Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bridging the backyard

As I have been digging to lower the irrigation water supply line and put the cable and telephone lines in a conduit, so I can finish the path from the gate to the patio, it has become difficult to get from the house, via the patio, to the garden. This will get worse as I remove the shelf of rock that has been exposed directly under the irrigation water line.

To solve that problem, I built a bridge to go from the patio, across the hole, to the lawn. The bridge was made out of exterior treated 2x4s. I used two 10 foot 2x4s, on edge, as the main supports, and then nailed 2 foot lengths of 2x4s between the two supports.

This gives adequate support on either end and is rigid enough to support any one of the occupants of the house -- me, Linda, the dog, or the cat. I did something like this when we were doing the patio, and it worked fine, except when it got wet and icy. I hope to be done before it gets icy.

And to move that along, I extended the digging along the side of the house, following the irrigation water supply line. My plan is to take it back to the gate and lower it down to bedrock. That will require exposing and then removing all of this rock. Another 10 feet or so, and I should meet up with an area that has already been excavated.

Which is what happened. I scraped the dirt off the rock for this entire area, exposing several very large rocks, both on the side of the house and under the irrigation water supply line. Mostly, they were not very far under ground.

A day with the jackhammer and I have most of these broken up into manageable sized pieces, with the exception of the big one closest to the bridge. I've chipped off parts of the edge, but it's a really big rock, with no obvious natural breaking points.

Once I have cleared out all the broken pieces, we'll be able to see what is left.

This took another week, due to a 3 inch rain.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Continuing to dig up the back yard, part 2

A month later we are still digging in the backyard, taking out rock and piling up dirt.

We have now found the trench for the electrical line. In this trench, not far down from where we are digging, is a plastic conduit. Presumably the electrical supply lines are inside that conduit.

The conduit curves up as it gets to the house and vertically connects to our electrical meter and circuit breaker box.

In addition, we have found the cable and telephone lines. They were buried a couple inches into the dirt. The intent is to put them in a conduit like the electrical line.

In addition, we found another phone line that was left in the ground when we had a problem (last summer I believe) and they replaced the line with a new one.

We broke the water supply line once, just after we had the on/off valve switch replaced. We've put a temporary patch on to fix the break, until we can get to the point of dropping the entire water supply down to bedrock. At the moment we are supporting it in place.