Monday, November 5, 2012

Trenching for water lines

Yes, we are still remodeling. Only now we’ve moved from the house to the yard… And what an adventure it is!

Remodel Monday badge
This is a trencher. It’s a scary piece of equipment, and Farmer Doc rented it. For exactly one day. Which meant there was a lot of trenching…

Which looked like this. (The barking dog helps the trencher work right. Everyone should have one.)

(If you’re reading this in a reader or your email and can’t see the video below, click through to the website and you can watch it there.)
And before you start thinking, “Why rent a trencher? Why not just dig by hand?” I’ll tell you. This baby digs a hole 4 feet deep and 4 inches wide. And there was a whole lot of trenching to be done. No way it was going to happen (in a reasonable time without someone dying) without this machine!

The trenching started out pretty well. Farmer Doc wants to re-route some water lines, put in new hydrants, and run electricity back to the garage. I’m looking forward to having lights in the garage and finally being able to close the garage door!

He started from the barn…

trench from the garage
And then trenched from the house to meet the trench from the barn.

Except the sidewalk to nowhere got in the way.

trench from the house
Really, that sidewalk starts from nowhere (well, okay, it starts from the driveway, sort of) and goes to nowhere. Mostly it’s in the way. And we’ve been talking about taking it out. But it hasn’t been a big issue. Until now.

So he skipped the sidewalk. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a later post.)

skip the sidewalk
Things seemed to be going very well. Until…

Um, honey? Are you supposed to be making mud? It seems like it’s pretty dry for that…

making mud
Oh yes. He had hit one of the existing water lines. We just do not have good luck with water around here! This particular water line takes water from the house down to one of the water troughs for the cows. We turned off the water to the outside, and rigged up a temporary fix for the girls.

busted water line
Phew, crisis averted!

Then Farmer Doc kept on trenching… behind the garage…

backyard trenches
And down to the water trough.

trench to the shed
There’s a big trench in the barn from the original water hydrant, out the barn, and across the yard… (please ignore the post-construction pile of mess that we haven't dealt with yet…)

trench from the barn
…and across the driveway.

trench across the driveway
Thanks to my big truck I can drive over that giant pile of dirt! (I never would have been able to do that in my little Nissan!)

i can drive over that

The trencher couldn’t fit under the fence, so Farmer Doc is going to have to do that part by hand.

This trench continued down the hill, across the driveway again on the other side of the fence, and back onto the grass. We have another well way down there that isn’t functional right now. This will give us access to a “back up” well for the cows and the garden if we need it.

trench down the hill
It looks like giant gophers have been digging all over our farm! Lucky for us it’s just Farmer Doc and his rented trencher!

The next part of the project is digging out the parts where the trencher couldn’t go (like under the fences and the sidewalk to nowhere). Then laying water and electric lines in the trenches and filling them back in. And then finally getting things hooked up on either end.

Anyone available for some manual labor? I’m kidding… –ish…


  1. I know where you could have borrowed a trencher...too bad we didn't know about your project...ours is even the tractor type...less manual labor involved!

  2. I remember all that fun when we put in the wood burner and then the garage and sun room. Ouch on the waterer. It does happen ;-)

  3. Carla, too bad we didn’t know about your trencher! Next time... ;)

  4. Actually, he hit a water line in another spot too... That’s why we’re re-running these lines – so we know where they are and they go where we want them!


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