Sunday, January 20


We had to put in a few hundred feet of trenches to hold the propane and electrical lines, and bring the water the remainder of the way to the house from the fire hydrant. The county requires that the lines be buried at least 18 inches. Most of our trenches were at least that, with some parts being as much as four feet deep. Our lead advisor had told us we were to lay the various pipes in a certain order: Gas line had to be at least a foot from electrical, and water was to be on top. We checked with the inspector and he said to just throw all the pipes in any old way. We did that and when he took a look at them, he approved the whole mess without comment, except to say “Good depth.” We knew that. He asked why we ran three-inch water line all the way to the house instead of something smaller. We answered that in order to get full effectiveness from the fire sprinklers in the house we wanted no restriction in the line since the pressure we had expected wasn’t quite there. We get only about 50 pounds per square inch instead of the hoped-for 65 psi. You don’t lose pressure in a fat pipe compared to a skinny pipe for the same flow rate.

Bundled up against the chilly morning, Luke handled the rented Bobcat as if he had done it all his life.
A nice, deep trench means you won't be running into the utility lines with ordinary digging around the house.
Here Tim, no shorty himself, illustrates the depth of some of the trenching as he cleans up the bottom before we put in the lines.
We rented a ditch digger which Luke manned with expertise. Then the propane people came and laid in their skinny high-pressure plastic lines. Then we laid in the last hundred plus feet of water line and various sizes of electrical conduit.

Then it rained.

And rained.

Some of the dug-up dirt put on a very convincing impression of chocolate pudding. We siphoned water out of the low spots and, using a neighbor’s tractor and backhoe, filled in most of the trench. Then the weather turned cold and the ground froze. This went on for a week or so, with the ground being hard as a rock in the morning, then when the sun hit it, thawing and being impossible to walk on because it had the consistency of a thick layer of warm grease.

With that job out of the way, it was time to start “wrapping” the house in preparation for the stucco contractor. Coming up next blog.

No comments: