Home projects in the Midatlantic Forum Fall 2015

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

High time for a new thread! Continued from
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1393581/

This message was edited Nov 7, 2015 7:25 PM

Thumbnail by sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm very pleased with our bathroom update, above. We contracted this job.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Well---Hellloooo!!!! Just wanted to be the first to post...

Actually--I have NOTHING new to say...... :o).......Gita


Edited to say--you beat me! Whaaaa...Whaaa....I WANTED TO BE FIRST!!!

Your bathroom looks nice....Is the toilet paper in a more convenient location now????

This message was edited Nov 7, 2015 7:25 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

hahaha! wanted to be SURE to link these right, this time, I forgot last time.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Looks great, Sally!!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes Sally, It does look great.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Sally, what a great update! Nice to put the $ into something you'll appreciate every day. I like the dark wood and the tile... but I might need another photo... is the door open and blocking the view of the rest of the shower?

The taps in our soaker tub had started leaking increasingly around their bases... Charlie took off the access panel tonight and took apart the stems, found the worn rubber thingie that's the problem. We'll have new parts in and installed Monday. :-) That's just maintenance, though, not really a project. Rescreening the windows was a project, though, and one I'm happy to have had him do!


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

It's a tiny bathroom and hard to take a picture of the whole thing. All you're missing is the other corner of the shower stall. I feel like I'm in a new house. Multiple leaks and nagging maintenance were a big motivator for this redo on a 45 yr old bath.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Sally, it looks really nice. The tile, dark wood, sage paint, and crisp white toilet and sink are very cohesive and a pleasing, soothing, combination. Great renovation! Wow, I didn't even realize your house was 45 years old, but then again I had to stop and think that my house is now 25 years old already and it feels like we just built it not too long ago.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Terri, some of it you just did. ;-)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Ha ha, I guess this house is one never ending project 25 years and counting lol.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I love it! It really looks great, Sally.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Nice details, too, like the high-up shelf for shampoo... better than the chrome thingies we have hanging from our showerheads!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Love the tile

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks, guys
8^)
good to know it's not my imagination. I had no idea where to go with color, the guy said 'Hmmm, grey..." and I went with it, and love it. (once I settled on the right grey, with a hint of green!) Would not have gone with dark wood except that was the only choice for the small room, from the remodeler, and it's 'the boys' bath so I liked the masculine feel. I loved the shelves they suggested. I think the light fixture is too big but that is hard to know until it is in. I had a huge catalog to look at and picked it by style and # lights. Every big home job is still a learning experience.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

You done good Sally! Is the shower stall replacing a tub? Same footprint? When you say small, can you give dimensions of room? Can you give some idea of timeline...start to useable to finish? I like the dark wood, too, and the grey with a hint of green works. Anything else special about the curvy elongated commode? Just another example of how lucky your boys are!!

This message was edited Nov 8, 2015 12:40 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hm
Shower replaces a standard shower. Room is maybe 5 by 8? The door jamb is on the left, I am looking in from outside the door. I think from the estimate, they were scheduling out about 4 weeks? 6 weeks? You need time for any orders to come in anyway. Start to finish, week plus a couple days? The first guy who painted, did a poor job patching. So they sent another guy who did a nice job.
The curvy commode, actually it is a round front, low flush, comfort height Am Standard Mainstream. We were so happy with the one we installed downstairs we made sure they used it. A bit cheaper than their allowance/ the ones they use as standard. These commodes work great. You can see the nice smooth exit tube. No tight curves to navigate!
One boy is extra lucky, he now has pretty much his own bathroom. The older recently rented a room in DC and supposed to start a new job 'scribing' at a hospital.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Got the water bill today.
$3,362.07.
Says we used 123,000 gals of water last quarter. Usual useage is 6-7 K for $67.00.

Water Dept will 'adjust' the bill if within 30 days they receive a bill from a licensed plumber that certifies leak has been fixed. Won't say how much the adjustment will be...

Water main has at least 3 repairs already besides whatever repair of failing line may be necessary to have a leak free service to house.

Estimates on replacing water main run $6,397 to $7,183. for a 'trenchless' replacement, where they drill a new line horizontally from meter to house and nothing above ground is disturbed.

I'm in shock and tomorrow is another day.

How hard is it to use a ditch witch? It looks too big for me to handle...ie, not like a rototiller!

Judy

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

YIKES!!!! I'm beyond speechless.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

EEEEEEEEK!!!!!

D:

((((((HUGS)))))))

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

oh my .......

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Have you had them check to make sure the meter isn't malfunctioning? That much water works out to around 20 cubic yards per day, a 6 foot by 6 foot by 10 foot swimming pool daily. If such an amount of water loss were occurring on a daily basis it surely would be evident at the surface, like a swamp, lake, surface stream. Don't even know if a household supply line can deliver that kind of quantity. Unless the usage occurred EVERY day during the billing period, (an unlikely coincidence) the daily loss in the period of actual leakage would be even greater.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I know David, this whole thing is just absolutely bogling my mind! We repaired one major leak that had the meter spinning twice as fast and have had water shut off for 15 - 20 days! We have walked and probed and dug numerous holes hoping to find water or excess wetness all along water line up to house and inside house. Nothing.

I have had water Dert check meter twice since installation of their new meter which can be read electronically and last quarter I had them verify that with house turned off there was no water flow thru meter. So. what the heck happened and where did all that water go? It didn't drain down my drainage ditch along front of property as I still had to water the berry bushes and rain garden type plants I have growing there, Could my large white oak really have soaked up that much?

FYI I did fill 4 5gal buckets and it came out 19 gals thru meter so meter is probably ok.

Getting another estimate today and also looking in to hiring and excavation service to do the trench, laying the pipe and back filling ourselves and hiring a plumber to do meter and house hook ups.

Hope springs eternal and is a renewable resource. Someone remind me to share the hardest part of this process...RotoRooter just pulled up.

Judy

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

coleup, you're doing an amazing job of working through this. I can't imagine what I'd be doing.
It sounds like, if the meter is to be believed, water must have run right through the ground to the storm drain system. There would have been a STREAM flowing through the drain. It does boggle the mind how this can be right. I certainly hope the billing department has much sympathy for you.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Agree with Sally. I am boggled too.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Crazy, just crazy. I wonder if you have a sewage bill that is based on the water usage and will you have another argument coming there as well. Sure hope it all gets taken care of soon.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I just checked back, coleup is on septic. Which is more boggling, cuz obviously they'd know if a FRACTION of that much was going through to the septic, they'd be swimming in bad stuff.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Think coleup might benefit from a "personal interest" story in the paper. Many things do not make sense and the agency would have to explain themselves in a public forum. Also, if coleup turned on the water, filled 4 - 5gallon buckets, and the meter showed only 19 gallons of usage, a leak was not occurring.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Additional thought: Considering that there is no indication of a leak other than the meter reading, I suggest the following. 1. Shut off the waterline at both the street and the house. 2. Have a pressure test performed on the line between the meter and the house. If the test fails to indicate a leak, demand an explanation from the water department. Certainly have this test performed before spending thousands of dollars replacing your line. You have multiple indications that no leak is present. Contact the problem solving service at one of the local TV stations (7 on your side is one in the DC market), as this story would make excellent air time.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I agree David, with that much water you shouldn't even need a sounding rod to find it. When we had a water main leak, from house to well, it was evident at the surface. Using a sounding rod confirmed it. I did replace mine with a much better grade of ABS, and sunk it to 4'. I had a backhoe in to dig it only, and the cost wasn't too bad. I laid the pipe, covered it with sand and sifted soil, and back filled by hand.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Water usage of mature trees from Google answers:
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/720450.html
Interesting Facts about Oak Trees
http://www.arcytech.org/java/population/facts_oaks.html

"A mature oak tree can draw up to 50 or more gallons of water per day."

=========

http://www.melnor.com/wateringguide/

"Mature trees can consume up to 15 gallons of water per hour on a hot
day." (360 gallons)


=========

New Mexico State University
http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-636.html

TREE WATER USAGE

"Pecan trees extract the moisture they need from soil in the root zone
daily during the growing season. The amount a tree withdraws may vary
from a gallon or less for a young tree to as much as 150-250 gallons
per day in a fully mature tree. This water demand is the tree's peak
(maximum) water use on the hottest day of the summer. Water
consumption is decreased before and after this maximum use."

=========

http://www.townofblackstone.com/depts/pages/dept-of-public-works/water-dept.php

It is impossible to meet the total phenomenal watering requirements of
a large, mature tree which may use and transpire 50 gallons a day.


====================================
Water demand of various tree species
http://www.ottawaforests.ca/city_trees/foundation-damage_e.htm

====================================
- High demand
Elm
Oak
Poplar
Willow
Silver Maple
Manitoba Maple


- Moderate demand
Cherry
Ash
Hawthorn
Hornbeam
Other maples (Sugar, Red)
Mountain Ash

- Low demand
Beech
Birch
Mulberry
Cedar
Fir
Pine
Spruce

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

According to the above, my mature white oak that sits staddling my water main where any as yet undetected leak could be could have used 4500 gals to 32,400 gals if everyday of the last quarter billing period was super hot!

The highest usage prior to this was 62,000 gals when I watered lots and lots and Wayne left the basement sink on for almost two weekd while I was away.

So, 62,000 + 32,400 (tree absorbing leakage) still leaves almost 30,000 gals unaccounted for. or 330 gals per day.

I am protesting my bill and will request a pressurized test to rule out meter malfunction Investigating who performs pressurized test, me or Water Dept. Maybe I should install my own private water meter to monitor usage! No, seriously. Haven't heard of water main leaks being intermittant.

Thanks for you alls support in this. Update follows next post.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

When I last posted, I was about to meet with Roto Rooter for another estimate. Basically recs to replace were the same as other companies except that in pulling a new line in same path of old if they ran in to problems with roots or previous repairs the cost and time would be on them and my original estimate would be my entire charge, They also have their own equipment and do not contract out the excavation. The companies that do contract out are 3K more per estimate and the company they contract out with only does the excavation, drill for new line and then I would need a plumber to 'connect' (not included) although they use 50yr rated pipe as replacement warranty. Interesting division of labor and services.

Three of the companies recommended an entirely new line be bored directly from meter to house rather than existing 40' up and then 70' shapr dog leg to left to house. In anticipation of new line I decided to relocate my vintage camper and a duplicate parts van and redo the front of my yard. So I called Tow Truck Man to come down and move them and haul away another vehicle for some cash. It turns out he used to do water main and sewer replacements! His main thing now is masonry and a lot of handyman thrown in. He also helped us rig up a hose from a working part of water main to outside hose spigot so we cave running water instead of buckets and bottles He encouraged us to rent a ditch witch and offered to come down and pick it up and run it as we are leery, and do what ever else we want for a junker car he has had his eye on! (Drawback is having a licensed plumber bill and certify system repaired so can get water bill reduction)

As soon as we finished our paper route Sat am Wayne and I went to check out the ditch witch rental at HD. Unfortuneately theirs only went down 18" so they sent us to another heavy equipment rental place where we found we could rent a heavy duty trencher, track driver for a weekend for daily rate including trailer for about $250.

Encountered some interesting characters as we were leaving rental office , one of which is pictured below. To be continued....


Thumbnail by coleup Thumbnail by coleup
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Only fitting your saga continues with that guy from another saga...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow, great info there, coleup. Now it makes sense why grass doesn't grow by the giant oak tree in my front yard. The tree soaks up all the water.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Do cars count as home projects? Holly told me her car wasn't right so I checked it out. She said her shimmy was back, she could smell hot rubber when she got out and that her power steering was making noise. I'd noticed cavetaion in her power steering after her water pump was replaced and studied the problem. It seems, if the bracket holding the cover for the serpentine belt is over torqued it allows air to enter the O ring at the base of the return line that the cover is mounted on. So in most cases loosen the bolts and realign the cover so it is basically loose at one end fixes the problem. No shimmy from the air in the power steering, no noise, and no smell from the belt being overworked. I hope this may help someone else.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I hope it helps someone else too.

DS got home yesterday reporting that his bucket O bolts Kia, "new driver used special" was running very rough. One spark plug was totally shot, the other three cruddy. Got them replaced in the driveway, not too bad. Today I am returning home and find Mar on the way out to rescue said kid, with said car dead on the road. What the CARP!? Mark was already threatening to dump it when the tailpipe fell off.

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