Monday, January 08, 2007

OK, Gary, I’ll Let You Help

As part of our agreement for the HAJOCA toilet I said I would grab whatever garbage Gary had and take it with me when ever I made a dump run. Neither of us pays for city garbage service, and neither of us really enjoys going to the dump. I don’t pay for it mainly because of the work I’m doing on my house. I seem to be making dump runs anyway, so I just take the garbage cans with me. It works out well. Gary rarely has more than 2 garbage sacks, so it’s really no big deal.

In addition to taking his garbage when ever I go to the dump I slipped his wife $50 for the toilet. It’s a great deal for me because he’s saved me so much money on plumbing that the garbage and the $50 doesn’t even begin to make up for it.

I told myself this time I wasn’t going to lean on Gary so much for the bathroom. It’s sort of the general issue of me not wanting to ask for help, but it also goes back to the fact that he’s helped me so much in the past, it just feels odd to keep asking.

Today when I got off work Gary, his wife, and their little girl were all sitting on the front stoop of their house across the street. It was a pleasant afternoon and they were just sort of hanging out. I was planning to go to the dump today so I strolled over to chat and to see if he had anything that needs to go to the dump. As I walked across the street I kept repeating to myself, “Don’t ask about plumbing. Don’t ask about plumbing. Don’t ask about plumbing.”

There has been one code question that has been gnawing at me, though. I don’t know how to size the vent for the drain. If I have a 4-inch drain for the toilet, does that mean I need a 4-inch vent stack going all the way up the side of the house. I was planning to call the building department about this today because it could be an issue. There is plenty of room for a 2-inch vent. Three inch would be tight. A 4-inch vent would cause a lot of problems.

I chatted with Gary for a good 15 minutes about everything but plumbing. In the end he said he had a few sacks and he would toss them in the back of my truck. I told him I would be going to the dump in an hour or so. As I walked away he said to me, “Now, when you get to that bathroom plumbing you let me know if you need anything”. I said, “No, no, no this time I’m doing it myself, but I do have one question about code, though”. I couldn’t resists.

I asked him about the vent. I couldn’t help myself. As he explained it to me, all of the vents on the house must equal the diameter of the main sewer line, and the bathroom vent can’t be less than 2-inches. That’s beautiful because I have a 4-inch sewer line and I already have 2, 2-inch vents. I can do a 2-inch vent for the new bathroom and there will be plenty of room for it.

After we talked about the vents Gary was emphatic that I not go to the hardware store for parts. I told him I don’t feel good about getting all that stuff from him. He goes on and on about how it’s all just sitting there and it doesn’t cost him anything. It’s all just leftover parts. He’s telling me about stuff he’s given away in the past week or so and goes on and on about how he’s dieing to get some of the crap out of his garage. How could I say no? I’m practically doing him a favor.

In the end, he wore me down. We agreed that I would use stuff from his garage and he will come over next Sunday and help me lay out the drain system and the adjoining laundry room. The guy has been a plumber for 40 years and he has every tool and every part imaginable. He’s going to help me lay everything out. He’ll supplying me with all the proper tools. I’ll do all the installation, and then when it comes time, he’ll help me tie everything in to the main sewer line.

All I can say is, he had better generate a lot of garbage, because I am going to owe him big-time for this one.


Jocelyn said...

wow- It's like you live on Fantasy Island over there...

I can understand the way you feel. Your neighbor is a really nice guy and probably is glad to be rid of the stuff. What a nice story too.

Greg said...

I was thinking about that myself. it's weird the way things come together some times. What are the odds I would buy a house that needed so much plumbing work and have a guy like Gary living right across the street. The only thing weirder would be to have an electrician on the other corner. A lot of things with this house have been sort of a "Perfect Strom" kind of thing.

Kristin said...

Aren't good neighbors just the best thing ever? Our electrician neighbor and talented-amateur-woodworker neighbor sure come in handy. :)