Head scratchers

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,213

    Wanted to head some good head scratching stories. What has really tapped your service and trouble shooting skills.

    My techs were working together on a commercial building that had many many problems. But the kicker was one weak zone. Couldn't find the leak/problem. They took the time to turn off and cap heads, which pushed more water to the leak. Water was flowing into a below ground electric box which looked very new. Probably over the winter. Also looks like new conduit from boring company along the street right near it. One pipe dove down about 2.5' and broken off, leading near the electric box and flooding into it. Water wasn't surfacing as it was filling the box instead.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    They never think of us, no calls to warn us we might be hit (we always are).
    We had a contractor hit us at a commercial site, took the 2" main, valves, laterals and
    hit about 30 runs of 14 gauge, all the same color, even the common! To make matters
    completely insane, they buried the whole mess and moved on. :hammerhead:
  3. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Not me but someone I know had just put in a system and 1 head wouldn't work. Checked the filter, etc. and finally just replaced the T for that head. The old one had a dime molded into it that was blocking the flow out of the T.
  4. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Gotta get a pic of that one!
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,400

    I had something similar in the ancient days, with an insert x FPT elbow at a head. No water at the head (new system) and no blockage visible. Remove the elbow, look closer, and see a manufacturing flaw that left a complete layer of PVC between the insert part and the FPT part.
  6. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    We used to service the Wal-Marts in our area. Got a call about a $2000 water bill, please check the system. Start with the obvious stuff (runtimes, multiple starts, etc.) - everything is OK. Check the meter connection, backflow (DCVA, by the way), isolation and control valves for leaks - nothing.
    So we start shutting down parts of the looped mainline - dig it up (18" depth, with wire run on top), install ball valve, check leak detector and move on.
    2 men 3 days on it, found nothing. Hired a local plumber with a leak detector at $65 per hour. He found the leak in about 45 minutes - a pinhole (mfr. flaw) pointed straight down into masons sand, no way it would ever show.

    Wal-Mart didn't bat an eye at the bill - $3200. Of course they did take 45 days to pay...
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    That should have tipped you off that hacks put the system in. :hammerhead:
  8. h2o2gunr

    h2o2gunr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    4 level and tiered parking garage with irrigation on the top of it. leaks must be found down in the garage then try and figure out where you are down there in relation to the outside.

    wires run through crawl spaces inaccesable areas behind locked doors.

    each valve or manifold of valves has its own common.

    crazy valves and pipes all over the place some for fountain some for drinking fountains some for fire suppresion some for irrigation.

    lots of walking around looking up and stumbling or walking into things. like cars with alarms set.
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    The forum has chipped in and bought you a Martin D-12, and when you put those great words to music, we get a free download. :clapping:
  10. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Yup, Wal Mart installs always go to the lowest bidder, and WM doesn't even acknowledge change-order requests unless it saves them some $$$. Every WM site plan I've ever seen was drawn by an out-of-state architect with no clue as to our soil conditions, etc. Heck, most of our in-state whizzes have no clue...

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