Friday, August 10, 2012

Trench Warfare Arrives

As mentioned in the last few posts, there was a clay pipe that got broken. She'll be right, we can fix that later as everyone knows how pipes are laid out in the ground. Famous last words and words that were handed to us by Mr Murphy.

That one little ‘ol collapsed clay pipe has caused a ruckus. We can't find where it went. It appears all the house rainwater downpipes went into this one little pipe via some very very dodgy piping.

So the slab is down and the plumbers arrive to redirect the broken downpipe to the other one. Turns out neither went where we thought.  At the bottom left of the photo is where one downpipe comes in and at the middle of the almost top of the photo is where the other downpipe comes in and it was not a straight line joining them at all - it was a mess.

They eventually joined after a lot of underground turns and writherings and then headed off to the right to where we suppose it joined a stormwater main. When these pipes were put in, they weren't done by any licensed plumber - that's for sure! There were clay bits going into plastic bits and then back to clay, then plastic etc - what a bodgy job.

Here is a typical inline join in the plastic pipes.

That's right - just slot the pipe lengthwise a bit and then squash it in and push into next pipe. No proper joiner or glue even. There was a good layer of dirt in the pipe for a long time by the looks of it. The boys digging were amazed - I just told 'em it must have been some sort of new ag-pipe!

So as one guy fixed my actual downpipes which needed replacing anyway, the other went digging trenches in the hope of finding this illusive creature called the exit pipe. Trench after trench was dug around the newly laid slab. Here is the one started going down the yard lengthways.

Here is the one at the back corner where we were certain it had to be - almost would have bet my left one - luckily I dont bet!

The last trench to be dug for the day was the one to join up across the back of the slab at the join at the cloths hoist. If this didn't find it, we were pretty sure it wouldn't, we were going to call in a machine and trench up the length of dirt next to the fence to see if the pipe had taken a right hand turn and headed into the neighbours yard. If the pipe wasn't found there, I would have had 2 choices. (1) wait 3 months until the old brick shed is demolished (and pray for no rain) and put in something like a 3m x 3m x 2m gravel pit or (2) dig across the neighbours yard until we got to the big council stormwater main - costly either way!  So here is the last trench before we needed to go get a machine.

Notice the misalignment of the trenchs? Sort got away from us. Anyway, there was only a small block of soil left between both trenches and we all pretty much agreed they'd be back next week with a big machine to dig more and dig deeper. But as all good blokes are, they'd started the job so they dug that last bit of dirt away so as to finish the job! And bugger me if the pipe was laid bare!

So now the boys will be back on Monday to tap into the pipe to make sure that (1) it is the pipe we are after and (2) if it is (I'll now bet my left one) hook my rainwater downpipes to it. Luckily there is already a big trench in place to lay all the new pipes!

Mr Murphy - where would we be without you? .......

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