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My backyard is a mess and going to get a whole lot messier!!

October 31
We have several new projects going, starting with prepping the backyard for the delivery of our new Shaver Outdoor Woodburning furnace. This is expected to arrive mid to late November. This will work as our primary furnace, and our old indoor furnace will be the automatic backup. This requires digging trenches from the house to the outdoor furnace, for all the plumbing and electrical lines. As well as having to pour a 4'x10' cement pad for the outdoor furnace to sit on. There will also be a trench to the future site of our new garage, so that we will eventually be able to heat it too.
Since we had to do all this trenching, we decided that we might as well put in our new drain lines, run new electric service to the barn, which Tom will be adding onto in the coming months and running new electric service, water and drain lines to the summer kitchen in the future new garage, as well as running electric to the chicken coop. We decided to go ahead and replace our water heater, as it will also be heated by the new outdoor furnace and replace the old sump pump and run separate drain lines for it.
Making the supply list for all these projects has been mind boggling to this weak and very tired mind of mine!! We took a week off between when the garden slowed down to a trickle, to go try to catch up with our kids and grandkids a little, which had been long past due, running up to Shipshewanna to finish stocking my pantry for winter and beginning these new projects. 
We have just spent 3 very long days shopping for our supplies and the excavator should be here anyday now. Bye bye backyard! The main trenches will make a huge cross through the middle of the yard, from the house to the barn 120', from the garage site to the east side of the chicken pen, nearly 200', and one 45 degree angled trench , from the main trench to the garage, to the outdoor furnace, 20'.
I spent 5 hours yesterday, putting pipe insulating tubes, to insulate the 4 pex lines, about 400 ft worth. These will then be wrapped in a reflective insulation, that will run from the outdoor furnace to the house. These lines as well as the underground electric supply line, will then have to be pushed through the 6" pvc drain pipe, then glued and laid in the trench. This will come up into where the pad will be. With that done, then the cement will be poured. As well the same process will be done to the future garage site.
The next step will be to run the main drain line from the house, teeing that in with the drain lines from the garage. Then running water lines and electric, from the house to the garage, Then laying the electric lines to the barn and chicken coop. This is also when we will run the drain lines for the new sump pump.
By the time we get all that close to done, our installation kits for the outdoor furnace should have arrived, so we can get those all in place and ready for complete hookup when the furnace arrives, replace the water heater and sump pump, hook up the new drain lines, as well as replace some old plumbing in the basement.
As you can see, we have a full month coming up! But it will be so nice to know we no longer have to rely on the fuel oil company and the unpredictable prices any longer!! With the savings of fuel oil and electric to heat our hotwater, this new system should pay for itself in about 18 months or less! I guess I can live with a messy backyard in exchange for that!!! So everyone, please be patient with us for a little while longer!




The digging and mess has begun!!

November 5 Update
We poured the cement pad on Sunday, so it is now curing. It will hold the 1600 pound Shaver Outdoor Woodburning Furnace. That's the delivery weight, after it is all set in place, it will be filled with 170 gallons of water, adding even more weight. We did learn that it may now be mid December before it is delivered. The Shaver Company has been overwhelmed with orders, due to the sickening rising costs of home heating fuels, so they decided to build another factory, to meet demands.
Monday, we did what we hope will be the last of the supply shopping. As this took a good part of our day, and my back was out due to Sundays concrete work. We are facing cold, rainy weather coming in on Thursday, so we are really pushing to get all the different drain lines, plumbing & electrical wiring in the trenches before then.
Tuesday, we had a very productive day. We got all but a small section of the drain pipes all glued and laid in place, as well as the sump pump drain pipe and ran the wiring to the garage and the chicken coop. With the help of Rod & Caleb, we were able to push the 6" drain pipe over the 4- 100 ft. runs of insulated pex pipe & electric wire, and glued them, then laid them in place in the trench. Moving a 30 ft run of 6" filled drain pipe, ended up being a lot bigger job than we had anticipated! We couldn't have done it without Rod & Caleb's help!!
The only thing left to do today, is to lay the wiring to the barn in the trench, add a few short pieces of the 3" drain pipe &, install the vent pipe, lay the final section of the larger drain and double check that everything is in the trenches and begin backfilling.
Once this is all done, we can turn our attentions to changing out the water heaters, hooking up the new sump pump, replacing some of the house plumbing & connecting the drain lines to the house plumbing, installing the new second circuit breaker box that will feed the garage & barn, do some insulating and Tom will start building onto his barn.

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Tip of the Day

Climbing vines can be a beautiful addition to your garden. But beware -- certain kinds of vines can become a nuisance if too vigorous for your climate. Check with your local nursery before you plant them.

Check out the Gardening Tips page for an archive of past tips!