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Ouch: Day 1

Dang you President Bush for giving me that stimulus check -- it's caused me more pain than could have ever have imagined. Read on for the full story...

Because my wife and I have two kids, we got a decent size check from the government, and we decided to blow some of it on something we've wanted for our home since we moved in years ago: A sprinkler system. With my father-in-law working for a local landscaping company and having years of experience designing irrigation systems and my brother-in-law working for a local pipe and irrigation company, we knew we could glean their years of expertise and use their ability to get discount pricing to our advantage.

My father-in-law came over last week and did all the design and I had to dig up where our water line went into our house to see what kind of material it was. We saw at the water meter that it was copper (which is good). After digging a nearly five-foot-deep crater to dig it up by the house, we found out that it was old rusted galvanized pipe and that it has a slow drip leak. We made the decision since we're tearing up the yard anyway, let's rerun the main water line from the meter. So we had to dig up the yard on the other side of the sidewalk (our meter is on the street-side of the sidewalk). We dug that up so we could see if the copper from the water meter extended under the sidewalk so we could hook that. Instead, we found more galvanized. So the new PVC pipe needed to be hooked to the water meter, meaning a small stretch of sidewalk would have to disappear so we could deep down deep enough to bury the pipe appropriately.

I knew I'd have to do the bulk majority of the labor myself, so I budgeted part of that money to rent a trencher. Getting the trencher was something I'm glad I did -- sort of.

While getting the trencher was kind of a pain (as it couldn't fit in any rig any of my family members owned, so we had to get a trailer to get it here), the biggest pain was dragging that thing around. It's like dragging an upside-down boat filled with concrete through sand.

I started with my back yard, and after figuring out how to work the trencher, I promptly put it in the ground and water started spraying from a broken pipe. It wasn't my sewer line as I wasn't any where near it, and that was the only pipe that should've been in our backyard. It was pressurized so it must have been a water line. So I promptly shut off the water to the house before it flooded my yard. I honestly had NO idea what the pipe was doing as it was a small dinky little pipe, but I knew it needed to be repaired.

(After a bit of conteplating later, I realized it was probably the water pipe that ran to a back bathroom off the back of our garage that was added on to the house after it was built. The bathroom is on a slab, so that's undoubtedly how they got the water to that room.)

I repaired the pipe with the help of my father-in-law, and then got back to trenching. Several hours later, after basically destroying my body trying to maneuver that monster around, my front and back yard is full of a bunch of ditches and piles of dirt. Thankfully the trencher pulled out most of the rocks that were thrown at it, but I still had to dig out some basketball size chunks that the trencher couldn't handle.

Then my wife's uncle came and cut the sidewalk and the corner of our driveway that needed to be cut to get the pipe to the back of the house. After I took the sledgehammer to it, it was broken up and cleanly removed.

Tomorrow my father-in-law is heading over to help get all the pipes in place and hook up all the irrigation equipment, and we're going to continue doing some more digging (as the trencher couldn't get some spot). In the meantime, I'm going to go take twelve advil and go to bed.

Posted by Jake on 06/13/08 @ 10:02 PM
Posted in Jake | Permalink

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