If You’re Going to be a Ditch Digger…


Some parents push their kids to become doctors or lawyers. I think my parents were like most. They just told me to do my best. My dad liked to say, “You can be anything you want. If you are a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger you can be.”

I got what he meant. Do your best. Put your back into it. Give it 100%. I also knew encased in that pearl of wisdom was, “If you end up digging ditches, don’t bother breeding because those won’t be my grandkids.”

Today I got a lesson in ditch digging when the plumber showed up to repair the main water line to my house. The leak was somewhere near the meter, probably a foot or more underground. The guy had a hole dug before he even rang the doorbell.

Locating and repairing the leak was pretty straightforward. The total came to $15 for parts and $190 for labor. It turns out, ditch digging can pay very, very well.

But this guy earned every penny. He dug a 2X2 hole in 30°F weather and repaired the pipe all while smiling. When I asked him questions, he gladly gave answers and that got me a bonus.

I pointed to something just outside the meter box and asked, “What is this?”

He replied, “The PRV, pressure reduction valve.”

I got very excited and said, “Can we crank this up while we’re in here? The water pressure in my house is pathetic.”

With a quick turn of a wrench and another twist of a screwdriver, the job was almost done. My yard is not only leak free, but I can actually knock the soap off my skin with my new, more powerful shower.

Yeah, this guy digs good ditches. He even back fills them. The $205 was money well spent. If I had tried it myself, I would have spent twice that getting my back straightened out. So here’s to digging ditches and digging them well.

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7 Comments

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  1. Awesome! Sounds like he was great to work with. You got lucky and got a good plumber. My husband’s one of those good plumbers (not just saying so because he’s my husband – he’s a licensed master plumber and does really good work). He’d probably love to see me typing this. lol

  2. I should have considered a career where I received that kind of appreciation every day. I bet I’d be a different kind of person. You know…like, happy or something :)

  3. Most excellent tale here; reminds me of the ending of “Office Space”. Like you said, SOMEBODY has to dig the ditches. I Dug ’em for years myself, and would probably keep right on doin’ so if I wasn’t getting old(er)!

  4. It is always nice to hear about a good experience. Good for you. Good for him.

  5. unabridgedgirl March 4, 2010 — 13:08

    Sweet! Glad he fixed your pressure. There’s nothing worse than low water pressure. (Okay, there are lots of things worse, but whatever.)

  6. I’ve saved a lot of money in the past by hiring a leak detection company to determine exactly where the leak was. Especially when there is a labor fee involved in the plumber digging, it’s a great benefit to know he’s digging in the right places. In my case, even though I paid a fee to the leak detection service, it was a savings over what the plumber had initially proposed.

  7. Searching for the ditch digger comment on google and I saw the post. I totally agree!

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