07 May, 2010

Water In the House

Yay! We now have water going directly from our well to the guesthouse.
Guesthouse Connection and Shutoff
We tested it yesterday after I spent all morning cutting and gluing PVC pipe together. Would you believe - not one leak? I think that's a personal best, as far as DIY projects for this household. I also added a stub, for when we eventually get a boat.
Future Boat Cleaning Faucet
Maybe by the time we have enough moola for a boat, I'll have enough to buy a spigot so that I can then keep the boat clean. Here's what I can afford right now in the line of boats.
 Failed the Float Test
 At the other end of the line I installed, just about where it ties into the existing water main, I added a spigot so that the back garden area can be watered much easier. I even have a spare hose that I think will work... Well, it will with enough minor repairs.
Back Garden Spigot
Of course, pressure testing the system for the guesthouse necessitated having at least shutoffs on each plumbing stub inside the house:
  • Shower hot and cold. We had to install the complete shower control valve and also hook up a hose to the hot water side of the on-demand hot water heater line (as we don't have the water heater installed yet). The shower won't work without pressure on the hot water side. We also had to block the cold water side of the water heater inlet. This was easier than building a loop, since there's two different types of PVC (for cold), CPVC (for hot) and they also are different diameters - even though they're the same size. You could use CPVC for both hot and cold, but not here. Local knowledge says one is for cold, the other hot, and ner the twain shall mix, or something like that.
  • Clothes washer. Installed taps for the washer.
  • Bathroom sink. Installed under sink cutoffs.
  • Kitchen sink. Installed under sink cutoffs.
  • The outside spigot and the boat stub had to be in place.
I also installed a master water cutoff outside just before the water enters the guesthouse.

When we turned on the water for the whole system, that's when we checked the in-ground plumbing for leaks - none. Then came the test of tests - inside the guesthouse. I eased the master valve open... Low and behold - no leaks!

Then after testing was completed, we turned the master off again. Just to be on the safe side while still tiling and doing other necessary stuff. It's really a nice feeling having electricity and water to the guesthouse.


  1. Anonymous7/5/10 20:37

    Congats on the "no-leaks personal best". It's interesting to see how things are done so differently up in Corozal. So you glue the PVC together! Wow.

    It's done a bit differently down in Monkey River. Since we are still in the US, our contractor (who is also now back in the US)installed the PVC. One day one of the workers saw a drip from underneath the cabana. Our neighbor Chris (Steppingstones Resort) came down to inspect. While standing under the cabana looking for the drip, the shower drain pipe fell off. Apparently it had been shoved into the drain, but not glued. I think this is an example of the the Quick Disconnect System. Very handy for remodeling, which you are now going to have to do.

    Since then, we have been looking for little drips and have introduced the concept of removing burs from the PVC (since they like to cut it with hack saws) and priming the pipe before gluing. Although the only can of primer I could buy had the cap rusted shut.

    Keep up the great work on making your piece of Paradise, and keep the glue can handy.


  2. Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for a good chuckle first thing in the morning. I found out about half-way through construction of our Mennonite house that the guys weren't de-burring piping.
    I have a PVC pipe-cutting tool (like a giant pair of pliers), which does away with the need for deburring and gives a more accurate cut. I showed them how to use it. Came back in about an hour. There the tool was, sitting on the ground, hacksaw in hand... It was too hard to use the tool. Arrrgh!
    At least they were using primer and glue, although 'Wetset' glue seems to be a really recent development. Maybe it was just 'unavailable' here before.
    I've found I buy the smallest cans of primer and glue as they evaporate and dry out so quick here.
    Thanks for the nice comments.

    "Keep the glue can handy" sounds like Red Green's "Keep your stick on the ice."


  3. Anonymous8/5/10 09:43

    Hi Dave,

    I also have a couple PVC cutters, which have not been used except by me. Since these are something different than the workers are used to, they are either not as good as the hack saw or too hard to use. In our case they get dropped on the sand, which does wonders for tools (especially chainsaws). Bad habits are very difficult to change.

    The good news is that they have now started to wear the safety glasses I brought down for them. But I am afraid to ask what prompted the change in behavior.


  4. Hi Dennis,

    Hmmm, must be a case of don't ask, don't tell.

    Although, I do have to say, when my caretaker got injured, he was off work for a week. The Social Security Department was very good and relatively easy to work with and they paid, if I remember right, about 2/3's of his wages for the week he was off.



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