Tuesday, October 28 2014
Gretchen had planned to drive down to the City today after work and spend the night. I knew the dogs were going to be miserable if I left them alone for hours and hours again today, so I brought them along with me to the Wall Street house. I also brought a number of cushions and winter coats to give them something soft to lie on while I worked. It was such a nice warm day today that I made a nest for them out on the back porch, where a spot of sun persisted for hours. They were mostly content to hang out there while I did my thing.
The first task was to make I make some small edits to the positioning of the PVC shit pipe (within the limits of what was possible given that it was all glued together in one huge piece) and then screw down the closet flange in its permanent location. Then I did some cosmetic work in and around the bathroom, caulking cracks and laying strips of mesh tape inside corners and over serious imperfections in the wall.
Unexpectedly (and to the delight of the dogs), Gretchen arrived, saying she'd abandoned the idea of going to the City. So I showed her all the new stuff, especially the massive new PVC sculpture in the basement. She puttered around, cleaning up the place and then, on a whim, decided to give an ugly triptych mirror on the mantel to one of the neighbors, that guy Steve, who happened to be walking past with high daughter, whom he'd just picked up at the nearby George Washington Public Montessori school. He'd told me back on October 2nd that he was interested in the mirror, and Gretchen hadn't been able to sell it on Craigslist. While he was there, he pointed to some exposed hot water pipes going through the first floor straight to the second and said they were a serious no-no in a house rented to "people on assistance." But our plan is to rent to someone who is not on assistance. "People on assistance" is the old Kingston. We're getting in on the ground floor of a less depressed version of the city.
I managed to get the toilet together well enough to give it a test run hooked up to cold water and seated on the closet flange. After some adjustments, I got the thing to flush and refill reliably, though I have to say the strength of the flushes was a little underwhelming. I imagine that, given its age, the toilet was designed for large-volume flushes, but the new hardware I'd installed in it is the kind designed to limit the amount of water in a flush. I'm hoping that the problem is not somehow related to the lack of a proper vent (I have a check valve to let air into the system, but it's two or three feet downstream from the toilet).
After Gretchen left, I spent several hours spreading a rough layer of joint compound on most of the new bathroom's walls. The idea was to have a new, deliberately-imperfect surface upon which to paint (as well as to cover up the wall paper).
At some point, I noticed that the toilet was leaking from the tank and also from the closet flange when it flushed. The second problem would probably be fixed when I installed the wax ring, but the first problem would require more torque on the bolts connecting the tank to the toilet. After yesterday's little fiasco (the one that required Superglue to fix), I was a little nervous about overtightening those bolts, but if the toilet leaked it was useless. After making some adjustments, I put it out on the front porch for the night so that tomorrow I could come back and look for puddles.
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