Monday, March 14, 2011

More Update

The workers showed up this evening to dig the tunnel for the new water supply pipe.  After an hour or so it was clear that something was wrong.  For some reason they tunneled almost directly towards their target - our hot water heater - which took them much more underneath the house than intended.  (The original plan, as I understood it, was to make sort of a graceful arc away from the house and back towards it so that the tunnel would go under the foundation at a 90 degree angle.)  This was a problem because, as N pointed out to them, that there was a cement wall and a brick chimney between them and their goal.  I'm not sure if they were trying to heed his warning or what, but we're pretty sure shortly thereafter they hit the cement wall.  After a long period of disturbing grinding noises N came back to tell me that apparently their (only) drill bit had broken off in the tunnel.  So, not only is the tunnel not done, not only can they not dig another one anytime soon, but their bit is now stuck under our home.

Initially the workers' response was, "Well, we'll have to dig it up."  I'm not even sure I can explain how impossible that would be.  N tried, briefly, and then took them downstairs to show them.  Looking at the obviously load-bearing cement wall between them and the rock-hard crawlspace subsoil in which their implement was buried, the men became depressed and decided to call it a night.  My sister (who happens to be visiting from out of town) said, "The hard part for me was when they said, 'Every time we try to dig at night in the dark it seems like things just take so much longer...'."  Yep.

The eroded dirt wall
I guess they are going to come back tomorrow and are hoping to send something through the tunnel with which to grab the bit.  N firmly suggested they get a second bit and dig the tunnel first, so our water can be restored. 

Some of the mud
Here are some pics of the mess downstairs:
Down the axis of the basement
The window screens holding back the wall of mud
The sump pump well, full of mud

The borer going into the hole - bye bye!


  1. Wow, your sister picked a great time to visit. I hope she doesn't like to bathe too much :)

    Those pictures say it all. Ugh.

  2. Yeah, she was really great about all the drama and dust, and showering at the neighbor's house. She did not choose to go into the basement at all.