The past few days have been both rewarding and infuriating for us. The kitchen is really starting to look like a kitchen which is amazing. Yet a step that should have been simple and painless turned into a three-day long nightmare.
Since the tile is all set, we are now able to put the new appliances in place. Each appliance takes some set up; unfortunately it is not as easy as just pushing them into place. We decided to put the refrigerator in place first. We had already been using it and the only thing we needed to do other than plug it in was connect the ice line. I wrote about our adventure moving the ice line here. Since we already had our pretty valve set up in place, this should not be too difficult.
Before we moved the refrigerator in place, we adding the molding on the wall to give it a more finished look. We also put new quarter molding. We did the same for behind the stove. Even though these places will rarely be seen, it is still important to add the finishing touches. We did a quick paint job and then got started on moving the refrigerator.
Jim had a copper coil and compression bolts and nuts to connect the refrigerator to the ice line. All it takes is attaching the copper coil to both valves. The attachment needs to be TIGHT. If there is just a little space in the connection, the valves will leak. After a few tests, we had both ends in place – tight enough that there were no leaks. We tested the water dispenser and it worked! Woohoo! Now all we had to do was move the refrigerator up against the wall. Jim was in charge of leading the copper tube gently back into a coil while I was in charge of slowly pushing the refrigerator (it is on wheels – I am no Wonder Woman here). It was going well, but one time the refrigerator moved faster than I planned and Jim moved the tubing a little too rough and all of a sudden, there was a leak – well two leaks, one at each valve. UGH. So we pulled the refrigerator back out and Jim got to work replacing the compression bolts and nuts so they were back to being tight. This did not work as we hoped. Before long, we were out of bolts and nuts. It was already after 10pm, so a run to Home Depot was out of the question. We would have to finish up Tuesday night.
Jim tightening the bolt to the refrigerator line
No leaks...at first
The copper coil connected (you can see the molding and quarter molding we added here too)
The valve looking nice...if only the leaks stayed away
On Tuesday, we got to work right away. Since it was a nice day, we worked installing the microwave vent first. I will tell you more about that in a little. After the microwave was in place, we had dinner and refocused on the refrigerator. Since we were just reconnecting the valves – it should be no big deal.
Well – the tightening of the nuts and bolts on the valve on the wall was adding a lot of pressure to the valve. This is where the ice line is connected – behind the drywall. We had the new copper coil hooked up but we were hearing water. A sound we had not heard the day before. It was coming from behind the wall. Jim screwed a small hole in the drywall just to check if there was a leak. There was.
Before we knew it, a 16” by 15” hole was in our beautifully painted drywall. Water had gone everywhere – including dripping out of the hole we cut in the basement ceiling in order to connect the ice line. Jim dried up the inside of the walls and fixed the leak. Now back to connecting the copper coil to the now dry valve.
While holding the valve in place (no more letting it move), we tried connecting the coil. We had done this many times already – but for some reason, it was not working this time. We would get the bolt on about halfway and it would jump the thread. We tried many different bolts. Nothing would work. We concluded the valve’s thread had been destroyed from all the former tightening of bolts. We needed a new valve. Today was not our day.
The new hole...and no longer useful valve
Wednesday, Jim got home from work early so he could start working on the ice line. He bought a new valve and got started hooking it up. The valve on the wall has 4 different connecting points with the copper tubing. That means there are 4 potential points where leaks can occur. For a few hours, Jim killed himself tightening the connecting points. No matter what methods he used or how hard he tried, there was always at least one leak in the valve. It was hopeless. Jim gave me a scenario – we call a plumber or run a new ice line that will directly connect to the refrigerator (our current ice line was too short to reach the refrigerator). Both options made me cringe. In case you missed the ice line post – go back and check out how difficult it was for us to run the original line. It was no easy task. Neither of us wanted to try that. A plumber would be a hefty cost for something we may be able to solve on our own. I asked if there was any way we could just connect the two copper tubes directly without a valve. That way it would just be like extending the tubing we have in place and we would not have to re-run the tubing. Jim researched and found out that was a possibility. That led to another Home Depot trip.
Luckily, after many headaches and much heartbreak – we were able to connect the valves. We did not just want a wire sticking out of the wall, so Jim thought of using an outlet cover. Jim also secured the tubing inside the wall and on the refrigerator so it would not be able to move easily. We cut out new drywall to fix our new hole in the wall. We finishing replacing the drywall and repainting Friday and carefully moved the refrigerator into place. So far, so good!
The two copper tubes connected and secured inside the wall
A clean connection to the refrigerator
New drywall in place...
Jim creating a spot for the outlet cover
Complete! Paint and outlet done
Connection before we moved it
Up against the wall - no leaks!
The second appliance we installed was our Under Cabinet Microwave. Jim wanted to have the microwave vent outside instead of just blowing air into the room. Therefore, we needed to cut a hole in the wall and house so a vent could be placed. When installing insulation, we planned for this hole and left no insulation in the wall at that point. Jim cut the hole in the drywall and all that was left was cutting a hole on the outside of the house. Jim borrowed a huge ladder from our neighbor and got to cutting (this is why we wanted to get this done when it was 60 degrees in January). It went pretty smoothly. Next, we hung up the microwave. We needed to hold the microwave in place while screwing it into the cabinet above. It took us a few tries to get everything perfect. Once the microwave was in place, Jim installed the vent outside. He added silicon to seal any holes from rain and outside elements. Voila – we had a new microwave! We even used it to make our frozen dinners that night – sweet.
Hole cut for the vent and support for the microwave is secured
Vent ready to be put in!
Jim cutting a hole in the house!
Oh hello outside
Putting the vent in - we lost the sunlight
Sealing the vent with silicon
The microwave wiring all neat in the cabinet
Wednesday brought us a lot of joy. Not only because we finally got the refrigerator line working, but because we had our COUNTER TOPS INSTALLED. We had beautiful granite put into place. The counter top guys also under mounted our sink and cut holes in the counter for our faucet. All of a sudden, our kitchen looked like a real kitchen. In fear the stove might not fit in the allotted space, we moved the stove into place between counter tops. It JUST fit. Everything looked perfect. I am still waking up in the mornings and staring at disbelief that this is our kitchen. The end is in sight!
We moved our kitchen table back in place and took advantage of our countertops by putting things like the toaster in place. Get ready readers – there will be a fully functioning kitchen any day now.
View of the counter tops!
Another view of the kitchen
Kitchen table in place
Look at our beautiful, big sink! (faucet isn't secured - that's why it is hanging a little)
Another view of the kitchen