The Big Dig

The waterline was the last big project  before we moved into the house.  Our friend Jim Woodring came in again to help us.  We rented a Ditch Witch and started to dig the 2800 feet of ditch that we needed to bring the line from the trailer on the paved road to the house. We hadn't gone more than about 3 feet when it stalled and refused to start. Two days later, after Jim and I worked on it and a repair crew from the rental place replaced some parts we were under way again.  Some areas were fairly smooth sailing but...


when we had to cross the little stream that comes from our pond we bogged down and had to use the tractor to climb back out.   The most annoying thing however, was that the chain that does the actual digging kept breaking.  The first time it took us more than an hour to repair.  By the last (fifteenth) time we could do it in about 10 minutes.  We each knew what we needed to do and each of us took care of our part; link, chain, bar, grease gun, allen key, pliers, etc..


The machine didn't take care of all the digging.  There was still plenty of manual labor when we were near things that we wanted to avoid damaging, like the house siding, phone lines, power pole, and the water line to the trailer.  At one place we had to merge the ditch for the underground electrical service with the water line ditch.  Since there was a portion where the machine would be in the first ditch in order to dig the second that stretch had to be done by hand as well.  It happens that it was also where the line went under our driveway so the soil, heavy clay,  was very well compacted.  That was a real test of our endurance.
For the next part of the job we worked out a rig on the tractor to unspool the pipe along the ditch that really helped with that.  The individual rolls of pipe weighed about 200 pounds and were awkward as well.


We had to make sure the joints were secure so that when we pressurized the line we wouldn't have any leaks.  Nancy and Jim are working on the conduit that will carry the electrical service to the house.  Of course we needed a string through that line to pull the rope that would be used to pull the wire.  We were concerned that the string would break or be glued down and we would need to fish another line through the completed pipe.  We came up with several imaginative solutions but fortunately none were needed.


Unfortunately because of the delays caused by the Ditch Witch we weren't able to get the water and electric hooked up while Jim was here so he will have to wait to try out the hot tub.

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