Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An exercise in digging

My sweetie and I went to the cabin this weekend. One of our main objectives was to drill/pound in a sandpoint and get a well so we can have fresh water on our own property. Right now we run the 4-wheelers down the trail another mile to a freshwater spring. That part of the trail is really bad though and can result in stuck 4-wheelers.
Tim getting ready to pound in the sandpoint. It's a hollow tube with screen and holes around it to let water in with the bottom pointed so that it can be pounded into the ground. It is 3 feet long.
Next you add a 5 foot piece of piping with a coupler connecting the two. It's important to get it threaded tightly so you don't mess up the threads as you pound on the top. Tim pounded. My job was to sit on a lawn chair and let him know how far the pipe went into the ground every 20-25 times he pounded. Sometimes it went 1/4 inch. Sometimes it didn't budge. That's the part where we (I use the term loosely) probably went through rocks.
I watched the wording on the pipe and would encourage him by saying "the A in China is gone, now the N is almost there."
After he had pounded in approximately 5 1/2 feet, he tested it by tying a nut to a length of string and dropping it down the pipe. Voila! Water!
Now that we knew we had water, he decided to pound it in another 6 inches or so. That's when it all went bad. The 5 foot pipe sheered off from the 3 foot piece under the ground. He was able to pull the pipe out but our sandpoint was still 2 1/2 feet underground.
Then he dug down until he got to the top of the 3 foot pipe and then dug out an area for the pipe wrench. We hooked the 4-wheeler winch up to the pipe and tried to pull it back out of the hole. We got it up about 4 inches and then it stopped. The winch was straining so hard it lifted the back of the 4-wheeler off the ground. That's when sweetie asked me to help hold it down. I could take that as an insult but I didn't.
Even with me helping to hold it down, the winch could not pull that pipe out of the ground. We ended up leaving it. Tim now has to decide whether to dig down all around that pipe to get it out or just go buy a new one to the tune of $90. Since he's the one who does the digging, he gets to make that decision. If it were me, I'd buy a new sandpoint and start over. We know there's water and we know how deep. It's just a simple matter of moving over another 6 inches and starting again.
Unless the pipe shears off again. That's why he's thinking about digging that sandpoint out, he could then reattach another 5 foot length and go down the same hole, thereby putting less stress on the pipe and less work by pounding it into the same hole.
I'm not sure what he'll decide to do. He likes to work hard and he likes to save money so I'm guessing he's going to dig down and retrieve his sandpoint.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gotta love a hard working man. Water at the cabin would make it much more comfortable being there. What a lovely place.

Aunt Krissy said...

He looks cranky in that one pic. That sure will be nice not having to the water hole.

Rebecca said...

"I use the term loosely" - you are so funny Patty!! :)

Teri C said...

This brings back way too many memories. We (and I use the term loosely also) put in a sandpoint well but it was all sand so not the problems you had.

Love the picture story.

crochet lady said...

Ugh, what a lot of work, but the convenience of water is worth the effort.

Kellie said...

What a job! Good thing Tim is a manly man! I hope he has better luck putting the next one in.