They were tasks that were left over from the construction, remodel project. The side of the house that faces our back redwood patio has a patch of dirt next to the wall which still contains lots of gravelly grit droppings from the stucco work. It needed to get scraped up and disposed. This is also the area where the utilities leave the house and head to the far end of the back yard. A grey conduit for the 110v service as well as a 1 inch white PVC water line to serve the northeast corner of the yard as well as, and most importantly, the garden irrigation.
On Saturday, later afternoon, I did most of the scraping and got rid of most of the gravelly grit. Weighed down the garbage can with this illegal detritus something awful.
Sunday morning, I was eager to tackle the plumbing work. I had to first locate the water pipe that comes from the house and tap into it with the new supply, which comes out of the wall and into the ground at the north end of the dirt patch. After digging around a while, I found the pair of lines. Then, I had to dig a ditch about 12 to 16 inches deep and about 17 feet long to run the new supply line.
After the dirt was removed, I made a run to the local Ace hardware store to pickup a couple of 10 foot sticks of PVC, two feet of flexible PVC hose (which is used to put the new intermediary pipe into position), the requisite couplers and a can of hot blue glue (to attached and seal the connections). It all came together nicely and I tested the line to make sure the water was reaching the hose bibs in the back yard and garden.
And they did! Finally, after more than a year, these are working once again! The valves were on long enough to purge the air from the lines and everything looked good. I turned off the valves at the hose bibs and left the supply on so the system would be pressurized and I could check for leaks.
Seeing the end near, I started to back fill the holes after a quick check for leaks at all the fittings. After moving all the dirt back into the holes, wife Rita comes out to report the sound of running water under the floor in the kitchen. I go in to listen, confirm it, then go back out to the supply shutoff and turn it off. It made the sound of running water when I turned the valve to the closed position. Uh oh.
I think what had happened was that somewhere in the line, downstream of where I made the connection leading out to the yard, the line T's off and heads back into the house. So the water was running not only to the hose bibs in the yard that I checked, it was also flowing freely into the crawlspace under the house!
Well, it was getting too late in the day, I was too exhausted from all the digging in the hard dirt, and the valve kept the water from completely flooding the crawl space. About 45 minutes of water made a nice pool under there, no doubt, and I was too dismayed to even venture a peek down there.
Well, this job ain't as done as I thought was gonna be at this point. My next move is to either find a tool I can rent that finds underground water lines so I can prevent my having to dig more, or do some exploratory digging, looking for that line coming back to the house. I don't have a great idea of where it might be, but a general approximation of where to dig a trench so that I'll stumble across it.