Monday, October 22, 2012

Yep - Plumbing Too and I Feel a RANT Coming!

Under the Kitchen Sink
     Well, I'm going to take a break from writing about wood related stuff and get into plumbing and where has all of the quality gone!  Add to that the regulations and other legislation that forces manufacturers to change their products to meet them and you'll get the gist of where I'm going to go with this one -- okay, you've been warned.
     First off, yes I'll admit to being an older guy who grew up in the construction trades so know a bit about all of this.  Let's start at the beginning, if you're one of my blog followers you'll remember the complete kitchen remodel earlier this year, updated and new Energy Efficient appliances.  Love the results except the dishwasher never seemed to get as clean as we thought it should.  Plus it took 4-5 hours to complete a cycle.  We noticed that it would run for a couple of minutes then stop, run then stop, and so on.  Since it's under warranty we called the repair guy in and he said that the water being delivered to the machine isn't warm enough.  The reason it keeps stopping during the cycle is that the sensors tell it the water is too cool and it attempts to heat it again.  Notice I said attempts, that's because to get the Energy Star rating the heating unit can only warm it up 5 degrees at best.  Sure, in days past the heating unit was capable but in order for the company to get that Energy Star rating, it reduced its capability.  Okay, there's strike one.
     Strike two; this house was built in 1996 and uses a Man-O-Block plumbing system.  In other words there are no angle stops under sinks and toilets, it's all in one place similar to an electrical circuit breaker panel.  Here's the problem with that, you should always run your hot water before starting your dishwasher so that it gets hot water.  If you don't do that it'll fill with the cold water that was in the line already.  The Man-O-Block has a separate line for the dishwasher so there wasn't anyway to run it before it fills the machine.  That's what the picture is all about.  I soldered that tee and male adapters together so that the water for the dishwasher comes from the same supply as the hot water to the sink.  Now I can run the hot faucet prior to starting the dishwasher and all's well.  If you've ever worked inside a sink cabinet you know what a hassle that can be.  Between resting your back on the sharp edge and bouncing your head off of the pipes, frames, etc. it can get old fast.
     Now for Strike Three; I needed to add an air gap and re-route the dishwasher waste through the garbage disposal.  Went to Home Depot since it's only a few blocks from the house to get my supplies. The air gap they have is so flimsy the threads would strip the minute you tried to put any pressure on them to attach it to the sink.  Then to compound that problem the drain hose they sell is only 2 feet long and very, very stiff.  So stiff in fact that it'll kink once you manage to slip it over the garbage disposal port.  That puts even more stress on the cheaply made air gap so it now looks like the leaning tower of Pisa!  One more trip to return the hose and air gap and then to a plumbing supply company that doesn't put profit over quality and the jobs complete.  By the way, I went to Home Depots website and rated both of these items with a single star.  Needing to install, un-install, then return the low quality parts and then get in the truck to  drive to the plumbing supply store added 2+ hours of time to the job.
     Right now I'm running a test wash cycle to check for any leaks and so far so good.  The dishwasher supply line needed another 1/2 turn to seat completely.  The bottom line is that at the cost of $29.12 the job is done.  Having a plumber come out would have probably moved the decimal place one to the right!

No comments:

Post a Comment