What’s in That Old Culvert Pipe? Cleaning Out the Old Culvert Pipe

It was time to solve the mystery of what was plugging up that old culvert pipe I replaced last year.

When I replaced my driveway culvert pipe, I drug the old one off to a part of my property where I thought I could use it if I could clear whatever plugged it up. 

Hauling off the old culvert pipe
Pulling the pipe away fro the creek

I figured my best chance of clearing it was to use a rotary grinder and cut it in two but first, I had to pull it back from the creek that part of it was hanging out over. Didn’t want the other half to fall in the creek when I cut it in two! So I pulled a chain out of my tractor chain box and hooked it to the trailer hitch on my carry all, then wrapped it around the pipe.

Plugging up to the generator

The old pipe is too far from an outlet to run an extension cord, so I brought my portable generator to power the grinder.  And it started on the first pull!  Not really, I learned a long time ago to get any gas-powered tools running before I took them into the field.  Because I hadn’t used it in a while, it took a good bit of effort to get it started.

After hooking up the extension cord I got out my rotary grinder and put a new metal cutting disk on it then started cutting just past where the clogged section of the pipe seemed to be.

Starting to cut the pipe

As I cut, my imagination swirled.  What could be in there?  Maybe Al Capone’s hidden gold?  That could fund my new shop building.  It’ll probably just be my missing socks.

Love seeing those sparks fly!

No worries of starting a fire with those sparks.  It’s been too wet for weeks.  But I was concerned that if the cutting wheel hits rock it would disintegrate so I kept my body to one side of the blade as much as possible.

The Doom Stick to the rescue!

Well, I had cut as far as I could. Now I needed to roll the pipe over.  Easier said than done.  The pipe was curved and heavy and all of my grunting proved futile.  Fortunately, I brought … the DOOM STICK!  I got it part way rolled over.  Maybe if I cut it some more, it would roll easier.

At last, I got it rolled. This is why I’ll never buy a metal culvert pipe again.  Too much work to cut!  I’m sticking with plastic from now on.  Well, at least I enjoyed the fireworks of the grinder.

The moment of truth! I peered into both ends of the pipe. Wait, what? Dirt and rock?!  No gold? Not even my missing socks. I was surprised that this all that kept me from clearing the pipe, especially after trying to shove a 12 foot 4 by 4 post into the pipe with my backhoe!

Anyway, it looks like I can now clear the pipe out and reuse it as an overflow pipe for “the lake”. But that’s a project for another day.

Picture Gallery