Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blame Me

Next door neighbor has the use of a backhoe for tearing down his house.  So, I decided to go over there and ask him if he would dig out the hole for my small pond for the front of my house.  No problem.

So, he brings the thing over, we start digging.  On the final pull of the bucket - it was the last one, I promise, it was all I needed to get that hole dug - the thing snags the waterline that I didn't know was there and tears it out quite nicely.  Hole dug, waterline destroyed.  That would be the 3/4 inch line that feeds water to my house.

Water gushing all over the place, not a big problem to shut off the water, the meter is right there.  Of course, that shuts off the water to the entire house.  I do not have a propane torch or the accessories needed to repair a line like that.  I used to have all of that stuff, but it was all stolen.  I never replaced any of it, expensive and who wants to keep replacing things that.......keep getting stolen.

On a sidenote, and for readers that have been around for quite while, the elimination of Michael living at this household was also the elimination of any of the remaining theft issues.

As for me, I thought, well, time to replace all of that stuff.  But, a neighborhood guy told me to call his dad - who lives behind me - he would fix it.  Okay.  Well, they called him for me.  Yes, I can fix such things but no, I can't do it without the proper equipment, and no, replacing all of that today was not on any of my lists of things to do.

This went on all day long.  It turns out the company that installed the waterline for my new house used 3/4 inch line up until they apparently ran out of that and used something else.  I had no idea.  Sam - that guy that lives behind me and came over to fix the thing - indicated that the fittings he had would not work.  So, I sent him on his way, he had another project to fix while I ran around trying to figure out what size this particular application is.  Smaller than 3/4's and bigger than 1/2 inch.

Home Depot had no clue.  It dawned on me: they might have used refrigeration copper on this application, but HD apparently doesn't carry that stuff.  I went to Evergreen, they were able to identify it as refrigeration copper, but no, they don't carry such stuff and probably could only find fittings for it at a heating and refrigeration type of store. All closed on Saturday.  Of course, my company has it's own refrigeration store, it's huge, but yes, also closed.

Well, without going into the details of the fittings used, Sam came back, put it all together and that was that.  I spent most of the day outside, out front of my house.  In the interim periods, I was trimming back trees, bushes, plants and picking up leaves - a lot of dead leaves from the cold and frost this winter.  LOTS left to go out there, but put a good dent into it.

Some things seem like  a major catastrophe to some people, but not to others.  I didn't see this as a major ordeal.  Mostly because I have the knowledge and skill to repair it myself.  I may have actually been better off going to HD and buying a torch set today, but, this guy came over and I figured I would get out of it cheap enough - $40 for his time including some of his fittings and copper tubing.  That also includes completely bypassing having to dig out that rocky soil for the hold for the pond.

No, I did not give my neighbor with the backhoe money, neither did I offer any.  I have given him free use of wireless internet for a long period of time and that was more than sufficient to me for 10 minutes of use of a backhoe, which, literally, is all it was.  It would have taken me days and days to dig out that hole - the ground is FULL of rocks, it is very difficult digging.  It really sucks, basically, digging into the soil around here.  So, no big deal to me.  The water is back on and we're all happy campers.

I am on day one of a 3 day weekend.  I had to take time off - a day at least - or start "losing" vacation time starting next month.  80 hours.  I would have hit it at the beginning of the month and lost anything over that that I am accruing.  I have a lot of work to do on the property now that spring is - here even if not anywhere else.  March 20th is the first official day of spring this year.  My trees are all budding, plants are starting to grow again, temps are warming up, spring is here for me, if no-one else, lol.  The point is that now, it is obvious where and what to cut off from plants and trees from the winter frost.  Some plants, I believe, are a total loss.  I will let them linger a while longer in case they are late bloomers, if nothing, they will be unearthed and I will do something else in those areas.  Not a lot, though, nothing NEAR what I was fearing when we were hitting 20 degree weather.

Enough for one entry.



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