Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Workin' Fer a Livin'

I have been working in my new office for the last few days, and in the beautiful weather outside have been a couple of guys who do the maintenance on the building. I have worked with them both before, so I know them well enough to kid around.

Which of course I did.

But I was only half kidding.

One part of me wanted to be outside in the warm weather, using power tools and breaking a sweat.

But then I regained my sanity. Doing things like breaking up an old concrete wall, building a form and then pouring the new wall is fun, when it is a hobby, around the house. But I guarantee you it would get old in a hurry if it was your real job.

Especially when the weather turns for the worse, like it's going to do Friday. Working in the 75 degree sunshine is a lot more attractive than working in the 55 degree rain.

And I do have a job I can brag about. Not my real one, although I can and do brag about it, I had a plumbing job to do the other night, and it went very well.

My eldest boy and his wife bought a new washer and dryer, one of those fancy new front loader sets, and they didn't connect properly with the old hook ups. So we had to do some work before the new set went in.

They have a nice sized laundry room, but it was laid out funny. There was a shower in the middle of the longest wall (an el cheapo thin plastic thing that was install by a Hobbit. Had to have been; the shower head was only 5 feet off the floor.) This we removed, unceremoniously. But we saved the copper pipe. It took a few minutes to bust up the concrete they poured under the plastic pan, but even then it only took about 20 minutes to remove all traces of its existence.

Then we reconfigured the old piping so we could use it to connect the washer. Cleaning up the old copper was the hardest part, but even so we we ready to sweat the joints in about an hour. And that hour of labor saved us 30 bucks in copper pipe. It Pays to Recycle sometimes.

Sweating the joints took about 5 minutes, and then we turned on the water. No leaks anywhere; that is a job to be proud of, when reusing old pipe and old fittings.

The drain was easy; 10 feet of PVC and a couple of elbows. Done!

Then we turned to the electric for the dryer. Moving the outlet was more time consuming than we figured. The wall was concrete block, and in drilling for the new screw holes we hit a rock, and burned up the masonry bit; damn the bad luck. Another run to Lowes for more bits.

Then the hard part; moving the old set into the garage and then the new set into the laundry room. We got everything into position, hooked up and running and called it a night. In 5 hours we removed the old appliances and the junk shower, ate dinner, ran to the store for supplies, re-routed the hot and cold water lines, ran a new drain and moved the electrical outlet for the dryer and moved in and hooked up the new stuff.

Not bad for a couple of guys playing around after work. And yeah, I know a pro would have been done before we got back from our first trip to Lowes.

But then I wouldn't have had the fun of watching my grandson watch me sweat a joint and then look at me all wide-eyed and say: "Pappaw plays with fire!"

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