I am pretty proud of this, thought I'd share it. It's a story of
bringnig horsepower to bear on a job.. and the splendid results. It's
a truly Amercian story, making up for a lack of knowlege,
craftsmanship or ability with plain old Muscle!
Some time ago I installed an empty plastic 4" sewer pipe under my
walkway to my front door so I could run an extension cord under the
walk to get power out to my tree for Christmas lights. I put it in a
few years ago, so it has filled up with rocks, debris, and water. I
needed it cleaned out so I could use it this season.
The pipe runs about 4 feet underground, with a 90 degree elbow on each
side, taking it up to ground level. I had it covered when I installed
it, but the kids had long since run off with the caps, allowing it to
fill with debris and water. I pulled out what I could by hand, then
got the shop vac, and vacumed what water I could. But there was still
much water left which I couldn't get with shopvac.
I then hatched a plan. I got my gas powered Craftsman Leaf blower,
started it up and jammed it down one end, sealing around it with a wet
rag. It blew everything out, rocks, and even dislodged a waterlogged
softball, which I didn't know was even in there. (The softball was
just about the same diameter as the pipe, so on it's way out, it
lodged in pretty tight and would not come out all the way, so I
screwed a drywall screw into it, and pulled it out with a pair of
vicegrips.) So now the path was now clear.
Now I needed to run a cord through. When I installed it, of course I
left a cord in to facilitate easy threading through of the extension
cord when needed. of course the kids had long since made off with that
bit of clothesline. Anyway, I don't own a fishtape, and this was a
pretty difficult thread job, going down about 18 inches, and 90 degree
turn, traveling the 4 feet under the sidewalk, then another 90 degree
turn and coming straight up 18 inches to the surface.
Then it hit me, I grabbed a wadded up paper towel, and tied it on the
end of a bit of twine. I dropped it down the pipe, gave it plenty of
slack, then put the leafblower on the pipe. It shot the twine through
the pipe like magic, almost instantly blowing out the other end (the
wadded up paper towel giving the rush of air through the pipe
something to push against, yet light enought to travel well in the
windstorm) When it popped out, the windstorm blew it up in the air,
tethered by the twine, just dancing away about 12 inches off the
ground. it looked like a snake standing straight up dancing to a
snake charmer's flute. It was a thing of beauty.
My next job, install 2 3-way switched in the front room, replacing one
single switch. I didn't have as much luck there, but have not given