Monthly Archives: August 2010

Seven Pipes to avoid-three gas lines and four water lines

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be plumbers!

I was called to deal with some bathroom problems at a local office and the Sewer Rooter Guys arrived to help
untangle everything.

Observe what they found. What you see in this picture is a total of seven pipes ABOVE the broken cast iron drain pipe behind the building.

Three of the pipes are gas lines and four are water lines.

The paint locator marks could not begin to do justice to this forest of metal two feet underground, but they helped.

For best results everything was dug by hand with greatest care to avoid damage to any of the lines.

A good time was had by all.

Cracked Cast Iron Pipe Click Thumbnail for Hi Resolution Image

Cracked Cast Iron Pipe Click Thumbnail for Hi Resolution Image

Aficionados of the Curiosity Bin may be as baffled by this tale as I am!

This vintage cast iron pipe was securely tucked away behind a vertical plaster and lath plumbing chase for at least 80 years (the last time walls were finished with wooden lath strips) if not longer.

Under no stress from standing water or other harsh environmental conditions it is possible to believe this fine
piece of 19th Century style technology would easily remain in service pretty much forever.

And yet,a few years back, a crack along the length of the pipe developed and broke through and there ensued a spectacular mess every time anyone flushed the upstairs toilet.

Why would such a thing happen in a protected undisturbed space? Who knows?

Suffice to say it took many hours of demolition, replacement and repair to restore the pipe and wall to
to prelapserian perfection.

A curiosity indeed!

Scorched Ceiling Fixture Click Thumbnail For High Resolution

This has been in my curiosity bin for more than a few years.

It is a ceiling fixture taken from relatively new construction (at the time) and the primary complaint was a burnt out bulb.

The bulbs were small base 25 watt candelabra style and a new replacement bulb also would not light up.

So we detached the fixture from the ceiling and the high resolution image explains why the bulb was kaput.

The picture does not do full justice to the cracked brittle wire that was the source of the scorch marks on the metal base and yellow insulation. This was a relatively new fixture, not something left over from the 19th century.

Of course, there was no solution other than to find a replacement fixture and throw this one into the curiosity bin.

While not an everyday occurrence (not for me at least) this stuff does happen intermittently.