|Handy Tool Storage|
|Tool and Supply Storage|
Well, the problem developed over time as the weight began to warp the PVC fitting the pipe screwed into. It seems that no matter how much teflon tape I used, and no matter how much plumber's putty or epoxy I used, it was going to leak.
As it turned out, not only had the fitting warped or stretched, but, when I removed the old piping, I saw damage that had been there since the piping was installed. Now, it probably didn't leak from the get-go, but over time, something like this just provides an avenue for water to begin its inevitable attack on fittings. Combined with expansion and contraction from hot and cold water, it's easy to see how driposis can begin.
|Part of the Problem|
At first, I was going to tackle the leak from the front, removing a piece of tile and hacking away at the problem. I soon realized that if I was going to fix it (at that time, we didn't realize exactly what the problem was other than that we had a leak), I had to access the back side of the shower anyway, so that soon developed to be the preferred method of attack.
Not that that access was altogether easy. We first had to move our armoire out from the wall about two feet. Not the easiest thing to do, considering that it is about eight or nine feet long and made out of solid mahogany. It weighs a ton.
|Narrow Working Quarters|
By using the back side for access, I was able to leave the tile on the shower side alone. So, that meant just having to mess around with the two floor tiles. A bit of a relief.
That was my initial thinking. As it turned out, I was able to use two pieces of wire run through the metal stud and around the pipe to securely fasten the pipe so it won't move at all.
|Coming From Faucet|
Here, you can see some of the wire used to hold the pipe in place. You can also see some of the staining that began to develop because of the leakage. By the way, that's not sheetrock that's stained, it's a concrete board product called Plycem. So, even though stained, it's quite undamaged by the water.
|Showerhead Poked Through|
The day before yesterday we had chiseled, grout-sawed, pounded, cussed, sweat, cajoled, cussed, poked, prodded, grappled, (did I mention cussing?), drilled and drilled, and all manner of other rites and incantations to try and remove the old tile, all to no avail. Both Dianna and I took turns attacking the tiles, and have gotten pretty much nowhere. What to do?
What to do came to us yesterday evening. Dianna suggested calling Carlos to see if he could come and fix the tile part of the project for us. By that stage, that seemed the most expedient solution to the problem, so I called him. He'll be able to come over and help us Friday morning. Some things are just best left in the hands of the pros, I guess.
There were also a couple other spots where the grout was failing or where, for whatever reason, a couple of the little plastic spacers were left in the grout track. Carlos removed those and will re-grout those as well.
|Carlos Chipping Some Defects|
|Carlos Almost Done Busting Out Tiles|
|Carlos Doing the Tiles|
And just like that, it's this morning. Chilly, gray overcast. Reminds me of the Northwest. Only thing missing is the drizzle. Come on Sunshine!
Carlos showed up around 8:00 AM this morning and was ready to tackle the grout. He opened the bucket that had three bags of left-over stuff in it. Was any of them grout? Of course not. A partial bag of Thinset, a partial bag of white cement, and a partial bag of sand of all things.
Well, it just wouldn't be a good project without at least one trip daily to a hardware store or something. So, off we went, Carlos riding shotgun and me with the reins, to Creative Tiles and Windows in Corozal.
Carlos was pretty sure they sold small bags of grout. I wasn't sure. I had never seen a small bag of it before, at least at Creative. Lo and behold, they actually had two-kilo bags, which was great. Even greater, it was available in a tan color that closely matched what we already had in the shower.
|Carlos Working the Grout|
As you can see, the outlet is framed nicely by the chrome bezel from the old shower setup. I had to use a hole saw and my drill to expand the hole for the outlet pipe. A bit dicey, but it came out quite nice, I think. All I need to do now is apply some caulk around the inner and outer edges and that's done - well beside hooking up the actual shower hose and handle.
|Add Some Caulk and Done|
So, after all that, guess what? We'll have a functioning bathroom once again. Just in time to relax Sunday and gear up for another episode of Downton Abbey in the evening.