Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The builders of the house did WHAT?

Cracked joist (opposite side)

I muttered previously about the unnecessarily massive notch that the plumbers cut into the joists in the library when they ran new bathroom plumbing in the 1960s. I wanted to figure out why they would do this. It seems that the original plumbers had a less than brilliant idea - they ran the plumbing through the concrete that was used as a bed for the tile in the bathroom. Doh! While this may have made for a more solid structure initially, it didn't take into account that the plumbing would eventually fail and have to be replaced.

3 comments:

NP said...

When we recently demolished our second floor bathroom, I had to break up about 7 inches of concrete that was poured between the joist spaces (on small boards nailed in the spaces on supports). In the concrete were supply lines for the washroom, and radiator pipes for a branch feeding the bathroom and a room above. I was surprised that they would have poured concrete over these pipes, but surprisingly, they were in good shape compared to a lot of the other supply and heating pipes in the house.

I was also amazed that they used to chisel part of the top of joist off to create a locking channel for concrete and so they can keep the floors at the same level as the hardwood in the hallways. But, the joists are true 2' x 10" and were still solid as a rock.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

That's very interesting. When I do eventually have to replumb the bathrooms, I'll be sure to test pressure-test the old galvanized that runs through the floor slab - perhaps it is still in good shape and the only reason the plumbing was replaced was due to issues outside the floor slab. This would certainly make it easier to reinforce the rest of the ceiling.

Old growth lumber is amazing, isn't it? If I have to do any other structural work on my house, I'm definitely using old growth lumber. Around here, old barn beams are often resawn when the barns either collapse or are dismantled. The pricing is often equal to or less than regular hardwood lumber.

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