Friday, October 21, 2005

Help! I'm soiled and I can't take a bath!

Okay, here's a better picture of what I did yesterday:

Also, I measured. The whole shed measured 6 by 5 meters (almost 20 by 16.5 feet) = 30 square meters (323 square feet). So the three sections each measure almost 10 feet by just over 8 feet, and the fourth section, which was never poured, is just dirt. Well, grass. Well, weeds.

Here's today's progress, Before:

and After:

See that spigot in the Before picture? And the nice, neatly capped pipe in the After? Well, I for sure have to wait two hours for the glue to set, but technically I'm supposed to give it 24 hours before putting it to a "pressure test" such as turning the water back on would entail. Hmmm, maybe I should eat out tonight.

Now, as you can well imagine, everyone who knows what I'm doing (including Elberth) has at some point said to me, "Why don't you just have Elberth do it?" And since I want to do it myself I have to make sure I do it right, right? Because...well, you can probably figure it out.

So when I got around the spigot part I called José and asked him which way the pipe angled in - from the main turnoff at the street, or from the drain across the yard where the wastewater goes (only sewage goes through septic tanks here; gray water all goes through drainpipes out to the gutters in the street.) He said the water angled in from the direction of the drain, but that it was below the level of the concrete and shouldn't be a problem. He was right about that. I was able to break up all the concrete without hitting, or even finding, the water pipe.

But I couldn't leave well enough alone. I wanted to break the concrete away from the spigot, and that's when I heard the spraying sound I was hoping not to hear...So I turned off the water, called José for advice and then found what I needed in the shed. We already had a new tube of PVC adhesive and although the construction detritus did not yield the kind of cap I technically needed, I did find a...umm...Okay, I know what it's called in Spanish. Anyway, a thing I could join to the pipe and then a cap that screwed onto that.

And, really, it's better to have the whole thing sealed off than to leave a random spigot sticking up on a bendy, unprotected PVC pipe in the middle of the yard. It would have needed to be done anyway, but still. I wish I could say I did it on purpose...

And now I can't wash. I actually cleaned the worst of the mud off my hands with water that was sitting in dishes in the sink. It wasn't that bad. And I have bottled drinking water so I could make a cup of coffee.

Hey! Since we're on the topic, here's a picture of why I buy bottled drinking water. It's the tub after I took a bath one day. (A relax-in-the-tub kind of bath, not an I've-been-hacking-up-concrete kind of bath):

Granted, that's worst-case, but you never know when the water's going to come out like that and when it's going to look more or less clear. So we don't drink it.


Dan and Sandy October 21, 2005 9:31 PM  

a coupling? And Jen, where will you take all that concrete when you are finished?

Jennifer October 22, 2005 6:50 AM  

A coupling. That's probably it. Although for a moment I thought you were making a rather surprising suggestion...

I was hoping to give it to the couple building a house behind us because they needed fill, but it turns out they already have more than they need.

There's another neighbor who is supposed to be filling in a very deep hole, but I haven't spoken to her yet. Otherwise...guess we'll have to pay someone to haul it away.

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