Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back Yard Archeology, Part III

Today was about working smarter. Unfortunately, it was also about working harder. So it goes. After reading yesterdays post, Peter, a co-worker, related to me the plight of his father, who had to dig up a sewer line that was buried 9 feet deep. Yikes! He didn't die in the process because a buddy of his recommended he use a water drill. He stuck a 9 foot piece of copper pipe on the end of a garden hose and used it to created a "perforated line" on each side of the intended trench. Peter claims he finished the job in 2 days. I decided to try it on the hard pan over the main line. Below is a picture of my water drill.

I was skeptical it was going to drill through this stuff, but it did, with varying success in different spots. Below is an action shot. If you look closely you can see a couple other holes drilled with the water drill.

It was still work to get a nice trench around the pipe, but I'd have never gotten as far as I did without the drill. It made a difference. Here I am looking down at that hole near the end of the day, deciding that the plumber would probably have to widen it to have room to maneuver, but I was done digging that hole.

The other trench didn't have nearly as much caliche, but it had the gas lines. I didn't use the drill here, but I did get the soil wet. Much lying in the mud and digging with a trawl. Here I am claiming victory.

I suffered one more defeat in the end. I thought I could get the line unclogged and usable now that I had both a clean out and access to the break in the line. I spent about 45 minutes snaking it and pulling out roots, soaked in what had been going down our kitchen sink and rotting there. I couldn't get it.

I'm as sore, stiff and tired as I've been in a long time. A full day's labour is enough to almost cripple me, these days. There are compensations. Near the end of my struggles Jae went to the store and got me a six pack and a bag of my favorite cookies. Then she cooked up a home-made, meat-and-potatoes meal. She looked at me with that look, the, "That's my man, taking care of the household," look. That's worth at least as much as the money saved.


jaek@swcp.com said...

Two notes. One: That copper pipe is our living room curtain rod. Two: I adore you Josh and you'll find this all very funny in a year or two.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the water drilling worked/helped. As for not getting the same results/superhuman feats as my dad is in no way unusual. he has a obsessive personality hes able to channel some insane amounts of energy into a task. be it his treehouse http://flickr.com/photos/killbox/sets/72157594157268043/

or any of his other projects.

Matt said...

I am quite impressed. Digging holes in the ground is always harder than it seems like it should be.


Blog Archive