Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Faucet, Basement Repack and Steps Redux

Saturday/Sunday April 9-10, 2016

This weekend, we accomplished a few projects around the Big Country. 

I ordered a new faucet for the bathroom, because as well all know, they just skimp in unassuming places to keep the price down. One of them is the size and quality of the plumbing fixtures. We like our kitchen faucet just fine, but the bathroom and shower will be replaced. This month, it's the sink's turn. 


New ready to go in


The old faucet came out and the new went in pretty easily. The hard part was positioning the pull rod for the pop up drain assembly. We opted to keep the original, rather than pull out something that worked fine and was sealed well.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it!  But the pull-rod for the new faucet had to be properly connected, and it took some trial and error to get it working correctly.

The faucet is a million times better than the previous as far as output of water, height above the sink, and distance from the edge of the sink. Now we can easily wash our hands with the "just right" temperature of water, and without hitting our hands on the back of the sink and getting water all over the countertop. 

Next on the to-do was to put the basement back together that had been disassembled upon water discovery, see previous post. First was to put the heater vents back in place, then we changed the water pump to the one we had previously in the ElkRidge. The new (old) pump is a Flojet VSD, a variable speed pump that adjusts to the demand for continuous flow. It's significantly quieter than the original one.

Tony was also able to move it back some from its original location, so that we might gain little basement space. That's a project for another day!

Next we put the water sensors from our security company in two places we thought would be vulnerable -- near the back of the water heater and the pump, and a second one near the inverter. These sensors run about $20 each, which is not cheap, but the fact that the security system will alert us home or away if they detect water, is priceless.

We reassembled the basement walls and then worked to reorganize our storage. Since our basement before was much shorter, we used many smaller bins to hold items. Although it was easy to group like items into smaller collections, it realty was difficult to get to anything without moving lots of bins. We consolidated many of the smaller ones into 4 larger, clear but rugged outdoor type bins with lid-locking handles. Many of our old bins, once stuffed, would flex when picked up and the lids would pop off. 

We got everything back into the basement, and now much more organized!! Yay!

Sunday, we took many of the old bins and a variety of other unused stuff to our storage facility, and retrieved some other items. 

In the afternoon, we worked to finally install our Glowstep Revolution Steps. We received the additional set of shims we needed to make the install. 

Here are some pics:


3 shims added to one side of step frame. They were added to both sides. They had self adhesive strips to stick them in place, very helpful!

Tony using a Torque wrench to make sure the bolts are tightened properly.

Steps in the "stowed" configuration.

Steps in the "deployed" configuration.

Straight-on view. The steps are narrower than the previous. Glowstep Revolution Steps come in two installation widths, but the stairs are 22.5" wide, no matter the size of the opening. 

These steps don't flex or bounce!

The positives of the Glowstep Revolution:
- Fairly easy to install as long as you have the right amount of shims for your application, and follow the instructions.
- Very well-made, high-quality product.
- Steps have adjustable feet for varied terrain
- Height of top step can be adjusted to keep the step-rise consistent, no matter the terrain! No other step system does this!
- Easy to fold up and pull out. Very light weight! 
- Feet touching the ground make the steps extremely stable. There is no longer a bounce of the rig when someone goes in our out. 
- Aluminum treads have grooves in them for a good non-slip surface. 
- The treads seem deeper then our previous, and the slope is more gradual.

- In our application, the width of the staircase is about 1.5" narrower. Not noticeable going up the stairs, but coming down I notice it visually. I don't feel it's unsafe, but it will take some time getting used to it. 
- The deployment of the staircase  requires removal, and reinsertion after extending, of a bail pin that locks the staircase in place. If you really need to "rush" inside, this takes a few more seconds over conventional folding steps. I'm sure it will get easier and faster over time. 

Overall, I'm very pleased with the product, and I'm sure my knees will appreciate it too!! 

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