from the huge property damage for the very small gain, when I hear about this I wonder about the intelligence of these idiots. Even without factoring in the chance of getting caught and doing time, wouldn't it be smarter ($$/hour) to just get a job? They usually don't get paid the normal salvage price for the copper they steal. I read about some crooks who tore down about 150' of copper spouting on an historic building--it took several of them hours to tear it down and haul it off, and they got paid $300 for the stuff they stole. And, they got caught.

Koolau told of his prison guard friend who was going to write a book entitled "We Ain't In Here 'Cause We Smart." Yep.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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Is this pipe the regular white PVC or is it CPVC (usually ivory-colored, but can be white)? Either way, the stuff isn't very strong and subject to breakage if it's exposed to any kind of mechanical stress (e.g. twisting, pulling, etc). I don't know the rules (or how well they are enforced) where you are, but in the US, regular PVC pipe and fittings can't be used for hot water pipes. There's a good reason for this, as it will soften over time (especially at the joints) if subjected to water over 140 deg F. Everything should be okay if the water tap to the washer is only cold, or if you used CPVC pipe and the special CPVC cement (not PVC cement or universal cement). Or if you just break contact with her.
Beats me about the specs. The pipe's color was lite blue
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:15 PM   #8
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Brand new ceramic washerless faucet and its bad! S*^^$&!!!

On my hands and knees I'm searching for the spring and check valve, looking around flower pots and hanging laundry. S^%#^!!!!
Pretty low CWPH ratio, certainly much lower than what I would have had with all of the surprises you described.

Congrats on the success, Lancelot.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:16 AM   #9
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Pretty low CWPH ratio, certainly much lower than what I would have had with all of the surprises you described.

Congrats on the success, Lancelot.
I've gone native, Mai pen rai...
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