Water Line Pull

Moving Waterline Reel Up Mountain

You might remember that last week after we poured concrete I said, “But wait, that wasn’t all we did today… That was just what we did before noon. Finishing early left the whole afternoon for more fun on the farm. Tune in tomorrow to find out more!

Water Line Reel Ready To Go

Usually, doing one big project in a day like a concrete pour is enough. But we finished our chores and the pour before the day was half done. Why not go for the gusto while the construction gods were smiling? The weather was good, the charms were in force, the necessary virgin politicians had been sacrificed. Time to pull pipe!

Prepping Waterline for Chain Pull

We have a bunch of springs that have served our farm for over two centuries. Over the years they have gotten to the point where they need a bit of maintenance. Better water lines has been a long time need. We have been setting up for this pipe pulling project for weeks… months… years actually.

In 2009 we put in a new woods road, actually a straightening of a logging road, that in part would let us put in new replacement water lines from the springs on the mountain.

In 2010 the kids and I did the necessary survey work to finalize siting of the path of the waterline down the mountain. When the dense brush and trees were there I had done a rough survey but with the area now cleared we were able to pin down exactly where the pipe would lay, sweeping around the rock outcroppings of the mountain.

In 2011 we had the waterline road graded using a big bulldozer so that it descended smoothly and evenly always going downhill from the high mountain spring. This corrected a couple of dips in the logging road and the field that could otherwise have caused sediment to build up in the pipe.

Hope Ready To Help

In the fall of 2011, while our tractor was broken, the big reel of pipe arrived. Unfortunately by the time our tractor came home from convalescing we were too deep into winter to install the new water line. The pipe was stiff and uncooperative. This meant waiting until the hot months of summer for the 2″ I.D. pipe to relax enough to be pulled.

Pulling Water Line

Now in the warm days of the summer 2012 have been prepping to install the pipe. Will built a politician launcher, er, I mean spinning jenny, to spool out the pipe. The other day I forked it up the mountain and we loaded the huge reel onto the launcher.

Around the Mountain She Comes

Will and I also drove in roller bearings along the waterline road. These consist of metal T-posts with 2″ PVC Schedule 40 pipe on them. The purpose of these bearings is to guide the thousands of pounds and thousands of feet of pipe around the curves of the mountain. It is a long and winding road, in more ways than one.

Waterline Chained to Tractor – Note 5″ Screw

On this past Monday we had nothing to do in the afternoon, idle hands and all that, so we pulled over 2,000′ of 2″ water line up the mountain to the spring. Everything was ready and the time was right. It was a slow, gentle process which went perfectly – A pair of perfect projects in a single day!

Filter Holes in Top End of Waterline Pipe

Big projects are often like this. We prep and prep and prep for weeks, months, even years and then one day, BANG! we do that last step in one great leap forward. Suddenly after so much work it is done in the blink of an eye. We’ve been wanting to replace that pipe for a long time. In 2009 we started the process. Now in mid-2012 it is completed and the water is flowing. It took a lot of planning, permitting, preparing, purchasing and pulling. Good things come to those who persevere…

Outdoors: 72°F/52°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark: Life must be lived forward but understood backward. -Soren Kierkegaard

Very hard to find. Don’t ask for an honest one!

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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11 Responses to Water Line Pull

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Ah, and your neighbor-confounding “launchers” revealed in all their rotating glory! Glad to see you folks using the inter-glacial period in its fullest.

  2. And I thought running 300 feet of camera cable was a big job.

    But please don’t let my husband see pictures of your tractor.

    • In addition to that 2,000′ of 2″ pipe we also pulled about 1,500′ of 1″ waterline part of which was setting up more waterers in distant fields. When the animals have water close buy, say within 500′ they drink more often during the day and this in turn results in them eating more. With some of the fields it is a long walk back to the central home area so I wanted to give them something besides a thermos for their hikes.

  3. skeptic7 says:

    Is the water pipe just going to lie on the surface or do you have to bury it? Is the water gravity fed?

    • Initially the pipe will be on the surface. I would love to bury it to protect it but there actually isn’t a whole lot that will damage it where it is. Logging skidders, falling trees, chipmunks…

      Everything here is gravity fed as winter ice is just too harsh on pumps never mind the issue of the need for electrical power for them. We have a mountain so we use it. Kind of like the man with a hammer. So far, gravity has proved to be very reliable and has never failed me.

      This brings up the old joke about the tree that fell in the forest and did it make a sound? Well, the other day I was out in the forest and the top of a tree fell off a bit up hill of me. It toppled very slowly until it was inverted and then plunged very, very rapidly the remaining 50′ to 70′ down to the ground. And yes, it made a loud noise! Glad I was not under it.

  4. Alway amazing. We too work outside most of the day. 12-16 hr days in summer 12-13 hr days in winter and feel so productive UNTIL we read your blog. You rock Walter. And plase put a brick on Hopes head. Watching her growup is almost as painful as watching my own grandkids grow up. Too fast!!

  5. Susan Lea says:

    In y’all’s case, I’d say, “Good things come to those who work their butts off!” Thanks for sharing that fascinating process. You guys never cease to amaze me!

  6. Farmerbob1 says:

    You sacrificed virgin politicians?

    I didn’t think that was possible. All politicians I’ve ever heard of bend us over barrels.

    And then there’s the other problem. Who did you sacrifice them to? Anyone that would willingly take a politician as a sacrifice would certainly be a very dubious sort of deity.

    However, it all seemed to work out. I suspect the sacrifice balanced a lot of karma!


    • They’re worth so much because they’re so hard to find. Much like Unicorns. The deity I offer them to are the weather gods. They seem pleased with my offerings. The down side is the good ones never breed so it’s a terminal product line.

  7. Hilary says:

    Hi Walter, do you find that pigs chew on water lines in the field? Or quick connects? Do you find that you have to prevent the pigs from accessing the lines?

    • They don’t tend to chew on the pipes that simply pass through the field. Where they do chew is at the trough where the pipe feeds in – that exit point – and only if there is no water or whey. I had worried about this initially but have found it not to be an issue.

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