Old Stone House

Before Repairing the Plumbing, Install a Laundry Tub?

October 5, 2006

Filed under: Basement @ 9:55 pm

tub14.jpgWhile it may seem a little backwards, we needed to install a laundry tub before we could correct any of the plumbing. Our laundry room is one the main floor just off of the kitchen, along with our bathroom and other assorted amenities. All of the plumbing that services these appliances sits in the floor below – the ceiling of the basement room that we are renovating. It dawned on us that we had no way of draining these lines before starting work, which meant that a fair amount of water would come pouring out of the pipes the second we made our first cut. Likewise, up till now I have been using the kitchen sink to clean paint brushes, scour old hardware, clean trowels etc. and that hasn’t the most popular, arrangement. As such, it was only logical that we install a laundry tub in the back room of the basement.

For years, we have seen new acrylic laundry tubs advertised for about $25-$40, so I figured that with a new set of taps then entire project would cost about $100. However, once I factored in the connector hoses, the 16 feet of waste pipe, the drain, couplings and the pump, I left the hardware store $450 poorer. Having advocated for the new laundry tub relentlessly, and delaying the other projects until my desires had been realised, I was a little sheepish about explaining why this “nothing” project was costing more then I had estimated. I survived a good-natured hazing from my beloved, and moved forward.

The first trick was draining the pipes…

I knew that when I cut the pipes, half the house would drain on top of me, so did my best to prepare buckets and towels to contain the downpour. After the family had gone to bed, I turned off the water, and began spinning pipe cutter around the pipe. Within seconds water began to spray, and I deftly raised a bucket above my head and held it beneath the cut.

Much to my delight, only a small amount of water had escaped, and now the house was draining into my one bucket as planned. However, it quickly became apparent that I should have gotten more then one bucket to catch the water, and that it’s much easier to hold an empty bucket at arms length above your head then a bucket filling with water. Soon the bucket was full, my wife was asleep, and I was trapped in the bowels of the house with cold water cascading down over my head and aching arms praying for mercy. Thinking quickly, I dumped the full bucket of water into the newly purchased laundry tub only to remember that I hadn’t hooked up the drains yet… A few minutes passed, and it was finally over. My trembling, frozen arms lowered yet another bucket of water to the ground, and I stood dejected in a small pile of soaking wet towels, sawdust and miscellaneous basement floor debris that had now scummed-up atop my shoes. Rather then suffer further embarrassment at the hands of my beloved, I spent the next 45 minutes drying towels, mopping the floor and changing my clothes, effectively destroying all evidence of my stupidity.

The rest of the installation went quite well, I added the new copper piping for the supply lines and attached the shut-off valves, connected the faucets to the tub, and hooked up the supply lines. Next, I inserted the drain and connected it to the pump. Finally, I attached the 16 feet of waster pipe from the pump to the main sewer line and voila – a working laundry tub!

(Here’s an image off all of the silt that settled out of the lines once I had finished…)


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