less haste more speed
I’ve been barely home this week, working late at the day job and looking after my little girl have taken their toll on project Glenville. I managed to get one full night in the house but the heating was in Eco mode and the house was a bit chilly. I was knackered too and in one night all I mustered was putting up a set of net curtains. Still, I had a long weekend booked, a Friday off and half of Saturday would help.
The net curtain night wasn’t too great, the nets looked a bit too flouncy for my taste, I’ll reserve final judgement until I get the main curtains up too. Still now I finally have a bit of privacy and the living room is no longer a goldfish bowl when I’m having my breakfast in the morning darkness.
The Friday could have been better, it started nicely with me dropping off my little girl at school, always a treat for me that. The next job was to meet a Hotpoint engineer who was to tackle a recall fault on my tumble drier, this was the well-publicised fault that could potentially set alight to the drier and burn down one’s house. This had been booked in for over a year now so it was important that I hung around.
The chap was booked in for ten onwards and turned out at eleven, I’m not good at waiting in for appointments as it tends to eat away at me and I get little done waiting, so unfortunately, I hardly got anything at all done until he left. He stayed for just over an hour and we chatted about this and that, but mostly football, at one point making small talk I asked him who he supported, he gave me a withering look and paused and at that point, I noticed his arms were covered in Sunderland AFC tattoos… oh yeah Sunderland aherm.
After this I popped over to the local garage to sort out a bill for collecting my Dad’s car (with a flat battery) from my drive, getting it started, taking it to their garage, MOT-ing it, putting it back on my drive. Now I know that they’re only a hundred yards away but £50 how good is that. Really nice bloke too.
So the day was motoring by and I’d hardly got anything done.
The next job was working on the shower, I’d not been looking forward to this as it was one of those jobs that I’d not tackled before. It was going to be an exercise in tiling, bedding in a really heavy resin shower tray and tacking up lots of Hardie Backer board. I elected to start on the boarding.
The Hardie boarding was fitting large concrete sheets to either masonry or wooden walls, both jobs would involve glueing the boards to the walls and a belt and brace affair with some stainless screws too. The masonry walls needed a bit more work though, lots of Fisher plugs to allow fixing of screws was a nasty job as the holes had to be pre-drilled precisely to fix the boards up. This was a monotonous job, cutting the boards was a score and snap affair too, all concrete and silica dust meant lots of work with a respirator on.
Drilling the end wall proved easy with my combi drill but the middle wall was made of sterner stuff and one hole took me nearly ten minutes to drill. As there were going to be at least fifty holes I needed something a bit more purposeful, so out with the mighty SDS drill it was.
By the end of the afternoon, I was booked in to pick up my little girl from school, it was the magic maths after school club. On the way out I noticed in a class window, a “Leaning Tower of Pisa” project that I… I mean Izzi had done the previous weekend. I was working my way along the other parent’s… I mean the other student’s projects giving a loud critique to my daughter and I looked up to see the entire after school film club watching me as I turned a fetching shade of red.
Straight after school Izzi and I popped into Screwfix to pick up more pink glue and a small 8mm masonry bit for my SDS drill (I had huge ones but nothing this tiny). The guy on the counter said he’d fetch a box but I pointed that I had a little girl in tow, so I loaded her up with tools and we left with our arms full of pink cartridges. Well what are little girls for?
After this there was a brief interlude while we both watched “Alice Through the Looking Glass” then back home to work on the project.
The SDS was fantastic, what had took tens of minutes was done in under ten seconds, SDS drills are really marvellous, the only thing wrong with mine is that it’s a bit heavy and the amount of dust they chuck out. By the end of the night my hair was rigid with brick dust, luckily (well not luckily really) I’d thrown on my respirator, goggles and ear protection… in future, I’ll wear a hat.
The Saturday started badly and carried on that way. In my haste to get the boarding done I’d taken a rather cavalier approach to drilling, I’d mastered a method of fixing a board to the wall with one plug and screw. I’d then poked the drill through random places in the board to establish where to drill into the wall for the plugs and to get a matching hole in the board. All was going great until, drill, drill, drill, ooops, I’d drilled through the pipework I’d laid in for the shower… how I swore.
So off with the board, out with the hammer and chisel and I chiselled out the bonding plaster until I found the pipework and verified that I’d drilled straight into it. In fact, I’d drilled so perfectly into it that I doubt if I’d planned to drill into it on purpose that I could have done it any better.
So what to do, I needed a 15mm HepO2 pipe coupler and I didn’t have one, so off to Screwfix I went. Back at the ranch I cut out the offending bit, popped in a pipe insert, put on the coupler, pressed it into place, cut the remaining pipe to size, inserted the other end of the pipe, congratulated myself on my wonderful measuring, mixed up some bonding plaster, inserted bonding plaster, fixed the Hardie Backer board into place and end to end I’d only lost two hours so I had lunch.
After lunch, a concerted effort meant that I managed to get all the walls of the shower covered up to the last row.
I had a quick bath and picked up Izzi and went for a sleepover at my folks’ house.
I told my Mum about drilling through the pipe but told her of the wonderful job I’d done in fixing it. At that moment the penny dropped…. Did I put the second pipe insert in or not? Darn, a missing pipe insert on a power shower would be fatal and I’d only know – if I didn’t dismantle it – after tiling over it.
F****** f*** it
I’ve now come up with a cunning plan, I’m going to invest in a pressure tester and a foot pump and see if I can gauge whether it’s faulty or not without having to dismantle all of my wonderful work. It’ll be a good job to do it anyway as with an impeller and the extra pressure associated with it, it should be tested. It’ll also mean I don’t have to rely on a plumber to test all my pipework in the future, I can just do it myself.