best dirt loosener is a mattock, AKA grub hoe. It pierced the thin membrane of concrete reasonably well and got me into the dirt below.
DIG IN, OUT, UP,
AND CARRY OUT It’s around now—during all the digging and dirt work—that you might begin to question your sanity. I did. But what I focused on was the thou- sands upon thousands of dollars I was saving instead of the hundreds I was spending. I hauled 10-Gallons at a time. Until someone invents a better dirt hauler than two 5-gallon buckets, it’s bucket brigade all the way. I found that a short-handled shovel was best for filling the bucket from a big pile and that a flat-edged shovel was best for scooping up from the concrete floor once the pile got smaller.
There’s a lot of digging involved, and every inch of it is against a wall. Because the pipe is pitched, the closer you get to the sump area, the deeper it gets. I was down almost 2 feet.
The dirt pile is not small, not light and it’s in the way.