Today's little project...

Today I fixed the leak I knew our new sprinkler system (new last year) had. I knew it had a leak because when all the water in the house was turned off, I could see the little sweep hand on the water meter moving - Indicating that it was leaking somewhere. When standing outside the supply line for the sprinkler system was always cold and sweating, and you could hear a hissing noise from the pipe.

Reluctant to call the irrigation company back (for fear of a bill that looked like $$$$) I decided last night (while "rejuvenating" on my new deck & listening to XM radio) that today was the day I tackled the problem.

I have been (since charging the system this year) keeping the system off - turning on the control box, then walking out and turning on the valve each time I water, remembering to do the same (only off) when the cycle was done. If I did not, water would leak out somewhere underground - and I may as well "wipe" with dollar bills as let water pour out of a pipe somewhere under the ground!

Well, I started off where it made the most sense - the water source. Where the supply line enters the ground. It is under some decorative rocks, so I started digging the rocks back. When the shovel was not working the way I wanted it to, I got out the knee pads and started using my hands.

Well, right at the pipe I noticed how soft the ground was (under the rock and landscape plastic) and how water was starting to show up around the rocks as I dug them out. I decided to try a little "experiment" and I turned on the valve - and I saw movement like currents in the water around the rocks!!! GOOD NEWS! The leak was somewhere close to the pipe. I dug, and dug, and dug (carefully as to not cut any other pipes) and finally cleared out the area. It was now full of standing water. I got out a cup and bailed out the hole. It worked great. Now my pipe, the fittings, and the underground pipe were all exposed. I turned on the water again, and saw the stream of water coming from where the fitting met the copper pipe. It was a pretty strong stream of water...

Long story short - my local hardware store was out of the plastic fitting, but had everything else. Because my wife was out and about on errands, I called her and explained what I needed her to pick up for me (which she did - perfectly I may add) and waited for her return.

I sweated all the fittings, taped up the threads, made all the connections, and put pressure on the system. One small pinhole leak in my last sweat fitting. A couple more goes at it, and voila - A complete and functional sprinkler system again. I can leave the control box on, and the valve on, and no more spinning little water meter dial!


  1. Goodness, is there anything you don't do yourself?

  2. My Motto: The more I do for myself, the less I have to pay someone else to do it.


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