Last year the City replaced all of the 50+ year old gas pipes in the alleys in our neighborhood. Just before Thanksgiving they began hooking houses to the new line, and we discovered - as did many - there were leaks in the pipes going to the house that had to be fixed before we could connect.
That was the last day we had hot water on the first floor of our house, hot water for showering in the garage apartment where CityGirl lives, and the ability to cook on our stove.
RetroMan figured he could find the leaks, quickly repair them and we'd be on our way. But he had to find the pipes first.
One hole turned into two holes, which turned into a trench until pretty much our entire back yard was dug up. CityGirl hops over this trench to come take showers upstairs at our house.
It became clear this was going to take a while, so we broke out the camp stove, bought a FaberWare electric skillet at a garage sale, and made sure we had an ample supply of charcoal for the grill.
When the contractors finally had time to see what needed to be done, they lost interest and either never called us back or gave us a bid that made it cheaper to just go buy all new electric appliances.
But RetroMan never gave up.
He had YouTube.
80 hours of watching videos later he created a plan and checked it with the City gas inspector. His plan was sound, and so he began purchasing all the materials.
Yesterday we started the job, which involved snaking 100 feet of new gas pipe through the old one.
RetroMan started the job.
My job was to help feed the pipe to him.
And take pictures of course.
After a while he moved to the alley and CityGirl kept it going.
CityGirl and I stopped to have some fun with the clothes that were hanging out to dry.
It's kind of a flag for help.
"Girls pay attention. This is serious."
As we were working CityGirl heard something and asked me to come over and check it out.
Yes, that's someone wheeling living room furniture down the street.
"What? Why?" exclaimed CityGirl as she stood next to the clothes hanging out to dry.
Sometimes you're never going to figure these things out, so it's best not to try.
The pipe made it to the alley and had to make a curve towards the fence. We were feeling pretty stoked! Everything was going as planned.
Until our worst nightmare.
The pipe appeared to be stuck under the concrete parking pad about 3 feet from our target outlet. It wouldn't go in, and it wouldn't come out.
RetroMan went to Home Depot and rented a cement cutter. It's really handy that he knows these things exist and how to use them.
Of course! There's an elbow in the old gas line!
RetroMan cut the elbow out and we finished snaking the new line through.
10 hours later the holes in the alley were covered up.
And that's the end of day 1.
To be continued, but hopefully not too much longer.