Fork me on GitHub

Drew's World

Rants, News, Etc on my Life and Projects

Copper Repipe Started

by Andrew De Ponte (@cyphactor)

Hey All, I know it has a been a while since I made a post on my progress with the house. But, that is because I have been crazy busy with me new job and have also been sick for a decent amount of that time. Anyways, my parents were visiting from Virginia this past weekend so my Dad came over to my house and helped me on Saturday and Sunday for bit with the copper repipe I recently started. Prior to my Dad getting here I ran all the copper for the cold water mainline in the attic up to the wall right before the new tankless water heater.

On Saturday and Sunday my Dad and I finished running the cold through that wall, connecting the cold to the tankless water heater, running the hot into the attic, and wiring the electrical for the tankless and connecting it. This leaves me with needing to finish running the hot mainline with the rest of the valves in the attic and then doing room drops as necessary for the new laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom. If you are interested in seeing you can checkout the clip below.

The Grounding Rod

After getting the 100 AMP Sub-Panel run last week as well as wiring two of the bedrooms and one bathroom I had one major bit left. Driving a ground rod and connecting it non-spliced to the cold water pipe and then to the main panel’s ground bus (or in my case neutral bus because it doesn’t have separate buses). I acquired the ground rod and some THHN 4 AWG to connect the ground rod to the main panel last weekend. So, today I woke up and since I decided that the best place to drive the ground rod was next to the gas meter I had to first dig out around the gas meter to find out where the gas main comes in. This was necessary so I didn’t accidentally drive the ground rod through it. So, once I dug for a while I finally found the gas main and followed it to make sure that where I wanted to put the ground rod wouldn’t effect the gas main. Luckily my original position was fine. So, then I started driving the 10ft copper clad rod into the ground with a sledge hammer such that a little less than a foot of the rod was exposed.

Once the rod was driven into the ground I then had to run the THHN 4 AWG from the rod to the cold water pipe and to the main panel. Getting the rod in the ground safely took me most of the day and was pretty damn exhausting. Running the THHN 4 AWG was a bit of a pain too just because I had to squeeze in by the eaves again. Anyways, I made a little update video clip showing what we did this week and last week with the electrical stuff. Check it out below.

100 AMP Sub-Panel

by Andrew De Ponte (@cyphactor)

Well, I came back from my Kauai trip refreshed and ready to get some stuff done on the house. Today I worked with my Dad and Uncle to get the 100 AMP Sub-Panel run from the main panel with 2-3 Romex cable as well as rewire two of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms. The 2-3 Romex is pretty expensive. I decided to get the 2-3 Romex rather than buying the individual conductors and conduit just because the price difference was relatively small and the 2-3 Romex is less work. Running the 2-3 was a bit of a pain given that the main panel is right were the eaves come down so I had to squeeze myself in real tight to get it run. But, I did it and now it is done. After a little exploration we also discovered that the main panel is only grounded to the cold water pipes in the attic which isn’t up to code. I am very happy with the progress we made and I will have to fix the grounding next weekend.

Still working on Gas Pipes

So, if you recall I few posts back I wrote about how I had run the new gas pipes for the new laundry room and the tankless water heater. I also pressure tested the system but found it was still dropping 1 to 2 10ths of a PSI in about 15 mins. This Saturday my goal was to go through and find the leaks in the branches one by one and fix them and retest.

I did exactly that, I pressurized the gas lines up to 100 PSI and soap tested and to my wonder none of the new piping I added had any leaks. So, I then started testing all the other branches. I found leaks in the Tanked Water Heater branch, Stove branch, Old Stove Branch, and the Furnace Branch. Hence, I took apart all of these branches and cleaned the joints and reconnected all of the piping and then re-pressurized the system to 100 PSI found no leaks in those branches. That took me about all day to get that much done. Then I did a 15 PSI test for 15 minutes as required to pass inspection and found that it was now dropping just 1 10th of a PSI in 15 mins. I was done for the day though and frustrated after spending the entire day fixing and testing leaks one by one.

Sunday I called my buddy Dave and had him come over at 9:00 am to help me accomplish my goal for Sunday which was to take all the gas piping out and put it all back in cleaning and fixing each of the joints. The reason this was my goal was because Saturday night when I was burnt out I did a 100 PSI soap test again and found a bunch of leaks up in the attic in the mainline. Luckily it ended up that whoever did the gas lines before wasn’t a complete idiot because they put a union right in the middle of the gas lines which allowed me to basically split the house in two halves and only have to redo one half on Sunday.

Dave and I redid the the kitchen half of the house on Sunday and soap tested and pressure tested it and all is good on that half of the house we are losing 0 PSI in all of pressure testing. That half covers the Tanked Water Heater, Stove, New Laundry Hookup, and Tankless Water Heater. Next weekend the plan is to finish the other half of the house which covers the Current Laundry, Fire Place, and Furnace.

Let the adventure continue, :-)

Gas Pipes & Dumpster

Phew, I just completed a very exhausting weekend with Aly and my parents. This weekend I ordered a dumpster because my parents were coming down to help work on my house and I had a massive pile of rubble in the backyard RV parking spot that needed to go. Once we loaded the dumpster with all of the rubble (more than two rooms of plaster) we decided to demo another room as the allocated 18 inches of heavy material at the bottom wasn’t filled. This was crucial in my opinion because that damn dumpster cost so much.

Once we had completed the plaster portion of the dumpster loading my Dad and I went to finish running the new gas pipes to the tankless water heater and pressure test them while Aly and my Mom worked on the back yard patio. It took us all weekend to get the pipes in and pressure tested. There is still a small leak as it is dropping 2 10ths of a PSI in 15 mins. Hence, further pressure testing is needed to get to the required state of holding 15 PSI for 15 mins. We went through and tested all of the new joints numerous times but couldn’t find any leaks. Hence, we talked to some people we know in the industry and it seems that when you pressure test and find a leak you generally have to jack up the pressure pretty high 60 to 100 PSI and spray the entire joint not just the threading edges to find the leaks because some joints, elbows especially, tend to have pin holes due to imperfect manufacturing. We probably could have gotten this handled if it hadn’t been Mother’s Day on Sunday but it was nice to take a break and visit with family anyways.

Little did my Dad and I know, while we were hard at work on the black iron pipes, Aly and my Mom had done a huge amount of cleanup on in the backyard, started tilling the grass we previously killed, and removed most of the old nasty fiber glass patio cover. I was amazed with how much they managed to get done.

Thanks Girls!!

As usual I took pictures to let you all in on the progress. You can see them here.

Oh, I also managed to replace the lighting boxes that were previously under the patio cover with outdoor boxes and light fixtures. Stay tuned for new developments with the house.