A couple of days ago I wrote in a blog titled Tidying Things Up that our lawn sprinkler system had stopped working quite some time ago and I never got around to messing with it until recently. When I did, I found that the control box for the sprinkler system was dead, and a couple of blog readers suggest I just replace it if it had been sitting so long. As it turned out, it was beyond repair, so I took their advice and we went to the home improvement store Sunday and bought a new Orbit control box.
Whoever installed the original system had a hodgepodge of PVC that went in several different directions with lots of elbows and U-turns. I decided that since I was going to replace the control box, I would go ahead and get some PVC parts and do it right this time. So we went to the home improvement store and stocked up on goodies and came home, where I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing.
My first mistake was that I bought the wrong size PVC pipe and joints. Don’t ask me how, but as my friends say, Nick happens. While Miss Terry was figuring out how to program the new control box, I was staring at things, trying to figure out why something that seemed so simple was now so confusing. After all, I used the same PVC when we were building our bus conversion, and everything worked just fine. But back then, I was starting from scratch, not jumping into the middle of someone else’s mess.
Fortunately, about that time our neighbor Jesse Bolton walked over from across the street to say hello. Jesse hasn’t learned yet that that’s always a mistake when you’re dealing with me. Jesse asked what I was doing and offered a suggestion and then said, “Here, let me show you,” and pretty soon, we made a run to the hardware store to get the proper size PVC. When we got back, it took Jesse no time at all to help me put it all back together the right way. When a guy!
Jesse does a lot of things for us, and to show our appreciation, Terry invited him and his lady Jennifer for dinner last night. She made pork tenderloin sandwiches and roasted potato wedges, and they were delicious. Good food and good conversation with good friends. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
There are seven outlet pipes for sprinkler heads in this system, though only three heads were installed. The rest were capped off, and I wasn’t sure that why. So we bought seven new heads.
With all the new PVC in place, the next step was to flush the system and install the new Orbit sprinkler heads yesterday. We put everything together and turned on the water, and there was no pressure at all. The heads wouldn’t spray, They just bubbled a little bit of water.
I would have asked Jesse for more help, but being a smart guy, he was at his regular job so he didn’t have to deal with me. Actually, I don’t know if Jesse has a real job or if he just takes off every morning to stay away from me. Who could blame him?
At any rate, I looked at a couple of things on the Internet to see what the problem might be, and none of them seemed to apply. Then it occurred to me that there might be a reason all those other uprights had been capped off instead of having sprinkler heads on them. I went back to the hardware store and bought some more caps and took six of the seven heads out of the system, and capped their pipes off. When I turned the water on, suddenly the one sprinkler head closest to the control box had a lot of pressure and worked just fine!
Then I installed another sprinkler head at the far end of the system, and though the pressure wasn’t as strong, both heads worked all right. Through a process of elimination, we got it down to three rotating sprinkler heads spaced far enough apart that we can cover most of the yard. It’s not perfect, but it’s probably as good as it was previously.
I know that everybody in our area is complaining about low water pressure lately. I think the reason for that is the same as what I was experiencing here, on a larger scale. They keep building houses and stores around us but not improving the water supply, and the water pressure keeps dropping.
At any rate, that was yesterday’s project. Nobody got hurt and we accomplished what we set out to do. Jesse didn’t come home until well after we were done. He’s learning!
Thought For The Day – My age doesn’t bother me. It’s the side effects I don’t care for.