Wednesday Working – Can You Dig It?

The weather has warmed up here and we’ve now moved into trenching season (the time after third winter and first false spring just before summer meltdown). That’s right, it’s time to dig up landscaping irrigation pipes, fix the ones frozen over winter and make the needed upgrades. I had a pipe burst this winter and discovered that the valve that controls the pipe is broken and needs fixing or replacing. Sadly, the pipe is 32 inches underground so my new exercise program is to grab a shovel and dig for one hour a day until I get a hole big enough and deep enough for me to get to the valve.

So far I’m about 26 inches deep with a hole just barely big enough for me to stand in. I calculated that I need to move about 30 square feet of dirt to replace the valve. I’m at about six moved so far:

And here’s the hole it came out of:

For the record, I won’t be using my exercise bike while this project is going on – at least I’ll be doing those upper body exercises the doctor wants me to do.

If you need me, I’ll be looking for my bottle of ibuprofen.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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22 Responses to Wednesday Working – Can You Dig It?

  1. mitchteemley says:

    You are one busy little beaver, Andrew. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry you had to do the replacement. Little by little is the smart way to go. I hope it gets resolved soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes, that’s a lot of digging! Your measured approach is a great idea – slow and steady wins the race. (Or the excavation.) Stay safe out there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave says:

    We had to dig down to our septic tanks on our Colorado property because the previous owner apparently decided they never needed to be pumped. Then we installed casings and surface caps so we could easily get to them from then on. Seems like the right approach for irrigation valves as well. If Reno’s soil is as clay-filled as Colorado’s, the digging is brutal. Also, you reminded me how many seasons there really are out there (most of them “winter”). Four? Not even close.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surface access for the valve is just big enough to turn it off and on. I am thinking I might be able to relocate this valve closer to the surface. Here the soil is clay and rock (big rocks) and is hard digging. So far we’ve only had three winters, I’m expecting fourth winter to hit the day I’m ready to actually replace the valve.


  5. Mercy! You make my arms ache just thinking about all that digging. My hubby dug a bunch of trenches for drains around our house when we built it 23 years ago, but he just told me the other day his digging days like that are over. Just digging in the vegetable garden is enough. Anyway, good luck getting your project completed. Should I buy stock in ibuprofen?? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jfwknifton says:

    I’m sure that somebody in Las Vegas would be interested in buying your huge hole once you’ve finished with it. 26 square feet should be big enough for their needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re the man! We had a pipe burst in the garage but a friend rode to our rescue. How great you have the skills to be your own hero!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow – Are you wearing one of those bright orange/yellow neon vests while you work. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. SusanR says:

    Good grief, why is a valve on an irrigation system buried so deep?? Sure, our systems here are just under the surface, but we blow out all the water in the fall, so no freezing valves, broken pipes, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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