Plummer Girl

I’ve spent the last 4 days playing Plummer Girl, the plumbing wonder working to replace the kitchen sink drain line in the Airstream.  You might ask why I’m Plummer Girl and not Plumber Girl.  If I’m going to be the plump plumber, I dub myself Plummer Girl to cover both bases.

Day one was clearing the downside blockage/sludge out of the holding tank.  It truly was an all day process.  It took a while to get the downside drain apart.  Then it took multiple flushings to get all the blocking sludge out.  It took multiple washings to get the smell of gray water off me when I was done.  I swear it followed me around like a miasma.  Yuk.

Day two was clearing away stored stuff so I could see the plumbing line running from the kitchen sink to the holding tank.  Planning the new line didn’t take very long, neither did shopping for parts, but I took the opportunity to do all the in-town run-around stuff all at once.

Day three was the tear-out.  To get to the line I had to remove the gas stove and all the storage shelving in the hall.   The guy who devised the original drain line route with 4, yes FOUR elbows should be shot.  With four elbows and only a single cleanout, there is NO way the line could be flushed.  While I was doing the tear-out/rebuild inside, Wadly was out putting the drain line between the holding tank and the septic line back together.  It didn’t take him as much time as the initial clean-out I’d done the day before, but I know it was no more fun.

After dry-fitting the new components, I had the new section of drain line in, the remaining section of old drain line cleaned, the whole thing tested for integrity and flow and the stove back in in time to cook a late dinner (NY strip steak, fresh corn on the cob and fresh garden salad – I LOVE summer).  I was delighted to be able to leave the kitchen that night with all the dishes done.

Day four I built a base shelf for the small refrigerator (new location) and our filtered water cistern.  I also built a 2-shelf rack for Wadly’s boots and my shoes out of scrap lumber, osb and some old masonite board.

Today I have to build three more short wall mounted shelves.  The one below the main shelf will be for the cat food dish and storage coffee cans of dog and cat food.  The two shelves above the main shelf will be for storage (linens, towels, pots).  I also need to put up a new slightly longer clothes rod in the adjacent closet (I torn out an unnecessary wall which meant taking out the old rod and shelf).  When these are done I will again be able to see all of my living room floor and the top of my sewing table.

Once I’ve got everything put away, I want to build a new set of wall mounted shelves to hold the toaster oven, coffee maker, fruit, sugar, salt, pepper, ground coffee . . . I’m cleaning as I go, scrubbing walls and winterizing.  Oh joy.

With any rebuild there’s always time lost to other things.  Wadly’s brother “gifted” us with a reciprocating saw.  I’ve wanted one for a while and knew it would be *the* thing for cutting through the old drain line.  The gift was more of a “here, take my worn out tool and see if you can fix it” gift, but I can handle that.  It took two hours to rebuild the head so the blade would stay in.  I did some quick screw swapping to get the stripped out screw that held the blade replaced, but there are actually two screws that hold the blade in.  One provides pressure on the blade to hold it in place and the other is milled to provide a pin to fit in the blade hole to lock it into the tool once the pressure screw is tightened.   The pin end of the original screw had been sheered off and the blade would come out unexpectedly.  I built a new pin screw out of a screw with matching threads.  I really should replace the cobbled together phillips head pin screw with a matching allen key screw.  Is it gonna happen?  <shakes head>  Don’t hold your breath on this one.  It works.  That’s the necessary part.

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