Water to the Shed

Our big weekend project was getting the last bits of plumbing done for a hose bibb at the chicken shed. We also decided to move the pump indoors (so we didn't have to built it a little pump house to protect it from the elements).

When we set out to work on Saturday morning, it was ungodly hot out (92F, which is ridiculous for May here), so we decided to start by working in the basement on the pump, because it was nice and cool down there. We cut out the pipe from the pump to the manifolds, and removed the elbow at the corner here:

Cutting off the indoor manifold

We replaced what had been an elbow with a tee, then added another elbow facing down to the pump outlet, where we spliced in the filter we had been using outside. There was a brief foray into the intense heat to rinse the filter (which was a bit gross), and then reconnect the outdoor manifold to the system. Then it had to sit overnight and cure up.

Connecting the pump in the basement

As the sun started going down, Noel dug a continuation of the trench to the place where we planned to put the hose bibb. That's along the front of the chicken shed.

New trench to the front of the chicken shed

I spent some quality time going around the garden fixing sprinkler heads that had been savaged by dogs and weather, and Noel glued and cut and got us these two lovely pipes sticking out of the ground.

Pipes installed

One will be for the hose bibb, of course, and one will feed a new irrigation line for plantings around the chicken house, and sprinklers to water the compost, because I have really lost it on the composting thing. The hose bibb will be a continually pressurized line, and it will also connect to the auto-waterers for the chickens, so we no longer need to have a bucket in the attic of the chicken house.

Today was just as hot, if not hotter (the nearest weather station says it was over 93F), so very little happened until late in the day when it cooled down enough for us to venture out and work on the manifold end of the lines. Noel called into one of the pipes at the shed and I listened on the other hand for where the sound came out, so we knew which pipe was going into a valve and which would be continuously pressurized.

Then it was a bunch of gluing up of pipe, with canine oversight.

Gluiing pipe while the dogs hang out

When you have lots of PVC pipe to glue, the best way to deal with it is to just sit down and make a little assembly line. I used a small piece of pipe to hold the end I was working with up away from the dirt (dirt will mess up your glue joint and make the pipe leak), but mostly it was prime, wait, glue, repeat.

PVC gluing is loads of fun

The piece we connected first was the hose bibb pipe, and we needed to dig a little bit of dirt out to bring the pipe into the right spot. It sticks out so much because we put a union in there to allow us to tighten up the threaded connection at the end, even after the whole thing is glued together. Otherwise any leaks at that threaded joint would be basically incurable.

Digging out a small trench

And there we have that connection. We ran out of 1-inch pipe making this happen, so Noel had to run to the store and get more. There wasn't enough light to finish the second circuit tonight.

The hose bibb connection to the manifold

Our next step was putting on the hose bibb and making the PVC-to-tubing connection be at ground level over on the shed. The tubing connection was easy: cut off the pipe, glue on an elbow, and glue in the tubing connector. (Well, apart from me forgetting that the tubing was 1/2" and not using a reducing elbow as I ought, requiring a reducing bushing to make it work.)

Then we dry-fit the spigot assembly and chose the right height for everything, and Noel drilled a hole in the wall for the connection to the chicken waterers. Carole was intrigued by what was going on.

Noel drilling a hole in the wall

And here we have our finished (mostly) setup, with one of my sinks there to act as a splash guard. We still need to blow the dirt out of the pipes and tape and properly install that hose bibb, and I haven't added any drip tubing to the now-hidden elbow behind the sink, and we want to secure the thing to the wall so it doesn't flop around, but it could work as soon as it's all cured up.

Hose bibb installed on the wall

Inside, the same connection appears with a hose-threaded end there to connect to the hoses for the chicken waterers (made of special food-quality hose, so as not to leach cyanide and other nasties into the chickens' water).

Hose connection inside

In all a pretty decent weekend of work, given how unpleasantly hot it was all weekend. Fortunately, the evening winds kicked up at the right time, and opening all the doors flushed the heat right out of the house. Yay for our Maritime climate, and boo for global warming which has made this year so unusually hot, and will probably mean we have to relocate to higher ground in the next 20 years.

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posted by ayse on 05/17/09