I’m going to wait until Sunday to tear up the plumbing because the weather is going to get colder and besides it’s virtually certain I’ll be missing something essential I’ll need to get during the Monday morning water run. But I didn’t know how long it would take to dig up the trench, so there was no harm in going ahead and doing that. Even if I don’t replace the pipe, I’ll still need the flexibility of having it above the ground. And it’ll probably be simplest to replace the pipe. I’ll need to rebuild the plumbing around the valve and possibly the faucet, and I intend to tear out and rebuild the riser with more rat-resistant insulation at the same time. With more under-floor insulation, the plan is to stop worrying about my pipes during every damned cold snap.
I expected it to take a while to dig up the trench, but I didn’t expect it to be so damned hard. Yeah, it’s packed clay and needed to be hammered out with a mattock and I hate using my mattock. But it’s only 18 inches at its deepest and less than 10 feet long, and not as though I haven’t done it before, so why was I having to stop every five minutes to catch my breath? Well, there’s building season and sitting season. At the end of building season, I’m typically in pretty good physical shape. At the end of sitting season, I’m a marshmallow. And marshmallows aren’t natural digging machines. So I’m going to go ahead and cut myself some slack over this.