Bit of a catastrophe over the weekend. A catastrophe that I had failed to notice. Fortunately CtC did.
Our first inspection was of underground plumbing. Basically they want to be sure it slopes, something about stuff running down hill, and does not leak. The slope they measure with a level, does not need much. I also come to find out there can be too much. Let's say there is some solid waste to go down the line. Let's further say that solid waste was sent on it's way with a slug of water. In a properly sloped system the solid and liquid waste flow at more or less the same rate. The water keeps the solid floating along it's merry way into the City's system where it is no longer my concern. If, the slope is too big, the water can apparently out run the solid. Leaving the solid high and dry where it awaits the next burst of water. Which itself may be accompanied by more solid waste. Don't need too many engineering degrees to extend this logic into a problem!
That is neither the catastrophe nor the DO NOT ENTER WHEN FULL.
Back to the catastrophe. The other thing they test for is leaks. They do that by temporarily covering all the openings, installing a 10 foot section of pipe standing straight-up, and filling the pipe with water. Creates a head of 10 feet. If the standing up pipe is full, you got no leaks. Fortunately CtC arrived real early, got a ladder, and peered into the top of the 10 foot standing-up pipe. No water. Not good. He scratches his head and ponders for a moment. At some point the temporary cover on one of the drains (actually the grey water clean-out), that happened to be at CtC's feet could not take the stress of 10 feet of head and popped off.
Calls are made to Bob (and Pam) the plumbers. The skedaddle right over. Bob bitching up a storm, his plumbing is perfect. Seems he did not tighten the temporary cover quite enough. We (meaning of course Bob (and Pam) the plumbers) re-cover, tighten the hell out of the thing and refill the 10 foot standing-up pipe. Actually there is more to it than that since air has to be bleed out of the system and the pipe topped off, iterate until done.
Turns out Bob knew he had to come back since the water supply line that is also part of the inspection needs to hold 50 psi of air pressure. On Friday Bob only had a 30 psi gauge. Gauges are swapped and the air compressor applied. Turns out the compressor can only get to about 45 psi. They ask me if I have a bicycle pump. Well, I have several actually, with me. I'm concerned how long it's going to take to fill that pipe though. A few pumps and up to 55 psi we go.
Bob and Pam disappear. Some hours later, the inspector arrives. Eyeballs things. Never looked at the water level in the standing-up pipe. Never looks at the pressure. He does look at the quality of the work. Is happy. Tells me to be sure to core a few holes in the slab for termite treatment and that we have a lot of yard out the back to extend the house... He signs the forms, makes another comment about not ever doing any inspecting in this neighborhood, and off he goes. We're trailblazing on the permit front too. "A" Mountain neighborhood may never be the same. We'll see how that plays out long-term...
Pictures of the footing trenches in the backyard pictures section. This is what they used. It's a brute and had a hell of a time with the rocks. Turns out the North side of the property (the side with the wall you see behind the excavator), is the natural grade of "A" Mountain. There is no easy digging on the natural grade of "A" Mountain. This baby is going no where! Took 4 or 5 hours to dig the trench for the footing for the back wall. With this thing! I think The Brain Trust wants to plant citrus trees along the wall behind the excavator. I'm thinking work for professionals!
All hands on deck pour today somewhere else so no digging crew. No worries, I'll go for a bike ride. Do my standard time trial out and back on my heavy and clunky Cross bike. Check the weather and make a conscious decision to no take a rain coat. I always take a rain coat. But this is the desert, its not going to rain.
It rained. Rained like a mo fo!
Everywhere out here there are road signs not to cross drainages when full "DO NOT ENTER WHEN FULL". Well, I'm doing mid 20's mph. The rain is stinging pretty good. But I saw a whole bunch of those signs on the way out. I'd better get the hell out of dodge.
I've put touring tires on the Cross bike. What I now know is that they do real well in the rain. No slippage of any kind and a lot of confidence when crossing drainages that don't look that full do they? I cross one that is a little brown. But I cross it on the center line of the road figuring that'll be the highest part. Little sketchy getting across. That's probably my limit.
I'd passed some highway workers on both the outbound and return trip. Just starting to rain when I passed them the second time. Not long after I get across my limit drainage a highway pick-up truck goes by. Little while later he's stopped at a drainage that is running way past my limit. So I stop too.
I wonder how long this is going to last...
So I'm sitting in a downpour, waiting for a draining to go down. A lot. At least it's not too cold.
Eventually the highway guy backs-up to turn-around. Opens his window, want a ride? I ask how long he thinks the drainage will take to clear. I'm only like 10 miles from home. No idea. Your muser loads his bike in the bed and hauls his wet self up into the cab.
We have to go back to my turn-around spot for the first road that crosses. So we have lots of time to chat. He's an Iranian PE Civil Engineer via Romania and Kansas City to Tucson for the last 15 year of so. And he's a cyclist. Rides a recumbant.
We talk engineering and cycling stuff. He ends up taking me up to the house. We do a tour of the slab. Good slab by the way. He keeps thinking the slab is the garage and we're going to build a house. Wonders why there is all the plumbing in the garage. No, no, no, this IS the house.
He shakes his head. We talk about "Tiny Houses" and off he goes. I'm cold and everything is way wet. Shower and a nap. Then this blog post. Now a beer and watch the Tour de France rest day show.