Friday’s the big day.

Friday is the day I’ve set aside to finish the never-ending basement plumbing project(tm). My goal is to finish this before the baby comes, and before the yard/pool work starts. The trick is picking the day to do it. Ideally I need a day when I can have the house to myself for several hours starting at around 8-8:30am. The job really shouldn’t take too long, but with plumbing projects, you always have to allow for unexpected complications. Anyhow, most Fridays fit the bill, so I just had to pick a Friday, take off work, and go for it.

With these types of projects, it’s always good to have a plan, so here’s the plan.

Before Friday:

  1. Order and receive remaining supplies necessary to complete project (expecting these today).
  2. Clear space in boiler room for access to pipes.
  3. Make sure we’ve got some bread on hand that I can use when sweating pipes.
  4. Disassemble a 3/4″ stop & waste valve for sweating.
  5. Check side-by-side play in branches to make sure I won’t have any problems getting couplings on them.

On Friday: For phase 1, disassemble the old pipes and sweat a new stop & waste valve onto the 3/4″ supply line. This will give me a positive shutoff for the branch (the main shutoff is a gate valve which doesn’t seem to shut the water off 100%)

  1. Take shower and fill up drinking water pitcher, water bottles etc.
  2. Shut water off. Open faucets (including outside sillcock) to drain plumbing.
  3. Disassemble the old branch starting with the compression fittings and working back to the 3/4″ supply in the boiler room. Have buckets and rags handy to catch drips and plug pipes.
  4. Put new 3/4″ supply line in place. Clean and flux new supply line and disassembled valve.
  5. Stuff bread in existing supply line. Clean and flux. Put joint together and sweat.
  6. Reassemble stop & waste valve. Make sure valve is shut OFF. Turn water on at main. Check for leaks.
  7. Turn valve on to eject bread (can I do this without a helper? Not sure..)

For phase 2… hook up the rest of the branch, with the main turned on and the branch shut off via the new valve.

  1. Trim, deburr and dry-fit the new branch together.
  2. Open all faucets on the branch to allow steam to escape.
  3. Clean, flux and fit the “tee” fitting, and two of the three branches. Wrap wet rags around existing soldered joints. Sweat together and allow to cool.
  4. Clean, flux and sweat the remaining branch. Allow to cool.
  5. Remove aerators from all fixtures on branch. Shut all faucets off.
  6. Turn branch on and check for leaks.
  7. Turn each faucet on in succession and run till water comes out clean.

That’s about it. Wish me luck!

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