Thursday, January 25, 2007

Week #24: Dec 18 - 24 Rough-in Inspections

The plumber didn't show up until 6am Monday to top the vents. He said he'd do it Friday or Saturday and to go ahead and schedule the inspection for Monday morning, which I of course I did. Now it's 8am, and the inspector's coming in 15 minutes and he can't stack the vents, which means there's a leak somewhere in the plumbing system.
So another failed plumbing inspection.
We had to have another house colonoscopy to find the leak. It turned out to be right in front of the house where the new waste line ties into the old cast iron going out to the street.
A large triangular piece of cast iron broke off right where the new and old pipes were joined. Why did it break? Depending on who you talk to it could have been bad job cutting the old pipe, bad job fitting the old to the new, forgetting to put some gravel underneath the pipes so the weight of all the dirt above wouldn't push and break the join, or just plain bad luck. Of course, the plumber liked the last reason.

Anyways, that meant Billy had to dig four feet down, redo the pipes, (including the double cleanout which was installed incorrectly with a deadspot), refill all the waste lines and I had to schedule another inspection.

Early the day of the reinspection, I decided to check the waste lines and found I had to run the hose for almost 15 minutes before the uppermost vent spilled over. That didn't seem right. I called the plumber and he agreed something was wrong. But again my inspection was looming with no time to investigate and fix. ?$%^@#?$$J%!

I kept topping off the vent and started walking around the house trying to find anything unusual. Lo and behold I noticed a dark spot on the sill plate right where the old kitchen sink drain used to be.

Yep, it was wet and on the outside wall you could see water trickling down the concrete foundation.

Soon afterwards, the inspector arrived. I topped off the vent stack for him and he seemed to be ok with that. He walked around the house looking at a few plumbing things, then chatted awhile before signing the permit card. He hadn't noticed the leak. It took us a little over 5 months, but we "passed" all of our rough-in inspections. I put passed in parentheses, because even though the inspector signed off, we still plan on fixing that leak. Most likely, we'll have to jackhammer thru the concrete subfloor right in the middle of the Great Room. Then, dig down to the old kitchen drain and sever it where it joins the main waste line. Better not mess around where the actual leak is since the sill plate and framing are all sitting right on top.

Again, a variety of possible reasons for the latest leak: 1) bad job capping the old drain line; 2) framer might have punctured the cap when installing the foundation bolts; 3) but then maybe the plumber didn't cut the old drain down far enough. The leak only showed up when all of the waste lines were filled. So if we never had a clogged up drain or backed up toilet, it wouldn't be an issue. But who can guarantee that?

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