Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

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Like my brownhouse:
   drain extender pipe plug
Wednesday, November 11 2009
In the brownhouse today, I used 3/8 inch plywood, light steel girders and ripped-in-half two by fours to build a solid platform for the bottom of the lower sink to sit on. This platform actually ended up about seven or eight inches below the "shitting bench" to support the bottom of something whose top would be nearly even with it. The lower sink is going to be large (capable of holding ten gallons of water), so again I'd be supporting the weight of water. In this case, though, that wouldn't exceed 80 pounds.
My original plan was to build two drains into the lower sink: an upper one to keep it from overfilling, and a lower one so I could occasionally drain it completely and clean it out. But today I decided to simplify the design and just have a lower drain which I will keep "plugged" with a short pipe that produces an upper overfill-preventing drain.
When I installed the drain, I used a small hole saw to drill down through the LDPE floor of the basin, continuing through the plywood underneath it. I then used a half inch NPT tap from below to install threads in the sides of this hole. Most solid materials seem to gladly accept threads, including plywood and LDPE.
When I went to screw a half inch PVC fitting into the hole from below, I found that it tended to push the LDPE away from the wood of the platform instead of screwing into it, so I had to insert a spreader exerting force from above to keep the LDPE down against the wood as I installed the fitting. I'd slathered silicone gel between the LDPE and the plywood and I globbed more around the intersection between the fitting and the LDPE after I'd installed it, though I didn't use any teflon tape.
I searched through all my junk trying to find the perfect pipe to use as a drain extender plug. Its outside diameter would have to either perfectly match the inside diameter of a half-inch PVC fitting, or it would have to somehow work with something from my collection of gaskets. In the end I went with a piece of 3/8 inch aluminum pipe that was a perfect match without a gasket. I wrapped it with a little electrical tape just so it would stop at some point as I inserted it in the drain. Later when I filled the basin, I observed no leaking past the plug, though there was little there to block water except the good match between the surface of the PVC fitting and that of the aluminum pipe.

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