Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Work Begins....

When we bought our house we knew it had a septic tank in the back yard and it did not connect to the city sewer system.  Part of our negotiations were that the former owner would pay to have the connection put in, and that money was put into an escrow account, held by our Notario (lawyer).  We still don't have the final papers for ownership of our house, which we have to take to the "city" office to get the permit to connect to the city sewer system.  But we can have the work done at the house and when the paperwork is in order, all that has to be done is hook into their system.
We had the opportunity to hire the contractor who has been working next door and since we need both plumbing and electric upgrades, wanted to get started on the work.  Last week he told Bill he'd start on Monday.  Well, Monday was a National Holiday, so we didn't think he'd work.  However, a friend here said if Johnny (the contractor) said he'd be here, he would.  Another friend said something like.. "No way is anyone going to work on that holiday...  everyone is still celebrating!".
Guess who was right?  
Johnny and his helper showed up around 7:30 Tuesday morning.
 Bill has built a couple of houses and has always done our maintenance work.  He had some ideas of how he'd like the work to be done.  Johnny, who doesn't speak English, had his own ideas.  That's Armando, our next door neighbor and good friend, on the left.  Translating back and forth...  
I'm not going to say that Johnny totally had his own way (Bill can be very diplomatic) but there have been several times this week when Bill comes back into the house kinda shaking his head and muttering to himself.
Basically, the new sewer line will run alongside that fence line, with a junction close to where the wheelbarrow is sitting to connect the kitchen and laundry.  It will turn at the back, where the green grass is, and run along the sidewalk and connect the bathroom.  Currently we don't have hot water in the bathroom and so that needs work.  Our electric needs upgraded and while everything is dug up and trenches are open, Bill wanted conduit also put down for electric wire.  I'm simplifying it all, but this isn't an overnight job...  Johnny and his helper will probably be here for a few weeks.

 The work begins...
 That long brick and concrete flower bed was demolished and hauled off...

Then the concrete was jackhammered in pieces and the digging began!

After the trench was dug, (that's Johnny's helper) they had a unique way of determining "plumb".  They had a piece of hose;  poured water into it....  measured a spot on the wall...  and the guy on the other end saw where the water was in the hose on his end.  Sure, they had a plumb rule, but that was pretty neat!

They left the little planter at the gate since the electric is currently coming through there, and the box for the sewer connection is just on the other side of the gate.

This is the trench across the driveway that will house the pipes connecting the kitchen and laundry to the rest of the pipes.

What happened to all that broken concrete?  Well, here it's okay to just pile it in the street (or in this case, right across the street from our house) until you're done and then haul it all away.  A truck came and delivered a pile of sand (to mix concrete) which you can see at the left of the pile.

Still digging....  this is where the connection box will be.

The pipe is delivered!
Bill inspected it...  Hmmm...  not as heavy weight as he'd like.  The diameter is okay, but to get a heavier grade pipe it would have to be ordered from Guadalajara and would take several weeks to arrive.  This will do....

However...  another little conference...
Johnny wanted to put a clean-out box at the junction.  Since neither span is more than 50' Bill didn't want an extra concrete box in the driveway.  The work went on without the box.

A pile of fittings to connect the junction....

The guys threaded 2 new electric wires through that red pipe.  Bill has bought a new circuit breaker box to upgrade our electric.

The sewer line is underneath the electric conduit...  all ready to be covered with dirt. 

And at the street....  the pipe is ready for city connection.  But there'll be a lot more work here later...

I've been wanting a fountain in the yard - hopefully attract more birds and just for enjoyment.  Since we had such a big order from Home Depot in Puerto Vallarta that we knew we'd have to have delivered in some way, (there's only so much a person can carry home on the bus) we added this fountain to that order.  Bill set it up about where it will eventually be just to see if it works.  It just recycles water with a submersible pump, but will need an electric source when permanently there.

The 8 different colors of Bougainvillea are set into the trench, along with the Mexican petunias.  It will take a couple of years for them to really do their thing, but that's okay....  they are still quite attractive.

The lines are all buried, the plants are in place...  Bill's watering them to give them a good start.

The guys move into the back yard...  cut a trench for the bathroom sewer line...

The junction of the kitchen line into the main line...

Here is the bathroom sewer line all covered up.  That's an RV sewer hookup you see....  while we don't know if we'll be bringing our own motorhome down, we may have RVing friends visit and could use an RV dump.

Back to the street...
This brick box will have a concrete cover.  This is where the junction is that will hook us up to the city.  We would like to have a shut-off valve here, but Bill hasn't been able to find one yet.  We'll see...  

This is where the fountain will stay.  Although it will need more work to "permanentize" it, Bill had the guys go ahead and use some of the dirt here.  I'm already thinking of ways to make it more attractive...  but that's a "future" project.

After those 50+ photos in my last blog, I decided to limit this one - the work will continue, and I'll keep on documenting it with photos...  but...  for now, you get an idea of what's going on.  

That's All For Today!


  1. Just breaking up that concrete had to be backbreaking.
    My dad was a pipefitter. He will get a kick out of reading how they plumbed the job.
    Everything looks so lovely. I love the fountain.

  2. Looks like things are all coming together, and will be wonderful when you get it all done, thanks for the great posting and pics.

  3. That's a lotta work! Sort of fun to watch though, if it doesn't seriously impact life. Your header is fabulous. by the way.

  4. Between the touring, shopping, Parade Watching and work around your new home are you going to have time to enjoy it?
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. Thanks for all the photos, making it easy to follow along. Glad it's not for me though - I would have been stressed out, even though I trust my husband's decisions on stuff like that. Every day's an adventure for the two of you - Enjoy!

  6. Lots of work and digging and yes, that pipe looks thin for a sewer line, but neat job and nifty way to determine plumb, going to remember that one.

  7. Looks like you guys know what you're doing. Congratulations. Sure looks like it's going well.

  8. So much work! Thanks for the photos, they made it so interesting.