Thursday, April 24, 2008

Defeated by the house again!

damn hippies!'s an underground home built in 1977 almost entirely by the owners themselves, possibly while they were stoned. The house is full of 'quirks' as a result.

where to begin...... There are 3 problems, 2 stories...Normally I'd start with the one I saw coming, but I was dubious from the beginning about both situations. Not because I am so much better at figuring these things out than the others in my life & just not assertive enough to get my point across, but because I am dubious about everything measurement related until I see the actual thing in it's actual place. It's not intelligence or prescience, it's just simple mistrust predicated on a lifetime's experience. I'm a cynic. I don't believe, given a choice, that I will make the right one. It's always too much or too little. It's never just right.

Let's start with the dryer because it started us looking for a replacement. Plastic ductwork is a fire hazard & the installation guys are not allowed to connect to plastic ductwork. We have plastic duct work. Plus this new dryer puts out lots more heat so it is not in our best interest to just attach the thing to the duct work ourselves & get on with life. No-o-o-o-o. The plastic must be replaced. All guestimated 30 feet of it. Inside the wall, up in the ceiling, through the insulation, around the pipes. That's an all day project Brad has to do by himself because unless I have one of those WWII gas masks I will die from allergies if I go up in the ceilings. So, no dryer until Saturday night sometime. We have 8 feet of metal duct, because we were only measuring the distance from the new dryer outlet (which is on the opposite side of where the old one sat) to the wall duct outlet. So I have to go buy 30ft. DH says get 30ft, unless it comes in 20ft lengths, then get 40ft. DH has a tendency to not just over estimate but significantly over estimate stuff.  He doesn't want to make a second trip into town (an hour round trip just in drive time) and I don't blame him. Mostly though he does this when it comes to square footage (we have enough leftover bamboo flooring to almost, but not quite floor our bedroom, but we thought there would only be one left over already opened box).  So I'm dubious about the 30ft thing. The install guys more or less agree with him & I can't make any better suggestion so I'll get that much. What will happen is we'll need 22ft, & it will come in 20ft sections, leaving us with 18 unneeded & unreturnable feet of duct work. Not DH's fault, just how things are.

But don't be thinking "Oh it's beautiful outside; you can string your wash on a clothesline." because I have no washer either. The hoses are too short. This is why I don't trust the install guys estimate of the duct work. They and DH agreed, in the store, that given the measurement of our nook & the washer, that the 4ft hoses would be fine. We're putting the washer on the opposite side of where the current one is. This is so the doors don't open in the middle. Apparently, most right living folks have their washer on the left side & the dryer on the right and we, poor benighted heathens that we are, have had it backwards for 10 years.
Again, I was dubious because, again, people were talking about measurements but again, they sounded like they knew what they were talking about and I only had vague unsubstantiated suspicions based on nothing but a cynical outlook on life, so what could I add to the discussion?  The hoses were too short. Apparently this particular model has the connectors on the left side, not the right side so that adds 2 feet that were unaccounted for in the original discussion. I'm told to go get a 6ft hose but I may just buy 8 footers to be safe & a couple extra feet of hose behind a washer is no big deal (depending on cost). I can over estimate the amount needed just as well as anyone else.

So we have a washer halfway in place in the nook and a dryer in the guest bedroom, leaving room for DH to get to the duct work outlet and there will be no clothes washed before Sunday,  after a bunch of ceiling tiles have been removed from the guest bedroom and 28 years worth of dust have been stirred up and has fallen in there and I have sneezed myself into a seizure & we get back from the ER visit. You might be thinking "wow you should take a nice hot bath & relax." Yeah. No. That's the other thing.....

The hot water control that the washer hose connects to is corroded. You can't turn the water off there. I had to turn it off at the main. (this was before we had removed the old washer & dryer & brought the new ones in and discovered the unfortunate hose shortage). We can't turn the main hot water back on, it'll just pour out the washer pipe. We can't temporarily hook it to the washer because the hose won't reach (and I need to return it). So no hot water.

The people who built this house specifically designed that nook backwards. The vent is on the left side wall, meaning they had to run 6 additional feet of venting to not put it in the right side wall. It runs to the right to get to the outside. That was a deliberate choice on their part to do the extra work and go those extra feet. They put water connections on the far right of the nook. Again adding 6 feet of piping and an L to do so. The piping comes from the utility room right to the left corner of the nook. They made a deliberate choice to do the extra work & run the water to the other side. Had they not made these choices I would at the very least have a washer & hot water and only need to buy about 13ft of duct work.

Which is why I say "DAMN HIPPIES!"

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