Sunday, September 4, 2016

Kitchen Project #1 - replacing the vent hood


I have owned this house for 7 years now and almost everything inside and outside has been changed. Except for 2 areas that are various degrees of disaster, the master bathroom and the kitchen. The master bathroom is falling apart and because of the strange layout, needs a complete gut job. I am going to try and outsource that one to a contractor because of the work level involved. Finding a contractor with any time available is an issue right now because of the Butte fire last year that destroyed so many homes. I am going to do most of the work on the kitchen except for the counter-tops so that I can get something done and save some money. 

First thing is the layout of the kitchen is a U shaped which means it has only 1 entrance and with the refrigerator on the side that you entered the kitchen, it felt blocked in. I can't change the layout because there isn't any room to expand it. So I moved the refrigerator to the other side of the kitchen by the glass door, where there was a big open space. However the frig was too big so I had to buy a counter-depth one and that was expensive.

Frig moved
To make this work, my plumber had to come over and install a new water line and cap off the old one. See below... this left a space of course where I will have new cabinets installed.

If I hadn't needed to buy the new refrigerator, this would have cost me just a few hundred dollars. 

One other thing that has bugged me is that the vent hood is almond colored and everything else is stainless steel. Replacing a vent hood can be tricky if you don't get one that matches the old one in terms of size and connections to the vent. What I did is find the exact model (Kenmore) that this old one was and get a new one in stainless. In theory (I love that word don't you ?) this should be a perfect match.
Old hood in almond - stood out with all the appliances being stainless steel
New one - still in the box
So I basically followed the directions on this, first setting up the new one to match my 7 inch circular venting.
This is the where I attached the vent duct to the new one and took out the electric wire plug on the hole that matched the old one.. Taking down the old one actually made me a little skittish when it got to the wiring. When I replaced lamps or other electrical fixtures, I never shut down the power at the fuse. I just turn off the switch. But there wasn't a switch to this wiring and even when I turned the fuse off to the kitchen, these were still live. So I had to go outside and actually shut the power off to the whole house. First time I have had to do that.
The wires on the old one

Finished wiring on the new one.
One interesting thing that happened involved the duct pipe. It is old of course, same age as the house. When I managed to the get the old one off, I saw something blocking the vent pipe.
This was really strange... it was a giant clod of dirt blocking the pipe. I had to remove it of course and I am not sure how it got there.

Since the new one and the old one were exactly the same model, I could use the old screws that attached it to the cabinet. I removed two of the screws that were rusted though to put in new ones. It definitely made it easier installing exactly the same model. I would strongly recommend this if you are a DIY'er.

The vent pipe needed to be moved around and reset after taking out the old hood. To retape it you use duct tape! This is what that tape was created for!

This project only took me an hour and half or so, and that was by myself. If I had help, I think it would have gone faster. Hardest thing was holding up the new hood, while trying to line up the vent and the screws. That would really have been easier with 4 hands instead of 2 hands, a head and a bucket. 
Here is the finished product...