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First Flush

As usual, it has been too long since my last update. ?   While, I did not finish the insulating of the north roof by the first weekend of March as promised in my last update, I did finish it by the following weekend.

Main reason for delay was that I was stalling, as I did not have the anti-microbial solution needed to treat the south roof before starting insulation (long story I will provide in upcoming post).  So while I worked part days at site completing north roof insulation, I also concentrated on completing the hydronic heating/cooling panel design and handing off my LoopCAD model to my mechanical designer Daniel

Example of LoopCAD hydronic circuit design

With the north roof insulation complete and my LoopCAD in the hands of Daniel, I needed to find something new to do and decided to finally hook up the water supply and building sewer to the municipal connections.

The water service was pretty straight forward. I chose to run a polyethylene water service (which was required to be 1-1/4”).  The poly has a good track record for durability, is easy to install, and does not typically cause any odors to the potable water.  Copper is often chosen for water service, but it just does not have the life span of modern plastics and is SUPER expensive.  With the poly, I used Philmac connectors, which are economical and a breeze to install. Only issue I had was one of the nuts snapped while hand tightening, which was replaced by vendor, but still a bit concerning considering municipal pressure is about 130 PSI.  Lets hope one does not let go inside the house prior to the pressure regulator at a later time!

New Water Service to dwelling. Also shown is new building drain exit configuration.

The building sewer was a bit more work.  Long time readers will remember that at the very beginning of the project, there was a mistake made by the surveyors when they measured to the bottom of a hole where I had dug out a rose, instead of the true grade of that location (see half way down Altitude Sickness post). This resulted in the whole dwelling being dropped by 16″ from where it was supposed to be.  I knew this was going to be an issue down the road and sure enough, in 2017 after finishing the ABS waste drains, I started planning the building sewer. The municipal plans showed the connection should be 9ft deep, but in my mind, I did not remember it being that deep in 2014 when the services to the old house were disconnected. Then I got sidetracked on other projects and did not revisit till summer 2018 when I physically measured the depth at the municipal inspection chamber.  It was only 4ft.  Now even this would have been fine, but with the 16″ the dwelling was sunk into the ground, this meant that the existing sewer exit from the building on the north side yard would be too low. In fact it was around 8″ too low. And I was unable to raise it at that location because it would then be above the exterior concrete stairs that service the basement walkout. SO, I had to reconfigure the exit from the house and instead project through the front wall. This involved cutting away a bunch of the fittings in the basement dungeon (room under garage) and coring through the foundation in a new location. This time I elected to perform the coring myself with rented equipment instead of getting Urban Sawing and Scanning back.

Coring the large 4.75″ hole for ABS drain.
This photo shows the old abandoned building drain exit point compared to the higher final exit point.
I initially plumbed the white PVC forced line from the sani-sump into a street tee as you see in this photo. This is not the right way to do it. It does not direct the waste water down stream forcefully enough and I could hear water backing up behind the tee when the pump operated.
Even though the inspector said I could leave the tee in place, I decided to change it out for a wye as shown here. Why do it wrong when you can do it right!


At the very same time I was connecting up the sewer and water line, a Municipal Contractor showed up to line the part of the sewer from the curb inspection chamber to the main sewer in the street (as that portion of the pipe has been in place for several decades).  This involved routing in a heat-cured sleeve with an air bladder inside.  Once in place, the air bladder was inflated to push the sleeve against the inside wall of the old pipe and then steam was injected in over the course of an hour to cure. Finished product should be good for another 60 years of service.

Mar-Tech installing new heat cured liner

With the water and sewer connected, I was able to temporarily install a toilet and lavatory in the basement and FINALLY get rid of the portable toilet rental in the front yard. And a day later had my first satisfying flush! 🙂

Toilet and sink makes a welcome addition to the jobsite! Its only cold water in sink, but a lot better than a garden hose. Both fixtures were salvaged from the old house before tear down.


And now a sad personal note. On April 4, I said goodbye to my very sweet girl Katie. Katie was a rescue cat who we adopted in Oct 2016 from Katie’s Place Animal shelter. Over the last 2-1/2 years she developed from a scared feral cat hiding under the bed, to a loving and extremely affectionate sweetheart that worked her way solidity into our hearts. For most of the time we had Katie, she had some significant medical issues, but they were all being well managed and she had a wonderful quality of life which she paid back in spades. Her passing was a surprise to all and was very fast (1.5 hours between a purring complacent cat with no indication of problems and passing away). It has been a very tough two weeks but I have the knowledge that she did not suffer too long and we did everything we could for her. I would like to thank the staff at Mountain Side Animal Hospital for the compassion they showed to me during and after Katie’s passing. I would also especially like to thank the wonderful staff and doctors at All About Cats, for their phenomenal care for Katie during her time with us.

Katie liked to get right in there!
A ‘hiding’ place she found over the last couple of months.

Your favourite chair is empty now, where you would lie and sleep. But the memory of our happy times together is mine to always keep.

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.” —Elvis Presley (1935-1977) American Musician

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” —Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) Scottish Author

“Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ” —Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner


2 Responses to “First Flush ”

  1. Sean, you are an inspiration for taking on so much of this work yourself! We will have to exchange home tours when we’re finally living in them!

    RIP Katie. She looked like a sweetheart.

    • Sean Wiens

      Thanks for the visit and comments Christy. Yes exchange visit would be good.

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