Yeah, had rock delivered today. The cheapest gravel I could buy is road base. It is not nearly as pretty as pea gravel because it is a mix of aggregates from about 3/4″ gravel down to sand particles. Used mainly under concrete and roads, it can hold a lot of weight and works well for patios. Alberto used it under our concrete slab.
I had figured 12 tons for the roughly 25 x 16 front patio @ 6 inches deep. The patio is about 400 square feet. The quarry said a ton of the road base covers 105 square ft. to 2 inches deep. So for 400 square feet six inches deep, I needed 12 times that amount or 12 tons. I had figured the gravel needed for the patio from 200 cubic feet or 200/27=7.4 cubic yards. I found a reference that said a ton of gravel is equal to about 18 cubic feet. So 200/18 is 11.11 tons. Some rock types are 1.3 or 1.4 instead. But road base is about 1.5 tons per cubic yard. I ordered 12 tons just to make sure I had enough.
My grandson agreed to do a quick pose in front of the truck. He is taking a break from playing tennis with Grandpa. We told him he could take all week to move the gravel for us and we’ll provide the wheelbarrow.
But before we can move the gravel I had to figure out what was wrong with the patio outlets. We had a short in the line and the electricians looked at the buried cable and determined it would be too difficult to find it quickly so they disconnected the outside line and put in a new GFCI outlet that allowed us to use the circuit.
I dug out the buried wire and found it was the correct underground cable for burying under a patio. I visually inspected the wire and found it to be in good shape, although there are large roots that have grown over it in spots.
After I removed the first outlet in the wall–ants were crawling all over it! I disconnected all the wires and made sure they were not touching. I removed the GFCI for the purposes of testing and wired the outside wire to the circuit wire directly. Then I tested the circuit and it was fine. So I moved onto the next outlet, and disconnected it completely while connecting the wires in the first outlet directly. It was fine. So was the third outlet.
The fourth outlet goes underground past the flagstone path and under the deck where the rabbits live. So I thought perhaps a rabbit chewed through an exposed wire. In fact the first outlet on the deck was the cause of the short. So the wire on the patio side is all good. I just disconnected the last wire that goes under the walk and re-buried the rest. Those three outlets are probably enough for the 20 amp circuit anyway, and they are wired to a GFCI outlet in the garage so they meet code! I covered the exposed wires at the right corner post area with a Schedule 80 elbow that I slit up the middle with a cutting wheel on my Dremel tool and poked the wires into it. Then I used some of the Siga Wigluv tape to seal it so that rabbits won’t be able to get to that wire. The other outlets are in parts of the wall that are covered by the stucco and concrete walls. There was a schedule 80 pipe in the wall, it just didn’t extend down to the ground. The inside corner will be covered with the stone and the patio but may be exposed on the outer side so now those wires are protected.
The patio area is right outside the front doors in the terraced area. Will be a great living space when it is done.
Eventually we can wire the last two deck outlets to the new circuit that will be connected to the spa. The 15 amps are used only for the spa lights and the exterior outlet on the house so two more outlets won’t overpower the wiring.
I bought the rock for the patio so that when I rent the tamper I can tamp it as well as the slab rock. The tamper is $80 for the day and I want to have enough rock to tamp to make the cost worthwhile. How one thing leads to another.
For want of a hammer the nail was lost
For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the battle was lost
For losing the battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a hammer. (I think I added the hammer–just the nail part is referenced as an English nursery rhyme–used by Ben Franklin in his Poor Richard’s Almanac.)