Thomas and Zilpah Ludlam House (ca. 1790)

Thomas and Zilpah Ludlam House (ca. 1790)
Thomas + Zilpah Ludlam House, ca. 1790

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pipes and Wires

This view looking west from the kitchen shows the entry hall with the side door to the left, the stairs to the right and the full bath straight ahead.  Lots of pipes and wiring exposed!  The corner shower is visible against the back wall; the doors aren't installed on it yet.
Just after the HVAC guys finished up, the plumbers came and spent a few days running the pipes for our bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.  In most new construction, the plumbing vent is run up straight through a wall and emerges from the roof.  Because of our timber framing, this was going to be problematic, so we got permission from the building inspector to place a vent on the side of the house.  The plumbers are going to run dirty water from the washer and the laundry tub into the existing septic system, while the kitchen and bathrooms will drain into the new septic system.

We found the old septic tank, finally......but not by choice!  One Saturday two weeks before Christmas, the downstairs toilet barely flushed.  I also discovered that the kitchen drain didn't work either; it wouldn't drain.  When I opened the outside Bilco doors to the basement I discovered a few inches of water on the floor and promptly panicked.  We had a major problem!!  Of course, these calamaties never happen on a week day.  Thankfully, the folks we rent our porta-potty from also pump out septic tanks, so a quick phone call put us on their rounds for the day.  I guess we weren't the only ones with a problem and we sure were thankful for the porta-potty until they arrived.

The ground was saturated, making it easy for Scott to take a metal probe and locate the tank.  Turns out it is about 5 feet from the northwest corner of the addition.  The septic guys discovered not only tree roots (very fine ones that had crept in under the concrete cover), but a whole bunch of sand in the bottom of the tank.  In retrospect, we should've had the tank inspected before we bought the house.  That way we would've known (a) where it was, and (b) if it needed to be cleaned out!  Live and learn.

The electrician:  After the plumbers left, our electician Dan began work.  Although I'd indicated the location of outlets and light fixtures on the floor plans, I decided to revisit my original thoughts and I'm glad I did.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of outlets and I wound up adding quite a few, particularly in the kitchen and the laundry room.  I also added two light fixtures, knowing that the older I get the more light I need to do tasks, read the paper, etc.  The electrical panel is going in the laundry room where it will be easy to access if we trip something.  It would've been easier, from a wiring perspective, to have put it in the storage bedroom, but Scott & I agreed that if the power went out 20 years from now, the last thing we'd want at 80 years old is to navigate the stairs with a flashlight!!  The alarm for the septic mascerator tank pump is also going in the laundry room, where I can see/hear it if that pump stops working.

It's so rewarding to see it all taking shape.  We're now getting quotes on insulation and dry wall.  I'm hoping it will only be another few months before we're done.  Wishful thinking??