Water in yard, not in pipe

Discussion in 'The Rural Life' started by Hobie, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Ah, rural life!

    Walking outside to find water bubbling up through the yard from your water line.

    Then realizing that this house was built in 1875, and updated, renovated and remodeled countless times over the past 135 years, and that I have NO idea where the waterline runs. It could be the main line from the well. It could be an old branch that fed the barn and is no longer in use. The pipe could be plastic, iron, or whittled fom a tree trunk, for all I know.

    I bypassed the line by running a hose directly from the spring house to the main house. That will work until I either fix the problem or the weather turns to freezing. Monday I start to dig.... by hand. Ugh.. The joys of being unemployed.
     
  2. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Ah yes. The last place we lived in the North was an 1870 village home. I couldn't figure out why it took so long for hot water to get to the kitchen, since the heater was directly below the sink.

    Went to the cellar and found that over the years, one remodel after another, the hot water pipes ended up taking 3 laps around the kitchen perimeter before they started up. :eek: Removed the plastic, copper, and galvanized stuff, replumbed, and was amazed at how quickly we got hot water. :D

    There is one bright spot to your problem: the same muscles you'll be using in digging are the same you'll be using during the winter. Think of it as getting in condition for the winter. ;)

    Walt
     

  3. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    Ever hear of witchcraft? ;) Get some devining sticks, aka witchin rods, aka... Take two straight peices of copper wire about eighteen inches long and put a ninety degree bend in them about a third of the way down. hold the bent piece with your arms straight out in front of you with the wires pointing forward, one in each hand. Walk slowly over the top of the water line. When the wires cross, you're directly over the top of it. You can map the whole water system. If you're really good you can find the leak with it.
    It works really well for some people and not so well for others so if you don't have any luck get hubby to try.
    It sounds stupid but it works. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I thought that only worked with metal pipes. What the heck, I can try, if I can find some copper wire. I will still have to dig tomorrow and see if whatever is broken is repairable.
     
  5. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    It works on just about any water out here but we're a little dryer than you. I know of two old women that made a living finding well sites here in the 1920's when this area was really being developed into farm land. We're technically a desert so finding water close enough to dig in those times was no easy task. Most of those well sites are still in production which is astounding if you know anything about water in CA.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A fork of a willow tree will also work.
     
  7. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    We used devining rods to find the line running out to my septic on our last house. My father in law showed me how to do it and told me that his father, way back when, could tell you what type of material was in the ground by using different metals for the rods and the feel of them.

    Very amazing stuff...
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I need to read up on this. I wonder if the water needs to be flowing? I did try it once to find a water line under a city street. I was off by about 3 feet.

    A friend of mine had someone douse for their well years ago. The person could even tell how deep the water was by how many times the willow branch dipped toward the ground.

    Was going to dig today, but woke up with an aching back. Argh! Need to decide whether the exercise will help or hurt. This "getting old" stuff is for the birds.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The witching rods work very well for me. Most are skeptics at best but can be shown it works. I have found that they work best for me when locating a ditch line with very few to no other ditches or lines in the area.

    I made my rods out of two bronze brazing rods and they stay on the dash of the truck.
     
  10. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    we got a guy who actually witches for unmarked graves in grave yards he swears that the rods do one way if its a man anopther for a child and another for a woman. Not sure how he does it but I do know the city of wellington paid him to witch out an old cemetary in town that has very few marked graves
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Well, dug a big hole next to the barn and I think I found my leak. There is a plastic water line branch that connects to an old iron pipe when it goes under a concrete pad and then up to the surface. I'm guessing that it froze one year and broke under the concrete, so they cut the plastic pipe and plugged it there. The plug in the pipe is a mass of rust.

    So, I can either re-plug the pipe... OR, I was thinking, it would be really nice to have water out there. Right now I have to drag out 100+ ft of hose to wash the car or water the veggie garden. And here I've got the hole already dug. But there is one problem: If I bring this pipe to the surface and put in a spigot, how will I keep it from freezing? I'm not sure I can afford a "curb box" type underground valve. Are there any other options for shutting off and draining a buried water line that comes to the surface remote from the house?
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    You can put in a frost proof spigot, here is a pic of one on ebay. You can find them at any hardware store, or plumbing supply house.

    Just be sure when you fill in the hole around the bottom of it to use plenty of gravel so it can drain, and remove the hose in the winter so it can drain.
     
  13. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    You didn't include a link, but I found it anyway, called a "frost free yard hydrant." That looks like it might be just the ticket! Northern Tool has them for all different depths. Thank you! This could make my minor water disaster into a productive home improvement project!
     
  14. beekeeperhelper

    beekeeperhelper New Member

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    Talk about making lemonade from lemons! Hobie, you have demonstrated the great value of belonging to a forum of helpful people who know how to do things!
     
  15. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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  16. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    It's easy for me to determine... I just have to measure down to the pipe I just uncovered! It's about 4 ft. here. I'm ordering the 4 ft model from Northern Tool today.

    I knew my inspiration to post in this forum was a good one. Lots of hands-on, multi-talented people willing to help out, even if it has nothing to do with bees. I love this forum. I can't thank you enough.
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Your 135yrs. old and still digging holes by hand. :mrgreen: Amazing, Jack
     
  18. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    And I look darn good for my age, too! :lol:
     
  19. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    [quote="Hobie"
    I knew my inspiration to post in this forum was a good one. Lots of hands-on, multi-talented people willing to help out, .[/quote]
    Hey, what about the rest of us? At least we tried... Hands-on multi-talented people willing to help out... I think the term you're looking for is redneck. :mrgreen:
     
  20. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Well, I wasn't sure that all of you owned pick-up trucks, and I didn't want to leave anyone out! :lol: