Life in the trenches

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Now that I have some idea where the buildings are going to go, I can start working on how I’m going to run services all over the block – the downside of an 80m-long block (with the ATU and water tank right down the back) is that there’s a LOT of trenching.

I hate to say it, but I’m almost getting sick of driving excavators. 🙁

Another long day in the driver’s seat, but got most of it done despite running into a lot of very hard ground.

Clobbered two pipes along the way – one leading to an old tap at the front of the block which had been disconnected when it was split off from the neighbouring block, and one random stormwater pipe which I hit halfway between the shed and the house. From the angle I think it might have been the original stormwater overflow from the house next door (the same person originally owned both blocks), which dumped into the well….or at least that’s the only explanation I can find for it. It doesn’t match the visible stormwater pipes on the house, which were all replaced when the house was restored, so I’m hoping it’s inactive!

One thing that’s really surprised me while doing the earthworks is just how much dirt I’m generating. I’m not doing anything particularly deep – the SW corner of the shed has been dropped ~800mm from the natural ground level – but when you pile all of that dirt up in one place it suddenly becomes a mountain which is now taking up a lot of room between the house and shed. The front area is now either a trench or a dirt pile. The very back is relatively clean, but that’s because it’s taken up with the ATU, water tank and the old shed. I’d originally thought that this build would be relatively low-impact on the site as a whole and….yeah, that’s not happening. 🙂

Picked up a builder’s power pole (aka. a short metal pole with a meter box on it, with RCDs, a couple of power points and space for a meter) off Gumtree yesterday, and dug a hole for that just off the side of the power trench. So now I can get a sparky to run power under the crossover and into the box, and finally get working power on site. Once I’ve finished trenching I should be able to run power all the way down to the back of the block, get the ATU powered up and commissioned, and have a working dunny!

I also bought a mobile power box off a guy a while ago, which was also fitted out with RCDs and 10/15A power points, but with 30+m of 3-phase cable on the end of it. I’m hoping I can get the sparky to terminate that properly and put a 3-phase plug in the meter box, so I can run power all over the shed area without having to daisy-chain extension leads like a dodgy bugger.

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