Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Sprinkler Saga: The Whole Enchilada

In my previous post (located here), I mentioned we'd had some sprinkler problems. That was a bit of an understatement. Here's the lowdown...

On the 4th of July, one of our neighbors came to the door and told us we had water streaming down the sidewalk in front of our house. Unfortunately, one of the kids answered the door and didn't communicate it with as much urgency as the situation required. The next day, we noticed a lot of water on the sidewalk, and realized that we had a broken pipe in our sprinkler system. The pipe that fed the valves had broken and water was flowing freely out of it (water we were paying for, ouch!).

We shut off the water, and John bought the pvc pipe and pieces he needed to fix it. He took great care to fix it, and it appeared to have been successful. After letting the adhesive set, he turned the water back on, and the pipe came apart immediately. Because of the way the pipes were buried, John felt he didn't have enough pipe in the piece that joins the pipes together, so he called a ward member (who happens to be a plumber) and asked him to fix it (which he did at a very reasonable price).

He showed up (I think it was the next day) and did the same thing John did. The result was the same. So, he suggested we replace the pipes with brass. Brass is much sturdier than pvc, so we took his advice and asked him to replace the entire assembly with brass pipes. He came back the following day and replaced the pipes. (They looked beautiful! Thanks, Joey!)

Everything seemed fine for one day, until we realized that 2 valves for our sprinkler system (which cover most of our backyard) were leaking a lot. We asked him if he could fix those, and while he was at it, we had all the sprinkler valves replaced with brass (as we did in our last house).

We went on vacation in the middle of this and asked a good friend if she'd come and water our grass so that it didn't die while we were out of town. She did. (Thanks, Kristina!) Shortly after we arrived back from vacation, our valves were brand, spankin' new brass valves, and we were feeling pretty good (and were especially grateful that Joey gave us such a good price on the work. Thanks again, Joey!)

Unfortunately, when were turned on the sprinklers, we had gushing water in two places in the backyard. We found that one of our sprinkler "risers" had popped out, and we had a broken pipe under the grass. So, it was back to the hardware store for us. We bought the necessary things to fix those broken items and repaired them.

When we tested those lines, we found that 2 other pipes had broken. I guess we're really slow, because at that point, I realized that everything was breaking in our 4th and 5th cycle of our sprinklers (the 4th and 5th valves). So I mentioned this to Joey and asked if we needed a pressure regulator on the sprinkler system, or if this was due to needing a new one for the house (which Joey said we might, because it didn't sound good). He said a pressure regulator should fix this problem (and too much pressure would cause the problems we'd been having).

So, kind as he is, he came after work and replaced the regulator on our house and added one to our sprinkler system. Then John and I had to repair the broken pipes.

The first one was easy. It was in the ground in the backyard. The other one was more difficult. It was underneath the pavers on the side of our house.

So last Saturday, we pulled up about 150 pavers from the walk and started digging. We eventually found the leaking pipe, and after a couple of tries, repaired it. (Well, John repaired it. I was his assistant.) We did not replace the pavers right away, just to make sure the repair held and that nothing else broke.

Yesterday, we replaced all those pavers. John had the foresight and wisdom to number the pavers and take a few digital pictures of them to use as reference when we re-layed them. It took about 3 hours, but they look good! (A lot better than we thought they would look.)

Here are some pictures of our journey into sprinkler repair.

John numbering the pavers.
The numbered pavers (before). If you look on the right side of the photo, you can see our pretty new brass valves and our new brass pressure regulator for the house.

John burying the repaired sprinkler line (that was under the pavers).

John laying the numbered pavers.

Putting down more leveling sand, so the pavers would look good.

Tamping down the leveling sand.

Laying the last few pavers.

John being silly.

It's done! It turned out well, don't you think?


brookeisacrazylady said...

wow! what a job. next time call jason for help! we owe you guys big time! ya love how i offer my husband instead of my self?

RachelAA said...

OH WOW - what a process. I hope all works well now!!!