Saturday, December 2, 2017

(Dec 2) Laying Water Line

Well, we came to the conclusion that we were not prepared to use just our water catchment system for all of our water needs. Rather than put in an elaborate pump and filter system and still not have enough water, we decided to go ahead an bite the bullet and hook up to the city water supply. This will involve running a line from the water meter (never used) back 600' to the house. We already have water line laid for the 100' in front of the house. We just need to get the 600' back to tie into it.

We had rented a trencher from Hooten's (our favorite DIY center) in Emory before when we ran the electrical lines for the solar array. We decided to use them again. $90/day is pretty reasonable but we needed to get there early so we could try to get it back before they closed at 5p. We got it picked up and decided to stop at Y'all Come Back Cafe for a quick breakfast. Always good and always inexpensive!

Early start to the day. Eating breakfast as the sun comes up!

We decided to follow the path that the electric company had used to bring the main power line down the road. This way we wouldn't have to cut a new path, just dig up the old one. It had been 2 years but surely it would be softer than virgin soil. This would also save us from having to come up through the woods where I'm sure there are significant roots in the way. No sense risking killing a 100-year-old tree for a water line. The indention was still there in the road from 2 years back so it wasn't a problem to follow. It just looks like I hired a drunk to lay out the path! lol

Really, I can cut a straight line. I was just following the trench dug before. 

The trencher does a ton of the work but anyone who's ever used one knows that it still takes a lot of effort to coax and wrangle it along the way. We got started by 9a, took a break for lunch and actually finished before 3p. I was shocked. I really worried that we would have to rent it another day. I was exhausted so we decided to wait 'til the next day before we started laying pipe. Just a note, it was just under 4 gallons of gas used for 5 hours of trenching. Not bad!

As beefy as the trench digger is, it still takes a lot of effort to wrangle and guide it!

We got the pipe laid out and started gluing together. I decided to run 1 1/4" pipe from the front back to about 2/3 of the way. I reduced to 1" and the last 100' will be 3/4". Several plumbers I've talked to say that this will give us the best option on water flow and pressure that far away. Not a big deal, schedule 40 pipe isn't very expensive, no matter which size you use. We also decided to put in several hose bibs (I used to call them faucets! lol) along the way. We put one up by the meter, 2 along the drive and one by the solar panels to facilitate cleaning them. The 2 along the drive my help accommodate other Tiny Housers some day but that's another story, figured we'd put in the option as long as we had the trencher.

Trench dug and water lines put together. Just need to pressure test them now before we bury them. 

We hit a snag after fitting the pipe bib offshoots. We had to dig up the meter to get to the pipe access point. Remember, it was installed many years before we purchased the property but never used. The previous owner didn't even know it was there. We got it dug out to find that the pipe extension had rusted off. Uggh. They will have to replace the meter. They were already scheduled to repair a leak between the meter and the road. Guess this project just got bigger for them. We'll have to wait 'til they're done 'til we can hook up and pressure test the system. I want to make sure all of my joints hold before we bury the whole thing. The good news was that the water department offered to bring out a backhoe and bury it all when we are done. Thank you!! I was not looking forward to shoveling dirt back into 600' of trench!

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