New bathroom – Plumbers for the “Final Fix” … (Version 1)

We’ve had two plumbers in all day (14 February 2019). Unfortunately, this job has taken sooo long that Steve, the guy doing almost all the work, is now off on holiday fishing in Cape Verde. This is a nuisance for us, as he’d familiarised himself with all the specialist bits of kit being installed, plus he knew where he’d put the noggins in to support the sink (thankfully he’d scrawled dimensions on the wall in pencil, though it took some time to interpret them). It meant that the guys spent the first two hours this morning just trying to understand the monstrous height adjustable sink mechanism.
At the end of the day:
  • the sink is hung on the wall, but not plumbed in;
  • the shower is fully installed and working. If you want to make a plumber purr, buy a Grohe shower – they’ve all been very keen on the shower, the one we originally bought for our previous house in Goddard Ave.
Grohe shower, body dryer & drain
  • the shower drain is installed, tested, and works well. The plumbers seemed almost surprised how effective the fall was in the shower former in directing water towards the drain.
  • dual fuel towel rail hung and partially installed. Rather glad Kevin went for the very tall/very narrow radiator – it was a guess at the time, but having seen it we agree that it fits the space better than the shorter/wider version originally proposed.
Of course nothing goes perfectly, and we’ve got a couple of problems:
The main problem being that the height adjustable sink sticks miles out into the room. We forgot to take account of the depth of the bracket mechanism, which is huge, plus didn’t know that we’d have to reinforce and box out the wall behind the sink. Combined result is that the sink sits out much further out into the room than we’d expected – right in the space where Kevin would normally stand to transfer me (Debra) onto the toilet. We’ll see how much play there is in moving the toilet across a little, but otherwise there’s nothing we can do about this right now, we’ll just have to try it and see if we can live with it.
Sink up
Sink down

I (Debra) am very happy with how things are looking, but Kevin is more concerned – the sink, and how far it sticks out into the room, is annoying. The super duper height adjustable bracket is far fancier than the one Kevin originally specced. However, we’re looking at solutions here, particularly keeping the bracket (which I like), but seeing whether it can be used with a different and less deep sink. The plastic back to the toilet/cistern cover is also concerning Kevin – He is not sure how well it will survive those occasions where he drops me (Debra) onto the loo. So we’re looking at toilet back rests to solve this.

The space or lack thereof dilemma!

Still some things to do – the towel rails/radiators in both the bathroom and our en-suite are plumbed in as radiators, but not yet connected up as electric towel rails, although all the wiring is in situ. The care screen is missing – we returned the one originally ordered to be replaced by a custom order in a different size, but that won’t be available till next week. Looks like there’s a minor leak in the drain for the sink, which is not surprising, as both the plumbers who’ve looked at the flexible drain have cursed it, as it appears to be a non-standard size.

Finally, a tale of two contrasts: On the left, the remote pneumatic switch for the body dryer – a simple rubber squeezer that sends a puff of air down a flexible tube to an air pressure sensor on the body dryer to turn it on and off – so no electric switches in the shower. On the right, the fancy two-way remote for programming and controlling the toilet.

Left – shower control button & Right – toilet control remote

We came back from the gym on Friday to hear the two plumbers giggling like little girls as they played with the loo, trying to work out whether everything was connected correctly and working. Kevin is most upset that he can’t get the “fart extractor”(Kevin’s description) to come on automatically when you sit down (I’m not kidding you – that’s the button with the fan/flower and wafting breeze). I think that the manufacturer’s describe it as an “odour removal system” or something equally genteel. Hopefully once setup we can tuck the main remote away in it’s holder in the loo and just use its *second* controller, which is a simple infra-red proximity switch that you stick somewhere convenient, then run your hand or foot past it to automatically trigger the toilet to flush and then do a wash and blow dry cycle. (It sounds more like a hairdressing accessory than a toilet!)

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