The Wall’s Gone

Our first evening meal sans kitchen had been very easy; we had cold barbecued lamb from Sunday with salad before destruction began.

This morning, men returned bright and early – that is to say a little before 08:30 – for day #2 of demolition.

First of all more plaster was stripped off the target dividing wall. Then I heard jacks being knocked into place to support the upper floors while the supporting wall was removed. Francine and I went for a 5-mile walk to leave them to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen we returned, sure enough our dividing wall was no more. Apparently it was a little more than no more at the rear end than had been anticipated. The Thermalite blocks in the wall were unstable and crumbling, so some of what should have been a 650mm stub wall had also gone. It was going to have to be rebuilt with new sound blocks.

At the opposite end, Francine noticed that the stub wall had the opposite problem: too much left rather than too little. It was more than what we’d planned, more like 700mm than 350mm. That meant the span and, therefore, the steel beam was going to be longer than had been ordered. Communication breakdown, clearly. Adjustment needed.

The kitchen door and frame disappeared.

Hiccough time: our wall wasn’t the only major thing that had gone, so too had our water supply. ¿QUE? No loos were flushing. There was no cold water in the upstairs taps, either. I clambered into the loft to check the cold storage tank. Empty. Was the ball valve stuck? No. Why was the cold tank not refilling? The garden tap, teed off the cold riser, still had water so the house supply was fine.

Think, Franco!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAh, men had removed our water softener; I could now imagine what might’ve happened. The softener is connected to the cold flow into the house using three valves. The two outer valves divert water into and back out of the water softener. Between those two is a third valve to allow water to bypass the softener. They’d turned off the flow and return valves into and out of the softener but not opened the bypass valve so nothing had been going up the cold riser for the last 24hrs. I opened it; tanks began filling. Phew!

Had I not done that plumbing myself, I’d have been none the wiser.

You really wouldn’t want to go away and let this stuff happen in absentia, would you?

Posted in 2020 Covid-19 Knockdown

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