Saturday, April 28, 2012

Work to manifold lid

27 April 2012: The Manifold is full of water again, even the amount that was bailed out 3 days ago is back in there and more besides. The recent rain has been unusually continuous (although never heavy) and something has to be done. There are natural drainage out points in the concrete case where the ground loop pipes enter and exit, so it seems that drilling another hole through the concrete will not work because the ground around it must be too dense to act as a soakaway.
   I bought a hand pump, but couldn't get it to work, so resorted to traditional methods, i.e. bailing it out with a bucket!

  I am working on making the manhole lid more waterproof. The edge is completely full of coarse silt, washed in from the tarmac, hence there are many many gaps between the lid and the rim, allowing rainwater to enter. The lid is never totally level or tight.
   Something squidgy like Grease or margarine or lard would not last and would make an awful mess. I am trying a dry solution first. I cleaned out the rim edge thoroughly, and have run a thick line of sealant around the edge, and laid a cut slice of bicycle inner-tube along the edge. This gives a dry surface to put the lid onto, and I hope the rubber will remain stuck to the sealant. I put the lid back on, hoping that it will mould the sealant and rubber into a profile that fits the manhole lid exactly.
    It has rained almost all day, but I need about 3 days rain to be sure that it is working. Then, I will lift the lid and inspect.
    It is a great comfort that there is no green or blue in there. The main system is no longer leaking, except at the new energy meter, and that is under control. I need a couple of hours and lots of PTFE tape to fix that.
   Another idea would be to work something into the crack from above. I'm thinking of something non greasy - I'm thinking of getting Cat-Litter, watering it into a mush and working that into the crack. Most Cat-litter is Bentonite, and this seems to be the cheapest method of getting some. 

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