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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-26          147416


This isnt a question, but rather a post about what I am doing- I am in the middle of a pretty fun project that is a first for me. I have a crushed sewer pipe outside my shop that has been giving me problems for about 6 months. I started digging around 3 months ago and grabbed a conduit full of fiber optics during my first twenty minutes, so I quite digging and using the bathroom. I had some free time the other day so I started at it again, and about 2 hours into my new hole I found a break in my PVC about four feet down. In order to fix the problem, I needed to cut off and replace one fitting about two feet below my mark- which put me at 6 feet down. I got the fitting off, started feeling pretty proud of myself, and then noticed that the collection pipe was filled with black water. So, I grabbed a helper and my Ridgid snake, and went at it. Snapped the 3/4" cable in half about 6 feet strait down, and another 6 feet in one direction or another. "S***!" About twenty minutes after that, part of the hole collasped and when I went to clean it out, I ripped off a hydraulic hoe fitting on the sidewalk which extends 16 inches over the problem area. Heres where I am now: Since I need to get down at least another 6 feet, and I'm using a JD48 hoe which goes about 8 feet, I need to get another 4 feet, minimum. I am digging a sill for my entire JD 5301 to sit in, 5 feet below grade. This should allow me to get one foot below the bend of the pipe. However, it occured to me that once down in the hole, my 48 wont be able to get any soil out. So I broke out the Bobcat and built myself a little ramp to get in and out of the hole. I can pull soil toward the tractor with the hoe, move the tractor out of the hole, bring in the Bobcat and drag out the dirt. I will be going at it all day on Saturday, and if I'm doing okay I will try to get a few photos for you guys.


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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-10-27          147422


Kleinchris,

Sounds like a project I was involved with once.

A friend asked me to remove three clumps of trees from his backyard. All three clumps were within 10 feet of each other. (some sort of poplars) I didn't own a backhoe. (still don't) All I had was a loader.

Long story short......when I was done I had dug a hole about 18 feet square and three feet deep. His yard was turned into a hole so big that it looked like it had been hit by one of those 16" shells from the U.S.S. Missouri!

Next time I'm going to rent one of those mini-excavators, unless I buy one first.

Getting the job done sometimes involves digging a second Panama Canal.

You're on the right track. You'll get it done. You'll also spend a whole lot of time filling in that hole!

I look forward to seeing some pictures.

Joel ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-27          147424


Chris what did you do about the fiber optics?

There was a local drunk who stole a backhoe at 2am and starting digging a hole in the middle of nowhere behind a commercial site. He hit (3) 3" bundles of optics. My buddy who works for the phone co. (but not at that job) told me the cost for work when he left to check it out (they were there long after he left) was $120,000.

I carry $2.3 million in liability for just such incidents. Not that I want to use it mind you! ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-10-27          147426


Yes I'm curious too about hitting the fiber optic line. This brings to mind a local David and Goliath story from a few years ago. Whatever utility co. owns it wanted to run a fiber optic line to our local high school. The state highway dept. wouldn't allow it in their ditch, so the utility co. moved it over a mile to a county gravel road ditch, the county didn't want it in their ditch either for fear of an employee hitting it someday. Their next move was to pay land owners to let them put it just inside the fence off county property. Most all the landowners agreed to this except my friend who's real name is David, he fought it and won, so hence the "David and Goliath" story. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-27          147427


The first thing I did was when I pulled up the conduit was scream, very loudly, "F***!" When I hopped down of the tractor and realized it was communication lines, I repeated the first scream about 50 times, and a little louder. Luckily, the installers left a 6 foot loop in a box located about 40 feet north of me. I cracked and kinked the conduit about as badly as one could, but not a single strand of the fiber was damaged!- This computer is running through it now. (So then I had a conversation with God and told him how I really appreciated him looking out for my finacial interests.) I cut out the old conduit (very, very, carefully) with a cordless circular saw, installed a new piece, and poured about 6 bags of quicrete around the whole mess. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-27          147429


Chris ---don't want to scare you (okay, I do) but the combination you mentioned will come back to haunt you--big time.

Unless you have a special machine to install the bit of conduit you had to slit the conduit and slip it over the break. That means it's not water tight.

As Scooby do would say, "Rut roh Raggy!"

The Quikcrete's lime, arsenic (and something else) in it has been known to leach into the soil. When it does it attacks the chemical sheath on the fiber optics that keeps the light in. And it doesn't even have to touch it---the molecules in suspension are attracted to it. It could take a few months or so if it's wet near it. More if it's dry. But nonetheless, you pretty much put a "Hello My Name is:" label on the patch work.

When can I come pick up the backhoe? tehehe

Chris, now go change your Underoos 'cause I made it all up! ;) ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-27          147445


It was never water tight- when I broke it open, gallons of water spilled out. I know how delicate fiber is- but the people I need to answer to were happy with the fix. If it does go bad, it's only a 60 foot stretch I would need to replace.
I will return later to continue with the diary. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-27          147449


I started this morning at first light. My plan of using the back hoe to do the digging and using the Bobcat to haul away spoil was the only way to go- there was no way I was going to get anything out of the hole once I was as deep as I could get. Unfortunately, I could only get about two Bobcat bucket loads between the tractor and the hoe. So I had a Rabbit and a Hare thing going on until, when backing up into the hole, I caught the right rear tire on a rock and lost my seal- and in a hurry. I drug the tractor back to the shop on its rim, and that is where it sits now.
After using the Bobcat to get the tire into my truck, I decided to keep on the hole with just the Bobcat. Now after a full two days into this thing, I have a 30 foot long ramp heading down at approx 35 degrees to a depth of 15 feet. I drive the Bobcat in, tilt the bucket downward, grap a load, and very slowly back out. The deeper I go, the wetter and heavier the load gets. Most of the time my back wheels are off the ground.
Yes, I said 15 feet. I still have not found the bend in this pipe! I have poked around another foot past bottom with a shovel- nothing. So, I have at least another two feet to go.
I'm going to try to get some pictures on my profile page.






















....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-27          147452


Yup I've seen sewer connections 26-28' deep around here. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-28          147479


Ureka! I found the end of the pipe about twenty feet down. I was unmotivated to continue digging, so in desperation I grabbed a water hose, turned it up to about 15 GPM and shoved it in the top of the pipe- it worked, and evetually the pipe drained. Shining a flashlight down, I can see a pretty good chunk of limestone that I need to fish out, but I think a fork welded out of some rebar will do the trick- unless anybody has any good ideas... give me some good ideas, please! ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-29          147525


I celebrated to quickly. When I used the hose to clean out the pipe, I had to turn water on to the building which had been turned off for months. I remembered to turn the curb stop off, but I didnt crank it down that well, and it allowed the bathroom sink to drip all night. Long story short: the pipe I was planning on putting back together this morning was covered in about two tons of wet soil. In hast, I grabbed the newly fixed back hoe and crawled it into the hole. On the second draw, I caught the pipe with a tooth and broke it off at the base. I swear, I cant catch a break on this one. I am taking tomorrow off- Weds will be day five on this project. ....

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2007-10-30          147564


Plumbing is always a headache whether using a tractor or without a tractor. Good luck! ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-10-31          147613


Done and done! Only took the two machines and 19 gallons of fuel. ....

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2007-10-31          147626


Not trying to be a safety nut here, but I am one of those :)

Did you call for a utility mark-out prior to the excavation? If so, and the phone company did not identify that cable, it is not your issue. If you did not call, ouch! ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-11-01          147635


Cutter, is it safe to say a "SAFETY NUT" does not get cracked as often as a normal nut? kt ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-11-01          147638


Cutter- Its my line. Three bundles, all mine. I'm in a unique situation with my employment, residence, life in general. I work for a large county in Texas- they hired me to run a outdoor education facility they built a few years ago. It's kind of like a very nice summer camp. One of the problems we had when construction was wrapped up was all the as builts for underground utilities were lost. I have a pretty good idea were the power runs, but water, sewer, and communication line aredifferent srories. I have the most of the camps drawings and blueprints, but a lot of stuff can change going from paper to real life. ....

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2007-11-01          147656


I have had numerous headaches over the years due to the same lack of accurate mapping, understand perfectly. ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-11-01          147657


However, once your down about 6 feet, it just doesnt matter anymore. That's when I'm really good with the hoe- when I know I cant hit anything. ....

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2007-11-01          147658


You may already be aware of this but if not, I to mention, there are some private locating firms out there that will come in and locate, mark and map the stuff for future use.

....

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wmgeorge
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 38 Central Iowa
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2008-01-27          150826


Are you sure this is PVC?? If its just collapsed I bet it is Orangeburg... kind if a pressed fiber pipe with tar. It is no good, been outlawed since the the 1960's or so in most places. If you can, try to replace it with true PVC rated for underground, otherwise you will be doing this all over again :(
BG in Iowa ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2008-01-27          150837


Oh it was PVC alright. And only two years old. All fixed now- boy that was a headache. ....

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