My Tractor Forum banner

21 - 40 of 40 Posts

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
steddy...are you the one who built a copy of your old house, just on a larger scale, outside the town?
Yessir. But actually closer to town with about 25x the land (18-19 wooded acres). Sure has been convenient with Covid this year. Our eye doctor is literally 2 miles away (3 mile, 5-6 minute drive). My wife and 2 daughters aren't allowed to have appointmentsat the same time, so it has to be 3 separate trips. It was a solid 25 minute drive one way from our old house, 10+ miles of stop & go. Dentist is right next door to eye doctor. 1 mile farther is wife's 2nd job managing a pole studio. Menards is across from dentist/eye dr. Fast food, major "retail" such as tire store, many other restaurants, Aldi, Target, Dunhams, you name it... All within that same 2 miles and 5 minutes or less. 12 minute shorter commute to work for me - cut it right in half even with traffic. 20-25 minutes closer to Grand Rapids (2nd largest city in MI), cut about 1/3 of the time off that drive, too. Also right next to my parents and their 5 acres.
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
So here I am at the end of day 2 of wondering why I didn't just pay someone $400 to do this. I'm into it about $150 worth of parts. Could get away with probably $60 if I ever have to do this again.

The water jetting didn't end up working as well as the video led me to believe. It works, somewhat, but it's labor intensive. The 4" casing attempt quickly stalled out after getting MAYBE 3'. Next attempt with the 3" casing did a little better. I basically hammered the 3.5 feet of 4" I had onto the ground with about about 8"sticking out. That made it so my 3" casing attempt at water jetting didn't just let the spoils drop back into the hole. It seemed like the hole just kept wanting to close up on the casing every time I pulled it out, but I did manage to get down about 5 or 6 feet. My Fernco style adapter from the garden hose to the 3" schedule 30 kept blowing off due to pressure today, which was ultimately what made me quit that method to regroup and dry off.

So I got to considering renting a sand sucker, and how they work. Basically they're an 18" iron pipe with a check valve on the end, dropped repeatedly into the casing via a rope. It hits the bottom of the casing, theoretically mud, and fills the pipe. Someone pushing downward on the casing while all this is happening causes the casing to sink. Pull out the pipe-on-a-rope sand sucker thing, empty out the sand, repeat. It actually works pretty slick and goes fast, if conditions are right and you know what you're doing. A local place rents sand suckers for about $70 per day, not including the rope.

Seeing as how I'm stubborn and cheap, I decided to see what I could rig up to make one of these. I ended up going to the store to see what kind of check valves they had to offer, AND would fit into the 3" schedule 30 PVC casing I have. I settled on a 1-1/2" sump pump style check valve for about $7. Dad has some 1-1/2" sprinkler pipe stashed behind his barn. Put the check valve on the right length of 1-1/2" hose, and BINGO!!! I stood on the handle I made from a 2"x2" deck spindle leftover from construction attached to the casing with a few hose clamps (meant for water jetting), and it dropped down many inches at a time when I jammed my redneck sand sucker into the mud and pulled it back out repeatedly. NOW we're cooking with gas! Got the last 5' of that first 10' pipe down in about 1/2 hour. keep in mind I'm already standing in a hole 5' deep, so that's 15'. I had an assistant stand on the handle, steadying himself on the Kubota's loader bucket positioned above the 5' deep hole for the 2nd stick of 3" casing, which I was standing in above the hole to operate the sand sucker. Every now and then he'd drop a couple inches as I pulled the sucker up.

The was one time I thought for sure I screwed myself. I'm pretty sure I put the check valve all the way through the casing (20' long now) because I couldn't get it back out. When it finally did break loose, the casing dropped down darn near a foot. I ran out of energy about the same time as daylight tonight, but I'll take up the battle tomorrow. We need to get down another 4-5 feet to make it an even 20'. Maybe one more evening. There should be almost 10' of water in the pipe by now. I'll probably also have to suck a foot or three of mud from the casing to ensure I can get the point down far enough.

This is the hardest time I've ever had accomplishing a simple task. I guess worst case scenario, I can cut the casing off flush with the ground, and buy a metal well point, pipe, and drive couplings. I'd only have to hammer down about 5 feet at this time.

Pics are a bit out of order, but here’s the “drill bit” for water jetting, which didn’t work out. Also the hole and the 2nd piece of 10’ long casing just before our last couple sucks.
 

Attachments

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
I had it! I freaking had it! Then I did one of the dumbest things I've ever done - I dropped the pea stone into the hole between the casing and the well pipe. Yup... It locked together. Pulled the casing out, and the point/pipe came right out with it. Back to square one. As much as I took the Lord's name in vein tonight (loudly), he somehow still allowed me to separate the casing from the point/pipe after removing it from the ground, and jam the casing back down about 10' (bear in mind I'm in a 5' deep hole), so tomorrow or later this week I'll sand suck it back down and drop the point again, sans gravel. The pea gravel isn't going to happen with this soil. As soon as I pull the casing out, the cavity almost immediately caves back in. No time to get any gravel down there once the case is out. Oh well, at least the gravel mostly all came out when I pulled the works out of there. The sand sucker will remove stones that big anyway, come to find out. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. NEVER have I worked so hard and spent so much to save so little. I do believe this better be the last well I ever install. I've missed out on a family visit, direction on landscaping tonight, and happy hour Saturday night.

So I was busy with all that until dark so I didn't get pictures of the rest of the landscaping thus far. My buddy dropped off the Ventrac with scoop and Cat skid steer today. A bearing in the track failed on the skidsteer, though, and he had to take it home to fix it. So far the stone areas are getting leveled out and edging/fabric installed.
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Here are a few pics of rock and border so far. Coming along. Front yard got leveled out nicely, erasing my damage from running water to pigs.

Pictured is the well I put in and the power run to it. Took out an oak tree about 9-10” diameter and the stump next to the well head. Left it up while putting the well in so I could lean tall pipe against it, or so I tell myself. I have Thursday and Friday off so I can help more with landscaping. Getting there!
 

Attachments

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
So here we are today...
Pics are more interesting than words, so here you go. I’ll say the Cat Skidsteer was a tight fit under the porch.
 

Attachments

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Hey mods-
Please can one of you fine folks merge this thread onto the other one I started called “Time for a Yard” and keep the title “Landscaping the new Homestead!? I forgot I started this thread last year.
Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,838 Posts
Hey mods-
Please can one of you fine folks merge this thread onto the other one I started called “Time for a Yard” and keep the title “Landscaping the new Homestead!? I forgot I started this thread last year.
Thanks!
OK will give it the ol' MTF try to merge and retitle!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,838 Posts
Someone must have gotten it already, I searched threads you created and I don't see one titled, "Time for a Yard".
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
This has been life for the last week between rain showers. Almost done, though. Need to wire up and bury 2 more valves, bury like 70’ of trench, bury a couple plugged off ends, and install maybe 8 more heads. That will wrap up the underground portion.

Next will be wiring and plumbing the pump. That will take some time. I might need a pump relay; not sure yet.
 

Attachments

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
Buried the last Hunter PGP gear drive head, buried all capped ends,wired up last 2 underground valves, replaced first 3 zones worth of 1" main line with 1-1/2" main line to better support my hand-me-down 3 hp 3" 220v pump, buried the last trenches, and kind of placed/spread about 5 yards of topsoil tonight. Texted my buddy that it's ready for the final massage with his skid steer/rake attachment to level it out and get the junk off the surface, and get it seeded.

I'm hoping to start working with the pump this weekend. Plumb, wire, set, and build pump house. Hopefully it will be better picture opportunities! I have some experience hooking up pumps like this, but I'm going to need to work out the details as I go. The biggest concerns I have are Turning the pump on via the timer (which might require figuring out how to do a pump relay), and getting all the electrical safe and robust (that's partially where the pump house enclosure comes in). I hope my well will support this absolute beast of a pump...
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
This is what i’m Thinking for the pump setup. This is a freshly rebuilt 1-1/2” Peabody pump powered by a 3 hp GE motor from the 1970s. It needs to be switched to 220v to run more efficiently I think. I might bring it into work Monday and have our maintenance manager help me with that. I do also need a pump relay, which the new hunter timer is capable of controlling. I’m unfamiliar with selecting one and hooking one up, but I’m very familiar with how a relay works.

The whole thing that REALLY makes this what it is be the electric center I picked up today; WAY overkill for what I need, but SOOOOOOOO convenient! This is a 50/20/30 amp RV hookup box. All I need to do is hook up the 10/3 wire I ran out there. I might need to rig one of the outlets to run off the relay, which MIGHT even fit inside the box. It’s an all-in-one, all inclusive, basically prewired assembly, all set up with GFI breaker and 20 amp GFI outlet already installed to plug the timer into. I almost cried when I found it. It’s an exterior sub panel with outlets and 100% weather protection all built in! It’s perfect! I was thinking i’d have to install a sub panel and install aux outlets in a weatherproof box, but this thing takes care of all that for me!

I do want to tweak the pressure side of this plumbing though... I think I want to build a small manifold with a spigot on there, POSSIBLY with an air QD fitting so I can hook my air compressor on it to winterize (that’s where the other outlet in the RV panel comes in).
 

Attachments

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
Didn't do much with this today, busy finishing wiring in lean-to for pig pen. However, I did get the wire pulled through the conduit along the driveway for outlet for Christmas lights or decorative yard light or whatever else we choose to do with it, but at least I won't regret not running a wire out there. Who knows... It might never get used. It really didn't cost anything except the time it took us to do it, but I will need to buy a good exterior box/GFI outlet. Also had time to bury a 4x4 post by the pump to mount the new electric box onto, and sank an 8' ground rod next to it. Seems like a good idea to ground this redundantly - both inside the house and out by the pump.

My friend called today just before noon and let me know he'll be here in the morning to rake everything out one more time now that the irrigation is all done, and throw down the seed. Sounds like tomorrow I'll be spreading some straw!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,838 Posts
Didn't do much with this today, busy finishing wiring in lean-to for pig pen. However, I did get the wire pulled through the conduit along the driveway for outlet for Christmas lights or decorative yard light or whatever else we choose to do with it, but at least I won't regret not running a wire out there. Who knows... It might never get used. It really didn't cost anything except the time it took us to do it, but I will need to buy a good exterior box/GFI outlet. Also had time to bury a 4x4 post by the pump to mount the new electric box onto, and sank an 8' ground rod next to it. Seems like a good idea to ground this redundantly - both inside the house and out by the pump.

My friend called today just before noon and let me know he'll be here in the morning to rake everything out one more time now that the irrigation is all done, and throw down the seed. Sounds like tomorrow I'll be spreading some straw!
Won't be long now till you can sit back, relax and say...project complete! And when your wife hears that she'll bring out the next one for you!! :)
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
About 75 lb of grass seed and 10 bales of straw spread out tonight. It’s pretty windy at the moment and may be at some point tomorrow. Hopefully the straw won’t blow away. Unfortunately I had to choose between the straw and starter fert. I probably made the wrong choice going with the straw, but I’ll get the fert down tomorrow. It rained big drops right before I spread seed, so there’s lots and lots of dimples in the dirt for the seed to go. I didn’t rake it in, but probably should have. Those dimples should hold it in place, and the wind should kind of blow some cover dirt over it. I might drag a long chain between me and someone else tomorrow to disturb everything and ensure the seed is covered. I wanted to get that straw down ASAP to help hold moisture and warmth in because it’s getting colder and I don’t know when the sprinklers will be up and going. I did pick up a pump relay at lunch today, so maybe can start wiring that tomorrow.
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
The straw did not stay in place. We've had a lot of windy days in the last week. Temperature really hasn't been too cooperative. Not much over 54 F, and below 35 F at night. Not so sure it's going to germinate. However, there has been enough rain to keep the ground pretty moist, so I don't think I'll need the system up and going this year.

I hooked up the electric panel the other day. It was just as easy as I hoped it would be. LOTS of electric capability out there now for anything I could ever want to do. Spoiler alert - power for possible electric fencer and some lights for another lean to for cattle some day hopefully! Just punched out a bottom breakaway for 1" conduit on the box, ran the conduit & wires in there, clipped the excess wire, and hooked up the 4 wires where they need to go. I don't think it could have been any easier. The realy will be easy to wire in, too.

I ran into a problem with the wiring though. The motor's schematic is gone, and the factory codes I found online don't match its wiring. Even with expert help, I was unable to hook it up to test everything. I ended up bringing the pump to the electric motor place that rebuilt it. They said they'd have to partially disassemble it to see where the wires go, and label it accordingly. My dad probably told them not to mess with the wiring when they rebuilt it so he would remember how to hook it back up to his 120 volt wiring. The good news is they recognized the pump dur to the color they repainted it (unique to their shop), so they offered this service to me pretty darn cheap. Small price to pay for this setup.

With rain in the forecast for the next 10 days off and on, plus the temperature drops in the typical Michigan November, I'm really not in a huge hurry to get this thing going anymore this year. Maybe I'll hang it up until Spring.
 
21 - 40 of 40 Posts
Top