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Old 11-05-12, 12:40 PM   #111
Daox
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The plumbing update is done. I replaced about 20ft of 3/4" copper with 1/2" pex. I timed things before and after. It used to take 50-55 seconds to get hot water upstairs. Now it takes 20-25s. So, it has been more than halfed. This makes sense because 1/2" PEX has under half the capacity as 3/4" copper pipe. In a 20ft length we're looking at .45 gallons for 3/4" vs .18 gallons for the 1/2" PEX.

Another side benefit is that I can now set my water heater to a lower temperature because the PEX (which I did insulate) is loosng less heat than the copper did. It used to be set to 140F, and now it is set at 130F. It is an on demand electric water heater and has a regulated output temperature.

I know 130F still sounds high, but I also found out this weekend while doing the plumbing that my shower head mixes in quite a bit of cold water on 'full hot'. So, I'll be looking into fixing that as well. Then I should be able to turn it down further.

Pictures to come soon.

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Old 11-06-12, 08:06 AM   #112
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Here are the pictures.

This is the connection downstairs. I threw in a ball valve so we could use hot water as I finished up the rest of the install which took two days total.

I didn't get any shots of everything totally finished, but it is all insulated except for the bit in the wall. I didn't cut the wall open, so I just insulated everything else that I could.







This is the setup on the opposite end. I had to cut the ceiling back a bit and cut a hole under the vertical plumbing run to the shower. The pex comes up from the basement through the wall just beyond the coiled up pex.








This is the first tee for the sink line.







And here we have the connection for the shower.






I ran the pex as far as I could. The sink line I was able to bring all the way. The shower I was only able to bring it as far as the floor.

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Old 11-07-12, 07:28 AM   #113
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Well its been a busy few days. I got the insulation mesh hung Monday night and Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon the insulation guy came out and dense packed the wall. Everything went very smoothly and he was impressed and liked blowing with the mesh on the wall.

The wall for the most part feels fairly firm. There is some differences in density. But, almost everything seems mattress hard like S-F suggested it should be.

Pictures:

This is the stapling around the windows. Yay for a million staples. There was absolutely no issues with any staples pulling up. The stapling method S-F suggested worked great. I have an Arrow electric stapler and used T20 staples spaced about 1.5 - 2" apart. I think I used almost a full four boxes of staples on the wall. In retrospect I think 2-2.5" spacing would probably be fine if not a little more.






This is the finished meshed wall.




And of course the finished insulated wall.




Phew, I'm glad that is done. Now I can finish the rest of the room at a more leisurely pace.
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Last edited by Daox; 11-07-12 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 11-08-12, 05:23 PM   #114
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looks good!! I want to do a full gut on the next house to insulate like this.
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Old 11-08-12, 08:04 PM   #115
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Yeah, very good job. I decided I also want to insulate the way you are doing it. I was going go with foam board on the inside but this looks cheaper, more effective, and easier. The only drawback I can see would be some bridging at the sill and top plate. Maybe not enough of a problem to worry about.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:11 AM   #116
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Yeah, its hard to eliminate all thermal bridging unless you're doing new construction. Passive house construction does focus on eliminating thermal bridging.
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Old 11-09-12, 06:43 PM   #117
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Today was electrical work day. The father in law arrived (electrician) and we went to work. I hadn't even thought about it, but he recommended adding some can lights in the room and we went ahead with it and I think it looks pretty good.

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Old 11-10-12, 06:04 AM   #118
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that appears to be a junction box in the middle of the room. I hope you don't intent to hide that behind sheetrock.
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Old 11-10-12, 07:29 AM   #119
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Nope, but that is how it was. It has since been replaced by a fan box.
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Old 11-10-12, 01:04 PM   #120
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Your lowered ceiling construction looks similar to what I had to deal with on my old house. On my house all my ceilings have sagged and cracked the old plaster. It turned out to be caused by two problems. The strongbacks that were there were 2x6s and were too wimpy to support the 2x4 ceiling joists. The other problem is that the connections between the joists and the strongbacks were just nails. Over time gravity just pulled the nails loose. Gravity works slowly but it is very persistent.

Assuming you are using Sheetrock and not plastering I wouldn't feel safe from a sagging ceiling with anything less than a 2x6, preferably 2x8 if the joists are 2x4. I can't really tell from your photo what your strongback or joist dimensions are or if it's safely tied to stronger structure above but just thought I'd mention it. Also, I hope you used either screws or small hurricane clips to tie the joists to the strongback.


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