Out With the Tank, In With the Tank

When last we left our intrepid home renovator, I'd been draining the tank of 550 gallons of water.

The main holdup I had was that the tank holds about 100 gallons below the level of the outlet, and 100 gallons of water weighs about 800 (whoops, typo) or so pounds. The tank is no lightweight, itself, and I just could not lift it with that water in there.

Wedging the tank up

So using the laws of physics (this is why you need to pay attention in high school science, kids), I levered the tank up with the shovel and stuffed a 2x6 scrap in there. This helped the tank drain even more.

Propped halfway

When more water had drained from the tank, I was able to get enough leverage to lift the tank and wedge it into place (there are no photos from that process because for obvious reasons my hands were a little full). Even more water came gushing out as the tank tipped up.

There was still a lot of water in the tank

I rocked the tank around and even more water came out, making the hole a mess, but also making the tank much lighter and more manageable.

Propped out of the way

I was able to roll the tank out and wedge it into place -- it was still connected to the irrigation system and I didn't want to mess with Noel's wires, so this was as far as I could make it go. I tried shoveling out the hole a little but shoveling wet sand is really not much fun, so I called it a day to let the water subside.

Partway through digging

The beauty of sand is that by the time I got to digging this afternoon, the soil was saturated but not soggy; only a few shovelfuls maxed out the wheelbarrow's weight capacity, but it was super-easy to dig.

Piles of dirt are nice and soft

The dogs were, as usual, right underfoot for the whole process. Rosie took on the important job of tamping down the various dirt piles I was making around the yard.

Hole all dug

When I got the bulk digging done, I called Noel out to help me measure for depth. He also did a lot of digging, which was awesome because by that point I was getting pretty tired. (And he disconnected those wires so the tank no longer loomed over us like Sisyphus's rock.)

Tank re-seated

In short order, the tank was seated back in the hole, ready to be reconnected to the system. Except it won't be just yet, because we're taking the weekend off to spend some time with family (and that is not a euphemism!), and also we're thinking about putting some material around the tank to keep the soil back, so we need to do some research. In the meantime, lots and lots of water is flowing into our back yard (and almost immediately disappearing, so it's not a problem at all).

posted by ayse on 01/06/11