Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Plumbing Project I can Fnally Put Behind Me!

Nothing like coming home from work and seeing a Bobcat in your driveway!
...and I'm not talking about a feline Bobcat either! (Mom!)
 
 
When I called my Mom to tell her the Bobcat was in my driveway she replied:
"You have a bobcat in your driveway???
OMG  You better go inside and call animal control."
 
I said no Mom, a Bobcat MACHINE! ..and then we cracked up laughing!!! :)
 
 
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So if you have been paying close attention, over the last month I had two major home improvement projects scheduled.
 
Two major things that the rest of my DIY projects were
dependent on, and now I can happily say that they are both
DONE and OFF MY BACK! Yay!!!
 
For starters, towards the beginning of June I had my
trees trimmed.
 
This may not sound like much to you but for me this was a MAJOR undertaking that I hired out. 
 
The tree and bushes were so over grown that it was starting to cause major problems around my house.
 
Over grown trees trap moisture around your home, harvest mosquitos and other bugs, and block the sun from getting places that it needs to be in order to keep your flowers and grass growing properly, so it is very important to keep your trees maintained by having them trimmed from time to time.
 
So besides the trees, I had one more VERY expensive project that was scheduled for this Summer and that was to have my main sewer line dug up and replaced.


You see, about a year ago I noticed that my sump pump would kick on even when we had been away from the house for two days and no one was using any water.
 
At first I thought maybe it had rained or the ground was just wet and the sump pump was luckily doing its job, so I didn't give it much thought and forgot all about it.
 
Well, I also noticed the main line on the INSIDE of the house in the basement was starting to rust and it appeared that some sewage was lightly seeping out of the rusted spots so I called a plumber to come check it out.
(Not thinking anything of the sump pup ordeal)
 
When they opened up the line on the inside of the house they quickly discovered that the pipe on the outside of the house did not butt right up to the one that was sticking out from the inside, therefore that meant I had sinking pipes! YIKES!

Sinking pipes? What does that mean?
 
Well, that means my old house has clay pipes and over time the ground shifting and/or tree roots can cause the pipes to crack which then leads to water running out of the pipe and causing the surrounding soil to become moist and soft.
 
Over time, the moist ground gets fully saturated and can no longer support the weight of the pipe so the pipe then begins to sink.
 
Once the pipe starts to sink the vicious cycle continues until one pipe fully sinks below the other and which blocks the flow of water from pipe to pipe and your plumbing will back up.
 
So, now that we got all that out, it was clear to me that I had better fix this or it was going to manifest into a much larger issue.
 
So, over the course of the past year I noticed the problem worsened and my basement had a few spots where moisture was building so there was no more putting it off. The pipe(s) had to be fixed!
 
So I began getting estimates, picked my company, and set the date!

But before we start any work I want to show you a before shot of my yard where the plumbing is under ground.






Nasty, nasty side yard that once looked clean and pretty went neglected this Summer because I knew I was going to have this work done and the ground was going to be dug up.
 


Here is what it looked like a few years back after my neighbors trimmed their trees and I had more sunlight here!

 
My Hostas loved this spot!



I really don't like my yard looking like this so you KNOW after all this plumbing work is said and done my Fall to do list will include re landscaping this entire side of the house!

(just giving you a  heads up for future reference) LOL



Before we get started, you must make note of your utilities before you dig.
Of course, as my luck would have it, the plumbing is DIRECTLY under the spot where the air conditioner and gas lines are!
Of course!!!!!



But that didn't pose a problem at all.
 
Thankfully, when Dig Rite came to mark off the utilities, we discovered that the utility lines run AWAY From the water line, so we were totally fine and did not have any problems accessing the sewer line.
 
 
 
 
So they begin digging.

Once the plumbers dig deep enough to reach the pipes, the obviously saw the old pipe off and attach a new pipe.
 
Remember, I have an old house so I had clay pipes, and if you have never seen one you will be surprised like I was to learn that when they say "clay pipes" they literally mean CLAY pipes!









 
See! Clay pipes. I told you, but I bet you were like "yeah right, who has clay pipes"? :)








My pipes are clay therefore they were made with terracotta clay just like your terracotta clay flower pots!
 
 And you know how easily those things crack and chip,
so why on EARTH would anyone build a house with clay sewer pipes is beyond me, but I guess back in 1940
they didn't have plastics like we do today,
so that was the best material available at the time.
 
Ok, so once the plumbers removed the old pipe they replaced it with PVC, which should resist cracking/shifting/and tree roots, so it will more than likely never have to be touched again!
 
(future home owners, you can thank me now!!!!)
 
And, as far as how deep they have to go, its definitely not as far down as I thought it would be, hence why they always tell you to call Dig Rite whenever you need to dig in your yard!!!
 
 
 
 
So here is the pipe that extends from the inside of the house outward.
 
The plumbers will attach the new pipe to this.
 
 
They also ran a line down the pipe all the way to the main sewer line that the City owns,
and thankfully I have NO other areas that
needed to be fixed!
 
Sshheeeewwww!
 (keeps the cost MUCH lower to just replace this one small piece!)
 
So now that the new pipe is attached, the plumbers added an external access line so that now if I have to have any work done they can access the pipes from outside.
 
This is a major IMPROVEMENT since before they put this in anytime I had to have the pipes looked at they had to truck it inside my house and down to the furthest corner of my basement!
 
 



Once that was done now its time to back fill with dirt.

 




 



 And wouldn't you know it?!?!
My favorite part of owning an old home is when you start digging and opening up walls you discover something odd every time.  
 
 
This time we found some old tile flooring that for some reason was buried under ground with the pipe.
 
 
It was very heavy, backed with cement, and steel fibers that I think were there to help the tile adhere do the sub floor.
 
They definitely made things to last back then!
 

 


 


So there ya have it!
This was a large project and one that I HAD to address immediately, so I saved my pennies and got it done!
 
I would have loved to show you new flooring, a new bathroom makeover, or something exciting like that, but instead I am showing you plumbing.
 
Its not exciting but its definitely a part of DIY that most of us will have to tackle at some point in our lives!
 
Now that the trees are trimmed and the sewer pipe replaced, I can move on to better projects that are a lot more fun.
 
But don't worry....the wheels are in motion as we speak now that I have recovered from the plumbing project, so I am picking back up on my to-do list and actually making some good headway, 
in fact, I have a special delivery taking place this weekend that I can't wait to share with you in the next couple days!
So stay tuned!
 
 
 
Jennifer


 


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