The Dig

Well I think it's going to happen.  The husband got an estimate and discussed how it will be done and by whom.  The plumber is going to replace our leaking water main.  This means our back yard will be dug up.  The new fence will have to come down or at least part of it will.  The patio will have to come up and our water will be turned off.

For those of you who live in old houses you know the fear of doing any renovation or project.  You know that they never go to plan and most likely you'll have at least one or two nasty surprises along the way.  So I'm shaking in my boots right now.  I'm terrified that this will not go off very well and the costs will skyrocket out of our ability to pay for it.

Right now we are using our income tax refund money to pay for this and we also have to use that money to pay our water, sewer and garbage and the house insurance for the year.  This plumber quoted a price that I think is really low considering he is going to have to dig up the yard and have the city turn off our water.  He'll have to dig up part of the alley too to get to the city shut off.

We have a huge problem with our house.  We have only a partial basement and the rest is dirt crawl space.  The water main comes into the house in the dirt crawl space.  So to get to the main and bring it into the house you'd have to remove part of the cement wall and dig out some of the dirt.  The plumber is going to do it a bit differently and use an insulation pipe to wrap the water main and angle it upwards so it comes into the house at an angle.  At least this is what the husband said.  This means the water main will be partially above frost line coming into the house but it will be in an insulation sleeve of some sort.  This sounds a bit sketchy to me.  I'd much rather they just do it the right way and not jerry rig it.  I can just imagine the first really cold winter we get and our water main will freeze solid making us like all those other people who are suffering back East right now with burst pipes.

I have voiced my displeasure and requested that the main be brought into the house under the frost level but I doubt these men want to listen to me.  It seems most people now want to figure out the easiest way to make a buck no matter if the consequences are negative for the people having the work done.  There are only a couple of plumbers in our town so it's not like you get lots of choice.

I think I'll just leave it to the men and hope the plumber isn't an idiot and actually knows what he's talking about.  Please let him know what he's doing and for this job to go quickly and smoothly.  I would expect that this job shouldn't take much more than a day or two because all they do is shut off the water dig the trench and put in a new line.  The old line isn't even going to be dug up because it goes off under our garage.  No way to dig that up under all that cement.  Looks like the water main will have to run near the sewer line.

The husband has said he is going to hand dig the area by the house because your can't use a machine that close to the foundation.  And stupid husband thinks he's going to back fill the trench himself by hand.  I'm trying to convince him that we need the guy with the digger to do this because it will take him a lot less time than it will take the husband and we need to get that water main covered up quickly because it is still winter and it could be fairly cold when they do this. 

The faster it's all done the faster we have water and the yard gets back into shape.  He needs to concentrate on doing things like fixing the patio and putting the fence back up and leave the guy with the digger to back fill the trench.  Plus he'll run his machine over the ground to pack the dirt down properly and level the ground where the husband won't be able to  and we'll end up with our yard all bumpy and uneven like the last time the husband did this with the sewer line.  It took years before we got the ground looking normal although the slope was off and the water all runs towards the garage instead of to the back of the yard and the alley like it should.

I'll let you know when the husband schedules this and I'm hoping to document the disaster or lack there of.  Lets hope it's the latter because we can't live here without water and if we can't afford to get the job done properly we will be out of our house so fingers crossed.


Mama Pea said…
I think big jobs (at least they seem like big jobs to me!) like that are always scary. Especially when it has to do with the very necessary commodity of water for the house. I'll be eager for you to have it all said and done. Taking pictures to document the job is a good idea.
Birdie said…
Crap. This sounds like trouble waiting to happen. How much is the cost difference to have it done properly?
Sending good energy and hoping it helps.

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