Days 241-243: Plumbing Vent & Tucson

Friday, 3/11
We started the day strong with some decision making and actions –

  • We are going to buy our grout and thinset from the local store.  They’re giving us a $1 discount per 50 lb bag. 🙂
  • We called a Tucson location and reserved the smallest uhaul – 10 feet long.
  • We placed the order for 525 pieces of tile, which is about 17% too much.  We went with the recommended 10% over for accidents, broken pieces in the box and waste for areas that needed to be cut…and we added 30 more boxes just to make sure we didn’t have to make another trip back to Tucson during the course of the installation.  We plan to return the excess, which could be up to 300 pounds, and we confirmed that the Fit could carry the load.
  • We picked out one of our other kitchen cabinet pieces at Home Depot and found out that they are 20% off!!!  That translates to about $50 saved per piece.  We also confirmed that they had the plywood that we wanted.

The electrician who previously lent us the hole saw visited us in the afternoon and offered to make the holes for the HRV.  What a nice guy!

Brian got a strong start on the plumbing vent installation and decided that we would be ready for our plumbing/mechanical inspection on Monday.  We put the call into the scheduling office and will hope the inspector makes the visit on Monday.

Interior view of the hole for the HRV on the north side of the house.

Interior view of the hole for the HRV on the north side of the house.

Exterior view of the hole for the HRV on the south side of the house.

Exterior view of the hole for the HRV on the south side of the house.

This is the exit point for the bathroom vent. The brace above it belongs to the solar overhang (which you can see in the image before, above the windows).

This is the exit point for the bathroom vent. The brace above it belongs to the solar overhang (which you can see in the image before, above the windows).

A better view of the completed drain plumbing.

A better view of the completed drain plumbing.

Saturday, 3/12
Busy morning – gym day, laundry and ten batches of coffee beans to roast all before getting to the house. Brian left work around 1pm with the goal of finishing the bathroom vent, attaching the HRVs and making progress on the bathroom fan duct.

During our morning time at the shack, we were pretty much continually bombarded by wind blowing at least 24 mph (according to weather dot com).  A wind advisory was in place for the entire day with the peak happening around 3pm and 30 mph.

After trying to work for 30 minutes, Brian called with an alternative plan – The wind was too crazy to be able to work outside.  What if we went to Tucson after work on Saturday and then we would have the all of Sunday to finish up the plumbing?

I was neutral on the plan and also recognized that we wouldn’t have ‘all’ of Sunday to work.  If everything went perfectly, we’d get back at midnight, which would magically become 1am because of DST.  Getting back so late would almost certainly result in waking up late the next morning.  But Brian was right in that whatever portion of Sunday we did work, we would be better rested than working immediately after a Tucson trip.

So here’s how it went down –

  • Left Silver City at 2:20pm
  • Arrived Tucson around 5:20pm.  Went immediately to Costco to grab stuff before they closed at 6pm.
  • From Costco, drove 30 MINUTES across town to pick up our Uhaul.  [We found out after making our truck reservation that the location very close to all of our shopping would not be able to provide a 10′ truck.]
  • Spent 30 minutes taking care of paperwork nonsense
  • Drove 30 minutes to get back to Lowe’s on the east side of town.  It was painful to leave the Uhaul place because there was a Lowe’s RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!  But they didn’t have our tile order…so onward…
  • Arrived at Lowe’s, dropped the Uhaul and went down the street for dinner.  Best dinner in a long time.
  • Realized during dinner that Home Depot closed at 9pm.  This was around 7:40pm and we still had to get our tile from Lowe’s.
  • Finished dinner and went back to Lowe’s.  We really lucked out here – I was immediately able to find a person who was authorized to use a forklift.  He quickly found an assistant to do the body guarding and they were taking our pallet off the top shelf within about 10 minutes of our arrival.
  • The counting/sorting/final payment took another 15 minutes.  There was some confusion because the pallet had ONE box of beige on it and 33 boxes of our grey color.  The beige box had 14 tiles and the guys erroneously assumed the rest also had 14.  After taking the pallet off the shelf, they multiplied 14 tiles by the total boxes, 34, and came up with 476 tiles.  That meant they were short 49 tiles so they went looking for the rest.
  • Brian and I walked into the contractor area, quickly identified the wrong box, did the correct math (33 boxes x 16) tiles and discovered we had 3 tiles too many.  To expedite things, we just paid the $1.10 for the extra tiles and then waited for the guys to return so they could load the pallet into the uhaul.  This was a very pleasant surprise as we had been expecting to load the tiles box by box.
  • It was now about 8:20.  The Home Depot was 2 miles away and was due to close in 40 minutes.  We needed to sort through plywood to pick out the 1/4″ 4×8 sheets of tri-ply for the bathroom (11), the 1/2″ 4×8 sheets for the pocket door wall (2) and the 3/4″ 4×8 sheets for the bathroom ceiling (2).  We also hadn’t made up our minds about the other bathroom cabinet so we needed to look at those.
  • As soon as we arrived, we divided forces – me to the kitchen area and Brian to the lumber.  I quickly found the 24″ wide cabinet piece made up of 3 drawers.  We knew we wanted that one.  Funny thing was, there was only ONE available in medium brown (our color scheme), it was located on the top shelf under a different cabinet AND it was 4 aisles away in the white section.  What?  [Very weird considering they had supposedly had 10 earlier in the day.]
  • We decided to not install cabinets under the entire 8 feet of wall space and instead leave the last 1 foot as a counter ‘bar’ under which we could slide the garbage can.  This meant we had space for another cabinet piece up to 24″ wide.  We decided on a combination drawer w/cabinet space underneath.
  • Brian discovered they did not have the exact plywood that we wanted (oak formaldehyde-free) but he found a close alternative further down the row (birch version).
  • With my cart loaded with cabinet pieces and 5 minutes on the clock until closing time, I jogged down the store to lumber.  I felt a little like I was on a game show where I’m trying to fill my cart up with as much stuff as possible before the buzzer goes off.  Except instead of grabbing diapers and canned goods, I had kitchen cabinets and was looking for lumber.
  • We hurriedly picked out our tri-ply sheets and then started to have a rapid-fire discussion about the four remaining pieces of plywood.  The type of plywood we had originally been looking for was ~$10 less per sheet ($40 total) so these bumped us over $200 for the plywood portion alone.
  • We checked out at 9:05pm (thank you Home Depot) and pulled the Uhaul around to the loading area.  After waiting for a Home Depot guy to bring us some cardboard, we then proceeded to load the plywood.
  • We hit the road around 9:40pm.  Estimated time of arrival in Silver 12:40am…which would magically become 1:40am.
  • We stopped once for a gross snack at McDonald’s and twice for 20 minute power naps.
  • We dropped the truck off at the house around 3:40am and had teeth brushed and in bed by 4am.  If you ignore the time change, we had been awake for 23 hours.  Wowie-ka-zam
Tile loading by machine, not human. Excellent.

Tile loading by machine, not human. Excellent.  Yep, it’s dark time

Everything is loaded up and secure.

After Home Depot visit, everything is loaded up and ‘secure’.

Amazing dinner at a new Vietnamese Restaurant called Fresh Sushi Pho. A huge amount of food for $28 and it was fantastic.

Amazing dinner at a new Vietnamese Restaurant called Fresh Sushi Pho. A huge amount of food for $28 and it was fantastic.  [Pho soup, Super Caterpillar roll, Spicy tuna roll and Dynamite roll.]

Sunday, 3/13
Not terribly surprising – we did not set alarms and overslept quite a bit.  We rolled out of bed around 1pm in the afternoon, incredibly surprised that none of our animals had woken us up earlier.

We worked as fast as possible and accomplished the following –

  1. Installed the bathroom vent piping
  2. Made holes for the water line
  3. Put some pipe in place

Also, I previously said the insulation installation was scheduled for Tuesday, but I’m a liar.  We had it scheduled for Wednesday with the option of moving it to Tuesday (as per the scheduling lady in El Paso).  Since it looks like Monday will be a bit of a mad rush to get the plumbing stuff done, we are glad it’s on Wednesday.

Vent piping

Frantically attaching clamps before glue dries.

Re-purposing some scrap 2 gauge copper wire to hold the vent pipe in place.

Re-purposing some scrap 2 gauge copper wire to hold the vent pipe in place.  Excellent adjustable S-hanger.

This was a tricky spot to connect as we had to maneuver the pipe through a hole in the wall and connect it to two elbows.

This was a tricky spot to connect as we had to maneuver the pipe through a hole in the wall and connect it to two elbows.

3 foot end piece for the bathroom vent.

3 foot end piece for the bathroom vent.

Water connection to main

Water connection to main

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