Tag Archives: Repair

A pipe dream come true

The old sewage pipes have been a worry since we found out their condition recently. Fixing it seemed like a pipe dream. Today that dream came true, the plumber arrived and did a great job! The old cast iron pipes are out and modern plastic ones are in.  A last goodbye to the old rusted pipes:

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The new plastic pipes have been installed, quite some difference compared to before:

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A second pipe goes under the wall next to the fireplace. It continues under the chimney behind the wall and into a washing room.  A pipe from the kitchen also connects there. The big problem with the pipe under the chimney was that it was rusted and totally filled with old muck.  With a lot of effort and high water pressure, enough of it was cleaned to allow a slightly smaller plastic pipe to run inside it. We were saved!

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Here is a detail of that connection.   The top one had to be cut a bit more after the image was taken as it was cracked. Luckily, the material further in was fine.

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In the other end the pipes meet and go though the outside wall.

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Tomorrow the new pipes will be covered by concrete, to prepare for pouring the new concrete floor on top.  A person from the company who will pour the floor showed up today so it seems to come together quite nicely now.

Flooding

It has been a while since the last post, and it is for a reason. On September 2nd we experienced very heavy rainfall, I measured 143mm rain on my weather station that day. The result was that our basement was flooded, the water level was 7-8 cm above the floor. As the basement contained old furniture, library and a home office with desktop computers we found ourselves in crisis mode.

The first action was to limit the damage by moving everything away from the basement and start pumping water. That’s a long story in itself, but to cut it short we got assistance from the insurance company. The second realisation was that  the drainage system needed improvement, here is a small part of that effort:

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My desktop computer found itself under water as well.  The water level was at least up to the bottom PCI slot in the image below. After cutting power and pouring water out of the cabinet, plus drying it for a couple of days, the machine actually rebooted. The only problem was that the motherboard sound card was fried and totally silent.  A cheap sound card was ordered and installed a few days later. It turned out the sound card (ASUS Xonar DG) had limited Linux support, but with a bit of effort it worked just fine, and the computer was back in business:

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However, the basement was still a complete mess. The wooden floor with heating had been removed and under it we found rough concrete with sand used for levelling (the house is from 1969).  The sand was now all wet and very difficult to remove:

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The solution was provided by these guys, who sucked out all the sand to allow the the floor to dry:

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In theory, we could then start planning of the basement floor rebuilding. However, a “problem rarely arrives alone” as we say here.  As the house is from 1969 and the sewage pipes from that period are made from cast iron, it made sense to inspect them for damage.  That turned out to be a good idea…

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The pipes are completely rusted and in urgent need of replacement. The needed repairs triggered by the flooding are just growing in magnitude and cost. They just have to be done. One might even argue that the good news is that due to the flooding we got a chance to inspect and replace the pipes.  The plumbers will arrive tomorrow…

This post could have been ten times longer, but the main idea is to explain the lack of recent blog posts.  Hopefully, we are now at the low point of this experience. Let the reconstruction begin!