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I did my first irrigation repair for pay!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Ed G, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Ed G

    Ed G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    I'm sure you guys will get a kick out of this.

    I'm now the irrigation "expert" in my neighborhood.

    Neighbor comes to me for help. Three of his six zones will not run.

    I pull cover of his controller (Hunter something or other) all wires are connected correctly and time is set and programmed correctly.

    I disconnect wire from zone four and reconnect on zone one terminal. Zone four turns on. Repeat for zones five and six. they turn on.

    we sit and have a beer and think about it.

    I suddenly recalled a trick I read about connecting three 9 volt batteries together. We did this and the valves that were not operating fired under DC power. So we know now that the solenoids are working properly.

    We sat down for another beer to ponder some more.

    I then came up with an idea - we should get my 120 foot extension cord for my leaf blower. I got stripped some jumper wire and connected the jumpers to the male prongs of the extension cord and to the controller. Set #1 valve to manual, went over to valve, plugged in solenoid wires to female end of extension cord and VOILA! the sprinklers start hissing and pop out of the ground running.

    Being excited about our discoveryand satisfied that solenoids and timer are fine, we sat down to have another beer.

    Cable runs from timer to valves # 4, 5 and 6. It is then spliced to valves #1, 2 and 3, which are about 120 feet away.

    We connected the extension cord at this splice to valves 1, 2 and three and again the valves work. We are now sure the problem exists in that cable.

    We found our problem using an a/c extension cord of all things :).

    Neighbor comes home the next day with new cable and a pick.

    He starts digging and after two swings, the pick bounces off the ground and the blade is bent at a 45 degree angle.

    He gets mad and starts swearing about how the hell is he gonna dig a trench for this cable.

    Naturally, I suggest we sit down, have a beer and think about it.

    Two beers later, I come up with an idea - we are gonna dig that trench with a lawn edger!

    I'll be darned if that didn't work great!

    It cut a narrow trench about six inches deep you only needed to step on the grass to fill in the trench.

    So the moral of the story for you irrigation pros...when you got a tough diagnosois job, The necessary tools to you have to have handy:

    150 foot extension cord
    lawn edger
    2 cases of beer.

    Oh, the pay I received....free beer for as long as the neighbor lives there.
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    LOL... Next you'll be posting that you went out and successfully bid on a 521 locator on E-Bay. :laugh:
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    I wanna know about a pick that bends after you hit a rock with it. (photo, please)
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    I was kinda wondering about that myself. Gotta quit using those cast aluminum picks.
  5. LOL.....what is a pick?
  6. Ed G

    Ed G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    read that again.... I never said the pick hit a rock.

    "the home depot special" was bouncing off of bahia grass.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Exactly - my pick has a nice rust coating on it right now. Haven't used it in months. And don't use it often anymore.
  8. DeepRoots

    DeepRoots LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    wow Ed G,
    you just surpassed the majority of "proffessionals" here.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    I still want to see this so-called "pick" - I use Home Depot mattocks, instead of regular pickaxes, and the fiberglass handles have been okay so far. Mattock heads are fine, as well.

    I wonder if they still sell those imitations of Wheeler ratchet cutters, with bodies and blades that fall apart like trick suits. There is another Wheeler imitation that I haven't tried, that I've seen in a hardware store. The cutters are branded 'General' and look good, but they weigh too much, because the body isn't aluminum.
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    :laugh: at the pick.

    I use ours all the time in our rocky soil.

    Ed, I keep scraps of control wire on my truck for exactly that sort of testing.

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