Thursday, October 17, 2013

Plugging along on the garden shed

Disclaimer......I have absolutely no idea why the spacing between paragraphs and photos is showing up as double and triple spacing.  When in edit form the post is perfectly spaced.  I'm not going to sweat it because I have more important fish to fry.

We have several projects all simultaneously happening at the same time and in varying degrees of non completion. 

The garden shed project is moving along slowly due to rain and fixing hidden problems.  First, we had to empty out the basement of the garden shed.  You see....this outbuilding was also the pump house at one time. Sometime in the past they switched to a submersible pump which included drilling a new well which is located about 20 feet from the shed.  The old pump was left in place with the electrical attached but snipped off at the Square D on the wall.  The pressure tank is also in the basement of the shed.  Sometime in the past the old pressure tank failed and a replacement was placed next to it.  The original tank was still hooked up but had the gate valve shut off and of course the electrical was still hooked up but snipped off at the Square D box.

OK...picture this.  Two large pressure tanks and a old non functional well pump all sitting there in 6 inches of old walnut shells in various stages of decay.  R was sure the floor was dirt.  I thought it was concrete.

R was unsure that we could do anything with the basement.  He was SURE we were looking at a huge plumbing bill and a huge electrical bill to disconnect the mess.  I felt that we could take it one step at a time and maybe get the majority of it done ourselves.  R was sure the basement in the shed leaked like a sieve and so did I.

So we started cleaning the shed basement.

1. We removed two large roll away trash cans full of old walnut shells.  R would fill a pail full of shells and hand it to me through the access hole in the floor.  I would in turn hand him another pail. This went on for several hours.

Hey...lo and behold...a nice concrete floor.  Damp but nice.

2.  R was eyeing that old pump and felt that he could cut the bolts and disconnect most of it.  But first we needed to remove the electrical connection.  Main power off, just to be sure.  We inspected and found that the second smaller Square D box was not connected by any wires.  We removed that box and removed the wires to the pump.  We started a scrap pile.  R was able to remove the pump (90 lbs) and we rigged a come along from the ceiling over the access hole and ratcheted that rusty piece of crap out of the hole and threw it in our newly started scrap pile.

3.  We then noticed a long piece of heavy pipe semi attached to the wall but not hooked to anything. We added that to our scrap pile.

4.  We continued to remove, piece by piece, all old plumbing pipes that connected the first old pressure tank.  But first we needed to drain it.  Yes, it sat there all those years filled with water. We connected an old hose to the drain gate valve and opened the valve.  Because the tank was located below grade we had to add compressed air to the valve that adds air to behind the bladder.  This pushed the water out the hose.  The draining took 2 hours.

5.  This tank was far too heavy to lift out of the hole so we relocated it over to another corner until R has time to cut it in two with a cut off grinder.  Then the rain started for two days and guess what? When the rain stopped....the shed basement was dry.

6.  This left the currently in play tank that leaks.  We drained, removed that tank, and lifted it out of the hole using the same method we used for the pump.  This completely filled up the back of the S10. Earlier in the day R spotted a discarded water heater and thought he would add it to his scrap run.  Our scrap run netted 86 bucks.  Not great but better than paying someone to haul it away.

During the rain delay we worked inside on another project which is redoing another poorly installed item.