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brainstorming plumbing badges  RSS feed

 
gardener
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We're looking for some brainstorming around what some of the different ideas might be for plumbing badges.

The plumbing aspect is about plumbing and hot water but does not include greywater and willow feeders, which have their own aspect.

Here are a few ideas to start with:


fix a leaky faucet (of course the problem being you then have to wait until a faucet leaks to get this... so maybe not)

set up a sink with a foot pump

set up a sink with pressurized water

build an outdoor shower

set up a solar water pump (combo with electric BB)

set up an unpressurized wood fired hot water system

set up a pressurized wood fired hot water system (iron badge)

dig a shallow well (maybe wood badge)

dig and cap a deep well (probably for iron badge)
 
pollinator
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Shawn

I know something of plumbing. I worked as a plumber in San Francisco for 30 years; I got a C36 (license) in '91.  

I'm not sure what to make of your post, perhaps because I'm not clear on what you want a "plumbing badge" to signify. My own experience says that a person does not learn anything useful without significant work which must meet some standards (eg. not get them fired,  customer not seriously upset... and lots of other stuff) and at least a certain amount of experience applying what they hope they know to different situations. So I can only assume that a plumbing badge based on a person doing some or all of the projects you posted is not meant to mean that person knows much about plumbing.

What might a plumbing badge mean? To whom?


Regards,
Rufus
 
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Are there boundaries, like toxic gick? I'm not sure how to convey grey or black water from point a to point b without using either PVC or abs plastic, and the chemical glues used to put the pieces together. Before the plastic pipes, iron pipes sealed at connections with burlap and molten lead were common, or clay pipes were used, but I am unsure if the ceramic pipes are available nowadays.

But, for badge activities, I think sweating copper pipes together is a pretty cool skill, and it's not very difficult.

Plumbing gas lines with black iron is fundamentally easier, the pieces just screw together with a sealant. All that's really needed is a pair of pipe wrenches.

Those are a few things that come to my mind when I see the word plumbing.
 
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Hi Rufus, here's what the badges are all about: 22 aspects of PEP

I'm thinking some sand badge items could be:
Cut copper pipe to length with a pipe cutter and/or saw
Cut, prepare and solder 10 joints without a leak
Disassemble, clean and reassemble a P trap and have it not leak
Uninstall and reinstall a toilet.  Installing one is cool too but sometimes you learn more when doing demo if possible.
Clean out the aerator on a faucet and reassemble without scarring up the finish on the faucet (possibly could go in Nest instead?)
 
Mike Jay
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Replace hoses to washing machine so they don't break when you're on vacation.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Hi  Mike

Thanks for the link. I actually posted there once upon a time but didn't make the connection. I reread and looked a few other places, also. Perhaps the word "experience" in the program title may express the important point. I can see value (assuming I'm not misunderstanding), but that would depend totally on a hundred details which seem to be "in progress" at the moment.  

To me PEP looks like a rating tool which aggregates over a very wide field, and large numbers, of single detail "experiences"; each experience is pass/fail with very little evaluation recorded. Categories and numbers (of experiences) help form a picture, but with minimal hierarchy. An interesting concept, maybe a statistician's dream.  It may help to frequently step far back and review how the program fits and serves the intended target market, audience, customer base or whatever best describes your "users". They will be various, of course, likely including the participants. Feed back from the END user (for example, traditionally that might be an employer, but probably take another form here...) may be _very_ important.

But I leave off here as this is not my way of doing things. <g>


Regards,
Rufus
 
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test water quality

build a sand filter

harvest water from a roof

repair a hose

prepare an outdoor shower for winter

prepare an outdoor shower for summer
 
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In keeping with the concept of having something anyone can do to get started in the badge what about starting with locating curb and in-house water shutoff valve and actually shut off in-house supply valve.  Would have to caution about an old corroded in-house valve, it may not work and if you try to force it you will have a leak you cannot fix on your own.  Curb shut-off of course only applies to those on "city-water".  I would be willing to take a stab at creating this first BB page, but I don't know the process.  I'm trying to read through all the PEP stuff but cannot find how to create content/threads/wiki's, only add to things that already exist.

Another easy starting item would be document size and type of supply side plumbing in your house (i.e. 3/4", 1/2", copper, CPVC, galvanized, PEX) and have the tools and supplies on hand to isolate a leak so the rest of the house can still have water.  In my case I have all 3/4" & 1/2" pex so a couple of shark-bite type fittings would be all I would need.

I know these two items are not enough to get a sand badge, but it is a start.
 
Jerry Ward
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In thinking about the levels for plumbing it could be something like

Sand - informed user/general maintenance
This would be things like knowing where your plumbing is, how to shut off water, unclog a drain, take care of a septic field, draining outdoor systems for cold weather, collecting the needed tools, cleaning aerator

Straw - repairs or changing existing items
fixing a leak, replacing a faucet, setting up outdoor sink/wash station, upgrades, Aquaponics

Wood - Adding/Installing a new component
adding new faucet inside your house, new drain in the house, rainwater harvesting system, work on gas system, solar hot water

Iron - Whole Systems
plumbing a whole house or maybe just major addition


The problem with many of these they only are done when a need comes up.
 
Mike Jay
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Would fixing gutters be in plumbing or some other badge?

Jerry, I like your list.  Some of the things I mentioned above got at your comment about stuff that only needs to be done when it's in need of replacement.  Just disconnecting and reconnecting something correctly could give someone the experience without waiting for a sink replacement job.
 
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I know very little about plumbing. But I'm learning. I'm particularly interested in greywater and blackwater systems.

But for the Sand Badge (which is what Paul would like to get finished up quickly), I like Jerry's idea of 'getting to know your plumbing', and some necessary skills like how to shut off your water, change/fix a tap, cutting and fitting pipe (and the different kinds of pipes used), and how to use tools specific to plumbing jobs.

And then the rest of the badges could build off of this knowledge.

But how do we document gaining knowledge about our plumbing system? I guess there could be a list of things - where are your shut off valves? where is your hot water pipe from the hot water tank? Where is your septic field? And other plumbing related things that I can't think of right now . . .    And we take pictures of all of these things, showing that we know where they are. That's one BB

Then a couple of tasks, such as fixing a tap, and putting insulation on the hot water tank. What else? Those could be other BBs.

And then a small project - outside shower or wash station; rain water harvesting system; ???

That's all I got right now.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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The key is having something you can take a photo or video of that you have done. This is another one of those aspects where there are plenty of theoretical things behind the scenes, but theory stuff is not a part of PEP.

So you can learn about how your plumbing works, but it doesn't fit the requirements of a BB.

On the other hand, repairing a hose is practical and you can take pictures of it.
 
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Mike Jay wrote:Jerry, I like your list.  Some of the things I mentioned above got at your comment about stuff that only needs to be done when it's in need of replacement.  Just disconnecting and reconnecting something correctly could give someone the experience without waiting for a sink replacement job.



Mike, I think you and Jerry are right that it is a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" however another viewpoint is:  Don't tempt fate.
A plumber friend of mine told me once, "You could go get a replacement cartridge and fix your mixing valve in the shower yourself, and save money... just don't do it on Saturday night. If I have to come to fix it on Sunday, it'll cost extra."
 
Mike Jay
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Yeah, I definitely get the point of not messing with things that aren't broken.  Then again, I'm also trying to come up with low risk things people can do to get some experience.  Some things, like changing washing machine hoses over to SS, are both low risk and provide some reliability improvement.  But replacing 20 year old hoses under a sink with shut off valves that haven't been operated in 20 years.....

Another BB could be flushing/draining the water heater and/or replacing the anode rod in a water heater.
 
paul wheaton
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Mike Jay wrote:flushing/draining the water heater and/or replacing the anode rod in a water heater.



Good one!

I think this is one where there will be a long list of stuff that doesn't come up very often.  


- repair a leaky faucet
- repair a leaky toilet
- unclog a sink
- repair a sink or shower head where the flow has dropped to too low
- check a septic tank level (excellent otis points on this)
- install a hydrant


and when I say "hydrant" I mean this kind:



and not this kind:







 
paul wheaton
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tiny thing:   augment a toilet with a "bidet" contraption.
 
paul wheaton
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Gonna try to make the sand badge for this in the next few hours.   Any more ideas?
 
paul wheaton
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here is what I have put together so far:


(tiny list) complete six
  - fix a leaky faucet
  - fix a leaky toilet
  - install an “instant bidet” on a toilet
  - repair a hose
  - unclog a drain with zip tool
  - repair a p-trap
  - repair a toilet that is not well bolted down
  - repair a toilet with problems with the lid/seat
  - clean/decalcify a faucet aerator
  - clean/decalcify a shower head
  - perform a water quality test
  - extract sediment from the cistern
  - prepare an outdoor shower for winter
  - prepare an outdoor shower for summer
  - repair a hydrant
  - put collected water through a berkey filter
  - flush the water heater
  - replace the anode in the water heater
  - check a septic tank level

(big list) complete one
  - install a hydrant
  - set up a sink with a foot pump
  - set up a solar water pump (combo w electric badge)
  - replacing a faucet


I would like to get four or five more for the first list and three or four more for the second.    Any more ideas?
 
Mike Jay
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How about flushing/draining the water heater and/or replacing the anode rod

Setting up an outside shower

Setting up a rain barrel

Upgrading washing machine hose to stainless steel braided

Change a cheap/old outdoor faucet over to a frost proof stye
 
paul wheaton
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Mike Jay wrote:How about flushing/draining the water heater and/or replacing the anode rod



on the list already?
 
Mike Jay
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Doh, didn't see it there.  
 
paul wheaton
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The official plumbing badge has been created here:

https://permies.com/wiki/108550/PEP-Badge-Plumbing

Further brainstorming and discussion will happen there.  I am locking this thread.

 
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