Summer Breeze Lot 27 Gallery 16

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DCP02946.JPG (110724 bytes)    October 13, 2004 - Wednesday - Our plumbing ground work is complete and is "under test" which means the pipes are pressurized so the inspector can see there are no leaks.  The method used to pressurize the plumbing ground work is with "head" or "stack" pressure.  To generate our stack pressure the main sewer outlet for the home is plugged up with an inflatable test ball.  After this, one of the system vents (hopefully at the end of a plumbing branch) is extended up 10 feet in the air.  Next, all the drains are sealed with test caps, and the whole system is filled with water through the extended vent stack.  The extended vent stack can be clearly seen in this shot.  Notice the ladder and hose next to the stack which are used to fill the system with water.  We pass our inspection with flying colors and then its time for a shower.  The "shower" referred to here is the possible soaking the person who releases the test ball may get as all the water in the system comes pouring out!

This picture also shows a roll of red PEX tubing on the "unspooler".  The unspooler is basically a turntable on a short stand.  Since the roll of tubing is 1000 feet long, the unspooler allows us to pull out as much as we need during installation while keeping the roll intact.  Thanks very much to Rick McDougal of H2O Plumbing in Sequim for loaning us the unspooler!!

This particular PEX tubing is for the radiant heat system in the floor.  We use PEX made by the good folks at Vanguard Piping in Kansas.  Most of the PEX tubing on the market is made in foreign courtiers so its really great to find a high quality product made in the USA!  (Vanguard was purchased by Viega in Germany shortly after I wrote this)  
PEX tubing is quickly replacing copper for potable (drinkable) plumbing in residential construction.  It has been used for many years in Europe and is now starting to be used regularly in the USA.  PEX stands for Cross-Linked Polyethylene, which is the type of plastic the tubing is made from.  Check out the link to the Vanguard website site above to learn lots more.

DCP02947.JPG (140503 bytes)    October 13, 2004 - Wednesday - This picture shows most of the "DWV" (drain, waste, vent or in other words sewer) pipe in the master bathroom.  The bubble wrap around the pipes provides for a bit of seismic isolation as far as our inspector is concerned.  For us however it allows for a bit of flexibility after the concrete slab is poured.  The pipes are in a bed of sand for protection from large rocks.  

DCP02948.JPG (132888 bytes)    October 14, 2004 - Thursday - Another of Jeffrey's famous "arm shots" showing the radiant heating tubes installed in the garage.  Slab on Grade construction usually requires R-10 insulation under the slab, most often regardless if there is radiant floor heat or not.   Also a vapor barrier is required for slab on grade, which would typically be thick plastic sheets under the insulation.  We use (and sell) the Insul-Tarp product which is a vapor barrier and insulation all in one.  It is the light colored material below the rebar in this photo.  Speaking of rebar, did our structural engineers go a bit over board requiring #4 (1/2") rebar on 16" centers, in both directions, for the garage slab?  Could be...

DCP02951.JPG (134675 bytes)    October 16, 2004 - Saturday  - Here is a good shot of the radiant floor tubes installed in the home.  This shot is from the front bedrooms looking toward the master bedroom.  You can see all the tubes start and end on the far wall of the laundry room.  This is where the boiler and "manifold" will be located.  The manifold is a plumbing fixture where all the radiant heating tubes connect, be they "sends" (hot water going out to the home) or "returns" (cooler water coming back after a trip through the heating tubes).

DCP02952.JPG (109526 bytes)    October 16, 2004 - Saturday - Another picture of the radiant heating tubes.  Notice in this shot the outlines of the interior walls painted on the Insul-Tarp in bright orange paint.  We do this so we don't install tubing under where a wall is going to be placed.  This is done so when we anchor the bottom plates of the walls onto the concrete slab we don't hit any heating tubes.

DCP02957.JPG (174117 bytes)    October 16, 2004 - Saturday - Many times we want DWV pipes to come up inside of walls (once the walls are built of course).  This picture shows a couple of such pipes in the master bath room.  The one to the left is the vent stack for the shower and the one to the right will be the drain and vent for the his and hers sinks.  Again you can tell they are planned to come up in the middle of the wall because of the painted outline of a wall on the Insul-Tarp.

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