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Old 09-18-2017, 10:11 AM  
jmr106
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Sump pump, furnace. water tank. I would call that traffic.
As an update on this, that furnace was flipped and hung today (9/18). They said initially that it would take about a day and a half to do it.

However, they had the whole thing ripped out in the first couple of hours, changed out all flex ducts, pumped down the coolant, switched to a horizontal coil, hung with uni-struts, made a new plenum and stuck in a 5" media filter that should have apparently been there to begin with. The last filter was only a 1" for the crawlspace, which is apparently iffy. The whole job took about 4 hours or so. They sent two crews (about 6-7 people) to do it in one day. That furnace was too large for the size of the house. Went from 75,000BTU to 50,000BTU@ 80%. Flipped horizontal and hung along the top side of that wall. Now there's only the water heater in the hole to deal with. I was talking to the HVAC guy because it is a local company and they do stuff all throughout this area. It was stated that, "All of the houses in this area are like this. There was no properly enforced code when they were built and people either didn't do anything or didn't do it right." He stated that he has seen a lot of crawlspaces here that are dug out with the retaining wall around them like that. So I feel a little better in that at least I'm not alone, whether misery loves company or not. It seems to be the trait of the neighborhoods around here.

They were happy about it being that way compared to an all dirt crawlspace. He told me about the time that he had to use his hammer to dig out crawlspace dirt to get through the crawlspace opening because it was so small that he couldn't get equipment in or out.

Trench drain was installed outside of the crawlspace door and along that corner of the house that takes on surface water on top of the ground. New custom crawlspace door arrived the other day and I installed it. Awesome sturdy poly door with aluminum frame, double locks, seals out the critters and weather. The headache is getting easier. Nearly got hit with a 75mph hurricane (Irma) last Monday in Atlanta, Georgia. We lost power for 3 days and the neighborhood was destroyed with trees and branches down everywhere. 150,000 people in my county were without power. I acquired a Pump Sentry backup just hours before that storm, on a marine battery that can power the main pump every 3 minutes for over 12 hours if need be. It automatically switches over to battery power the instant the power is lost. I really like it. Of course, during the tropical storm that hit us...it dumped 3-4 inches of rain within a couple of days. That hole stayed dry as a bone, probably because the late summer is the time when the water table goes lower. I was glad to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, however. In fall/early winter, probably 1.5 inches of rain will send water into the hole again, so hanging this certainly wasn't in vain.

Not a moment too soon. There's another hurricane that might take a similar path to Irma and might head up this way with more rain.



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Old 09-18-2017, 10:56 AM  
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As an update on this, that furnace was flipped and hung today (9/18). They said initially that it would take about a day and a half to do it.
.
Glad to hear you are making progress. Good thing you didn't get a direct hit from the storm. Hopefully the next one slip away from the coast..
Have you a plan for the tank yet.

We will want to see how the new furnace looks in there.


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Old 09-19-2017, 12:32 AM  
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Have you a plan for the tank yet. We will want to see how the new furnace looks in there.
Recovering finances while mulling ideas about the water heater. After talking to lots of people, reading reviews on outdoor tankless water heaters, etc, I'm still against the tankless ones. A lot of people seem to regret getting them and cite the constant upkeep, cleaning and enormous cost of parts when they break (and apparently that's often). An on-demand electric will always be a no-go due to the enormous power bill and the need to change the breaker box completely. I still like natural gas tanked ones, but the only issue is height.

Some pics (linked to another site because of pic size):

https://ibb.co/gEUd15
https://ibb.co/hwDGok
https://ibb.co/kJcbok
https://ibb.co/d6Hy15

I'm a little unsure of what they did with the vent:

https://ibb.co/cwnvEQ

I think they screwed it down to that and then taped it with some metallic tape.

The furnace flip was so quick at 4 to 4.5 hours that the workers didn't want to leave out of fear that the company would send them to another job to do. So, they sat around and chatted a bit. I wasn't going to say anything because they did a pretty good job. I was disappointed with one thing. They pointed out a leak to me. It is in the water supply pipe (cold side) for the bathroom sink. A single drip every 10-12 seconds. I was glad that they pointed out the leak, but would have found it anyway after they left. What I wasn't happy about was the lead guy told me about the drip, but they left TWO new ducts right underneath the drip anyway. It was literally dripping on both of them. I pulled the ducts off from the air handler myself after they left, repositioned them to come from another angle so that they wouldn't get dripped on and secured them properly again. Now it just drips harmlessly into the dirt inside of the hole for now. No puddles...just soaks into the dirt.

The drip is about 2-3 feet in front of the water heater and in between the floor joists, but not dripping onto any wood. It drips down onto another water pipe below and off onto the ground. An old galvanized joint is leaking.

https://ibb.co/gFocuQ


I could ask about it when they do the water heater, but I don't want a plumber in the bathroom for 6-8 hours trying to weed through all of the weird stuff that someone else did in the wall behind the sink. I may try to sweat the pipe myself. Trying to figure out what the current code is for that. When the toilet water supply pipe was having issues, the plumber didn't rip it out of the wall. He simply drilled through the floor next to the wall and ran PVC from the toilet water supply valve down to the galvanized and screwed it into that. Plus, those valves under the faucet are old anyway and need replacing. They're probably slowly closing up.

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Old 09-19-2017, 01:11 AM  
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That looks great and that is the spot I was hoping it would fit.
Save a few more dollars up and when you get tank moved, have a galvanized removed at the same time. With pex they will go thru the whole house in an hour or two. They wont go thru wall they just drill up into the cupboard so they wouldn't have to deal with the old, just leave it at the back of the cupboard. Shower or bathtub, you just change to the old below the floor and when the bath actually needs work that would be an easy change then.

So you have some time to think about the water heater.
When you are ready, I have a few ideas.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:29 PM  
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That looks great and that is the spot I was hoping it would fit. Save a few more dollars up and when you get tank moved, have a galvanized removed at the same time. With pex they will go thru the whole house in an hour or two. They wont go thru wall they just drill up into the cupboard so they wouldn't have to deal with the old, just leave it at the back of the cupboard. Shower or bathtub, you just change to the old below the floor and when the bath actually needs work that would be an easy change then.

So you have some time to think about the water heater.
When you are ready, I have a few ideas.

Is it possible to run that PEX myself as a DIY project? I was reading about the advantages and disadvantages regarding various types of pipe. Copper, PVC, CPVC and PEX each have their pros and cons. Apparently PVC immediately splits if it freezes and warps when in contact with hot water, so that in itself turns me off from that since I can't use it for both hot and cold. Copper is decent, but it can also break when frozen and is very expensive. It has to be sweated and in a lot of areas where this galvanized pipe is, doing so has a risk of setting the joist or floor wood on fire due to how close it is. So PEX is a big consideration, but I have also been reading that many don't feel that it is safe due to the chemical process that it is manufactured with. That's slightly alarming. Is this common in households nowadays? I use a Brita filter to filter our water anyway, since I know that those old pipes have a lot of stuff that they are leeching into the water. It is a big plus in that I don't have to have a big torch heating it in a small area.

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Old 09-19-2017, 12:55 PM  
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Every house I have worked on the last 15 years has pex. I would not give it a thought when you think about what you have now.

You would not need much in tools, a cutter, a crimper and good drill.
You could run all new lines and just put the new angle stops in the kitchen and bathroom leave the tricky connections for when the tank is worked on.
Sharkbite is a more expensive way to join to say copper pipe but they need no extra tools. You would just need a pipe cutter for the copper.
http://www.sharkbite.com/transitionfittings/
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:07 PM  
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I'm happy to have the worry of the system flooding gone, but I'm pondering what to do in the future.

For the water heater: An external tankless gas water heater has cons that far outweigh the pros. Potential for unit/pipes freezing outside, the parts are apparently expensive and break often, it needs frequent maintenance/cleaning, the install price is quite high, etc. After reading reviews, I don't think I'd want one even without water issues in the crawlspace.

An electric on-demand or electric tanked water heater is also out of the question. Apparently just upgrading the breaker doesn't work in some areas. The breaker is currently 100amps. There might be 150 or 200amp max service in the area and if you need more, you have to pay for the power company to run a new line down the street and/or from the pole to your house, plus upgrade the breaker, possibly upgrade the power meter and still have the water heater installed. Nothing seems to compare economically to a tanked natural gas water heater.

I'll have to get a proper measurement, but I'm 5'8 and the floor joists can't be over about 4 inches taller than my head when I'm standing inside of the wall. The average water heater seems to be 46"-48" high. So assuming one that is 48" tall, there's 2 feet to work with for elevating the water heater plus whatever is needed by code for the vent hood distance from the floor joists above. Assuming it needs at least 8 inches, that's only 16 inches that I could elevate the tank. Granted, the top of the wall is only 3' tall, so that's just under halfway up. That would also have to coincide with whatever else is done.

Where the water heater is at currently, it is surrounded by the new air ducts above. It would need to move towards the pumps to be elevated. That puts it further away from the vent stack and gives the vent less room to rise over the longer distance. If some type of gravel is put into the hole for a proper basin...that also has to coincide with the elevation of the water heater. Of course, I can't put 20 inches of gravel if the water heater is only elevated 16 inches. Or should I just leave it as open space and let the water run across like it has done for apparently decades and just silence the pumps with submersible? I really wanted a proper basin, but getting enough concrete down there to concrete over the top of any gravel will be absolutely backbreaking.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:47 PM  
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Every house I have worked on the last 15 years has pex. I would not give it a thought when you think about what you have now.
I have read a ton of articles lately about people who had mice/rats in their attics/walls/crawlspaces that were chewing through PEX and causing crazy amounts of leaks everywhere. Apparently mice and rats like chewing on PEX so much that some cities have started banning installations of it in newer homes. That's kind of scary to me considering that we've fought rodents on and off since there's no official foundation under the dirt beyond the rubblestone. With the install of the new system and all new air ducts, I have become quite paranoid about every little crack and opening big enough for mice (1/4") and rats (about the size of a quarter).

I wonder how plumbers sweat pipes that are within like an inch or two of the floor or joists when they need to heat them? Do they shield the wood somehow with something?
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:42 PM  
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I wonder how plumbers sweat pipes that are within like an inch or two of the floor or joists when they need to heat them? Do they shield the wood somehow with something?
I use a 6''x 6'' piece of sheet metal


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