Workmanship: Plumbing

Workmanship Series
 1 Good Workmanship
 2 Workmanship: Dispute Resolution
 3 Workmanship: Walls & Floor
 4 Workmanship: Laminated Floor
 5 Workmanship: Electrical Work
 6  Workmanship: Air-Conditioner
 7 Workmanship: Doors & Architrave
 8 Workmanship: Gas Piping & Gas Dryer
 9 Workmanship: Kitchen Works
10 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes
11 Workmanship: Windows
12 Workmanship: Plumbing

Plumbers -- like their Citygas counterpart -- seemed to be in short supply these days.

After waiting several weeks, with no-shows on two occasions -- a plumber team of 3 young guys finally showed up at my door on Mon, May 5th. Guess what? It was 4.45 pm when they showed up!

At that hour most workers would be packing up to go home. Dusk was closing in, my flat had no ceiling light, and I wondered how they would manage in my dim kitchen. Peeved, but somewhat relieved they finally came, I agreed to let them in.


After all, though the kitchen cabinets and worktops had been completed weeks ago, my kitchen had lain idle. What good is a kitchen without the sink?
The plumbers seemed well-briefed on the jobs required.

Kitchen sink is Dead unless plumbed!

"OK, bring it nearer.."

"Got it! Now..tighten the nut please!

Hooray! Waited a long time to see this: sink plumbing completed!

Despite that, I decided to butt in now and then to ensure they do their job properly. I had seen enough of the previous plumber (see my earlier posts) mucking up my rain shower piping and toilet bowl installation to let the plumbers carry on as usual. Fortunately these guys did not resent my intrusions. They took the cue and sought my placement instructions when they had to install a particular accessory or fitting.

Installing the Wash Basin

The apartment came with a single bathroom and a separate toilet, both of which were too tiny for a wash basin inside. Designed in the stark 70's style -- basic, ugly

but functional, hacking the wall separating the two to create a larger bathroom-cum-toilet was impossible. The sewage and water pipes were were in the way, the largest gap between the pipes was a mere 15-inches, too narrow to facilitate movement from the shower area to the toilet.

It was also not possible to re-orient or move the squat toilet bowl needed to give a single bathroom-cum-toilet enclosure, due to the sewage pipe on the floor connecting to the ceiling of the apartment unit below. Any changes to the sewage pipe would affect the flat below.

With no space inside either the bathroom or the toilet for a wash basin, the only viable location was on the wall outside between the bathroom and toilet. To mitigate the very visible and open location of the wash basin, we decided on a designer basin hung on the wall, complemented by a full-height wall mirror and glass shelving.

We chose a basin tap that is squarish in design to fit in with the rectangular basin.

Installing the Basin Tap and Waste Fitting

The wall anchor bolts and sink bracket support

Drilling the bracket support



Fixing the wall anchor bolt




Lifting the sink onto the supports

Tightening the nut on the wall anchor bolt beneath the sink


Deca Wash Basin Model L87S S$350 and Basin Tap E321 S$80

Deca Wash Basin - sitting majestically!

Mistakes Made
The DECA Wash Basin Model L87S does not have the usual stainless steel pop-up waste trap. Instead, the sink has a sloping base that is slightly angled to allow water to flow out to an outlet hole hidden at the back of the basin.

Obviously the angled base in the basin meant the plumber had to be extra mindful to ensure the sink was installed perpendicular to the wall. He was probably not familiar with the basin design. He failed to use a spirit level to check if the sink was installed strictly perpendicular to the wall and simply did the installation as per normal. As a result, the wash basin was fixed slightly angled downwards, in effect canceling the slope of the sink.

When I turned on the basin tap, I found the sink did not discharge the water completely, but left a small puddle behind.

Further, the basin came with 2 hidden fittings holes precut on each side of the main tap hole. A slight but sharp knock on the precut porcelain would have opened up the hole to allow a soap dispenser to be fixed. The plumber however did not open up the fitting hole. He said he was afraid he might damage the sink if he did not knock out the pre-cut porcelain correctly.

As a result I was left with a Bellari soap dispenser that was not fixed on the Deca basin.

LESSON LEARNT:
It was easy to overlook that this wash basin has a slope base and should be installed using a spirit level to check the basin is fixed strictly perpendicular to the wall. Make sure your plumber is aware of that if you choose to buy such a basin.

After looking at the photos of the installation, I realized the downward angle of the basin could be corrected, simply by inserting small pieces of rubber disc at the bottom edge below each anchor screw, so that the basin is slightly angled upwards to correct and level the basin horizontally. The adjustment will maintain the base slope at the correct angle and allow water to be quickly and completed discharged from the wash basin.

The ID noted the suggestion and will ask the plumber to make the adjustment. Without the correct tools it would be impossible to do the adjustment myself.

Second, always get the sanitary ware dealer to deliver the purchased sink item with the fitting hole for additional fittings opened. That way the dealer is responsible

if the basin or sink is damaged in the process of opening the fitting hole. Otherwise your plumber will refuse to open the precut fitting hole fearing he would have to bear the cost if he damages the sink.


Panasonic Instant Electric Heater

Fixing shower heater


Panasonic Water Heater Model DH-3DL2S S$150


KRIS A125 Two-way Shower Tap for Bathroom, S$21

Bathroom Accessories
SS Rack with 32cm Clear Tempered Glass Shelving Model 840144 S$54

Roddex Model 7310 Tissue Roll Holder, S$24

Clothes Hook Model V3, S$18

Roddex Soap Tray S$28 and Bidet Spray S$35

Union Tap Valve Model SS2154, S$8.50 for Maytag Washer


Workmanship Series
 1 Good Workmanship
 2 Workmanship: Dispute Resolution
 3 Workmanship: Walls & Floor
 4 Workmanship: Laminated Floor
 5 Workmanship: Electrical Work
 6  Workmanship: Air-Conditioner
 7 Workmanship: Doors & Architrave
 8 Workmanship: Gas Piping & Gas Dryer
 9 Workmanship: Kitchen Works
10 Workmanship: Hide Ugly Pipes
11 Workmanship: Windows
12 Workmanship: Plumbing

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