Sunday, September 25, 2011

Water line week 3!!!

This project has certainly been a challenge!!! More digging.......
Richard stands up and reaches in , sometimes 3 ft , to dig out the sand. The walls are really starting to get very fragile. Richard fell into one of the massive holes he was preparing for the freeze hydrants, the side gave way when he stepped too close and knocked the wind out of him .
I have found that sitting on the ground has worked better for me, using my leg for leverage and my arms for strength.
Here is the start of the hydrant holes where we placed a cinder block down surrounded by gravel, then drove a T-post to support the hydrant while we place and fill it in.

Covering the gravel with tar paper will insure that sand will not seep down and fill in the drain area.

For the electrical lines , we placed the conduit on the ground to make sure we would place it with the correct angle and length. We measured and marked the pieces to make sure it all went together in the ditch correctly.
Then we pulled the wire through each piece one at a time, then glued each piece in place.
And to add to the excitement, the pump in our well went out. We were without water for a week in 100 degree heat!! Luckly it was under warranty..... I guess it was the luck of the draw!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Putting in a water line Cont...

This project has turned out to be very labor intensive to say the least!!! We are slowly cleaning out the trenches so they are level on the bottom and at least 2 feet deep. The work is difficult because we have to reach down 2 feet and lift out dirt. Richard has been standing up , trying to use his legs as to not stress his back. I tried this at first but have resorted to sitting down on the side of the ditch , using my legs as leverage and arms as the strength. This has worked for me as it hasn't stressed my back.
We are slowly inching along. We decided to do a section at a time, completing the gluing and covering up the pipes as we go. The picture above is were we have cleaned the ditch and will put the pipes on the cross boards to glue.
We are also are completing electrical and drainage pipes as well. This is by the studio slab, where we have the washing machine at this time.
Here is the maze of pipes by the well house.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Putting in a Water line.

Putting in a water line was the next step to our infrastructure plan. We had all of our building sites determined and were ready to get rid of our primitive hose delivery system.
Prior to this we had gone a lot of clearing and had time to think about where we wanted the water to go and what was most important.

Our hope was that we could trench in one day (which we did), clean the ditch the next day, lay the pipe the third day and cover it all up on the fourth day. We are seven days into the project at this time.

Our well digger had suggested inch and a quarter pipe to run up to the garden and elsewhere because of the long distance. With in the well house the pipe is 1 inch diameter. Where the water lines terminate, whether it is in side a building or at the freeze hydrants, the pipe is reduced to 3/4 inch.
We first laid out the pipe along the route it would be buried in the ground. This way we could determine the angle needed to connect the pipe so as to route it around trees and in the direction it needed to go. PVC joints only come in 90° or 45° angles. We did find out that we were able to curve the PVC pipe if it was not too severe. once we had determined the path of the pipes. We watered where we were going to trench with a sprinkler and tested to see if it was damp at least 2 feet down. This was a very important Because us having sand and over 80 days of over 100° with no rain, the walls of the ditch would have just falling in.

The next step was renting the trencher from home depot at the cost of $180.00 for a 24 hour period. That included tax and insurance. We could only actually run the trencher for a period of eight hours. This particular trencher is one that you stand on and run backwards.

It was very difficult for Richard to be looking over his shoulder and operate the trencher in a straight line. Therefore, I marked the soil with a hoe and gave him a guide line to look down between his feet to follow. This worked extremely well.

Richard also discovered if he moved the trencher a foot or so at a time and then put the chain down to cut the trench that he could get a much more accurate and straight trench.

We were able to trench 900 feet in a little bit less than eight hours. The trencher cut through small roots, but not the larger ones more than 2 inches.
As you can see the trencher places the dirt from the trench very close to the opening. Therefore, we found we had to move the dirt a foot or so away from the trench in order to work on the pipe and the trench with out the sides caving in. This took us about two days to do this portion of the work.

The next Step was to clean the dirt out of the trench. So as it was 24 inches or more deep. We note that in this part of the country people don't think about burying their pipes very deep because the Frost depth is not very deep, but we decided we wanted to make sure we never had to worry about Frost depth, cars driving over the driveway where the pipes are buried and digging in any place the pipes might be located.

This is extremely hard work because you have to bend over, reach down 2 feet and remove the dirt out of the ditch.

We also ran into a lot of roots that we had to clip to get the trenches clean.
We decided to complete the water line where the driveway was so we could again have a functioning driveway. We laid 18 inch or so scraps of wood across the ditch and placed the pipe on top. This gave us a clean area in which to glue the pipes and also kept the connections in alignment with the trench.
At this place in the run of water pipes. We actually had three pipes in the trench, one going to the future house for outside watering one to take the rainwater up to the well house for filtering and dispersion, and the third pipe to take the filtered rainwater back down to the future house. This way we did not have to disturb the driveway again.
Here I am applying the purple primer to the PVC pipe, then applying the glue to the outside of one of the pipes in the inside of the other. Then it takes a bit of muscle strength to connect them, holding for about 20 seconds or so to make sure they don't slip back out and there you have a solid connection.

I use this little bucket to carry the wiping cloth, glue, primer,PVC Cutter and parts, so everything keeps clean.
We are installing eight freeze hydrants at different places. Because we have sand. We are a green the actual freeze hydrant to a cinderblock placed underneath, with a 6' T-bar hammered into the ground, wiring the back of the freeze hydrant to it. We dug the hole about a foot below the bottom of the freeze hydrant and put gravel in, this is so when you turn the freeze hydrant off the water has somewhere to easily drain. We will place tarpaper on top of this so the sand does not work its way in to the gravel spaces.