Modern art, or vintage mess?

by Michael Alderete on 4/20/2005

When we took out the kitchen sink cabinets, and the walls behind them, we found what our plumber called a “masterpiece of modern art.” But really, it was a baroque mess:

Yes, that’s no fewer than four valves, for “managing” the hot and cold water feeds to our kitchen sink. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, no refrigerator ice water line. About the only thing that makes sense is the long vertical pipe which feeds the flats upstairs.

And we’d probably have left it that way, except we wanted to rotate the kitchen sink cabinets 90°, to put the sink directly in front of the kitchen window. Which our plumber sternly tried to convince us was a bad idea, mostly because it meant completely reworking all of the kitchen plumbing. Rochelle was not persuaded.

Et voila:

All that remains of the old, which you can see on the left, is the red-capped old drain line (which will get cut away tomorrow, so we can finish the drywall), and the cold line that (still) feeds the flats upstairs. Our own supply now comes from pipes which are in the basement, so that they can be entirely in the wall.

An especially observant person might notice that we had to cut away the lower part of our window to make room for the drain vent. It’s true, we’re losing our old window, and the new one will start about a foot above where the old one was. It’s scope creep of the worst kind, because we can’t afford to buy the box window we really want, so we’re paying to put in something we don’t really want, and which we hope to remove again one day.

The upside is that the old window never opened, but never fully closed, either. It was, as Ken (our primary contractor) pointed out, literally a vent, because of the large gap at the top where it was askew from the ’89 earthquake.

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