Sprinkler Doc

The Blogging Plumber from Boise

Archive for the ‘Plumbing Tips’ Category

Won’t Get Fooled Again

Posted by Retired Geezer on April 17, 2007

I have gone to 3 places in the past week where the water was off or the pressure was down.

It took me 20 minutes to figure it out the first time because I’m an idiot the pressure would build up when I had the sprinks off but when I turned them on they would start out fine then act like there was a plugged line. When I turned on the hosebib, it seemed like there was normal pressure. Looks can be deceiving, Grasshopper. Now I hook up my pressure gauge if things aren’t working normally.

The people in charge of the water in each neighborhood will turn on the water to flush out the lines and test the system. This is a normal practice. Sometimes they turn on the water and then turn it off to clean out the filters and fix leaks. This will lead homeowners to believe that “The water is on, Hallelujah!”.

I’ve done turn-ons and adjusted everything perfectly and then the homeowner will give me a call in a couple of days and say it’s not working properly. I’ll go back and it’s working again. I have learned to tell them to wait a couple of days and then call me back if it’s still not working.

Posted in Plumbing Tips | 2 Comments »

Weird Plumbing

Posted by Retired Geezer on July 29, 2006

This has got to be one of the silliest reasons for saving money on PVC pipe, I’ve ever seen.

This bozo guy in Texas ran his Sewer Line THROUGH his pool.

There was some discussion in the comment section about using

Clear Plastic Pipe as sort of a Horizontal Lava Lamp.

In case you didn’t realize it, this is a joke.

The pool belongs to my pretend Computer Friend, Dave in Texas.

Posted in Plumbing Tips, Weird | 5 Comments »

Diaphragm Mistakes

Posted by Retired Geezer on July 27, 2006

Here’s an owner-installed diaphragm.

Notice the little rubber piece got smashed during installation.

It didn’t function.

I’m not too crazy about this design. I like Rainbird’s diaphragm design much better.

Posted in Plumbing Tips, Weird | Leave a Comment »

Fence Building Tips

Posted by Retired Geezer on July 27, 2006

If you’re going to install a wooden fence, be sure you know where the sprinks are.

Yeah, it’s popping up under the fence.

And it’s on the Wrong Side of the fence.

Here’s another tip:

When digging postholes for a Vinyl fence…

Be careful to *not* include the sprinks in the concrete.

The homeowner broke the concrete loose and gave it to me.

Posted in Plumbing Tips, Weird | 3 Comments »

If One Valve is Good, Two Must Be Better

Posted by Retired Geezer on June 7, 2006

The client had a problem with two zones going on at the same time.

I had already diagnosed this in my mind as a cut/shorted wire.

I was correct on that part but they had another confusing thing. The resistance on one station (at the clock) was about half of the value of each of the other stations.

It was because they had Two Valves on one station. Both of them needed to be on to allow the water to flow. They just wired them together.

One clue was that there was one more solenoid/valve than there were stations.

Remember class…

Resistors in Series, add values.

Resistors in Parallel, add them up and divide by the number of resistors.

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The Wrong Way to Do This

Posted by Retired Geezer on June 7, 2006

I got called to replace a cracked PVB. They didn't get their system blown out in time.
The Client said that another company had started to replace it but couldn't finish it.

 

I don't know how the heck they got as far as they did. 

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Broken Valves are Scary

Posted by Retired Geezer on May 23, 2006

In Idaho, as well as most cold areas, the sprinkler turn-on valve is located pretty deep underground. Sometimes 4 feet or more.

Occasionally the valves require a little Extra torque to turn them.

This is what happens when a little Extra is Too Much.

 

See how the brass threads have been stripped?

This is the reason I won't risk turning on valves that appear to be stuck.

I'm Old.

I don't want to dig a 4 feet deep hole in your yard, big enough to swing a wrench in.

Posted in Plumbing Tips | 4 Comments »

Replacing the Well Pump

Posted by Retired Geezer on May 22, 2006

In order to replace the pump, you need to pull all the pipe out of the well casing.

Bud the Neighbor makes a tool to hold the pipe up in the air.

Kids, please wear your protective equipment when you cut steel with a torch.

Here's the tool in action.

Normally you would need a big truck with a pipe pulling crane.

Unless you have 2 strong sons to do that part of the job.

Posted in Plumbing Tips | 1 Comment »

Frozen Anti-Siphon Valve

Posted by Retired Geezer on May 22, 2006

I'm getting a few jobs, repairing ice damage from this winter.

Do you see the two cracks?

Frozen water can generate tremendous pressure.

It's much cheaper to get your system properly Winterized, than to repair the damage in the Spring.

Posted in Plumbing Tips, Winterization | 4 Comments »

What NOT to Bury

Posted by Retired Geezer on May 16, 2006

I’ll be writing more about the repair job I did today, but for now I think a visual is worth a thousand words.

This is a picture of a repair job I finished today. The client neglected to have the sprinklers ‘blown out’ last Fall, so the water remaining in the pipe froze and split the PVC.

The spiral fractures are indicative of ice expansion.

Lesson one; Always have your sprinks blown out. It’s usually under $50 to do it unless you have a lot of valves.

Lesson two; Black Poly tubing resists shattering more than PVC, but if you must use PVC, at least get the Schedule 40. Sure it’s more expensive but it withstands abuse better.

The PVC on the left is Sch 40, the one on the right is what we in the business commonly refer to as “Eggshell”.

Guess why.

Posted in Plumbing Tips | 2 Comments »