Saturday, May 24, 2014

And The Sprinkler Project Continues At The Bamboo Lagoon

Old one
So after doing alll that work on the PVC so I could turn on the water supply to our front sprinkler system, I find that the controller box we have had for years had finally died.

I was trying to turn on just the pop up zone so I could water the majority of the grass and beds in the front yard, but none of the buttons would really respond to being pushed. There was plenty of power, it just seemed that it was worn out. Upon investigating, it looked like it was not that hard of a job to replace it.

The next day, I went to one of our local irrigation stores and asked their opinion about trying to fix the one we had or replacing it. Replacing it seemed to be the way to go since fixing it would be almost the same cost and there was no guarantee that the repairs would last very long.

New one in the box

So I purchased a new controller on the recommendation of two different stores and proceeded to install it this afternoon. It really was a matter of hooking the power to it and then putting in the wires for the valves into the right slots.

New one installed and set up

Once I had it hooked up and set the time, date and year, I turned on a manual run of the main popup zone and adjusted the sprayers when it came on as it was meant to. Looks like all the popups still work although two need to have some vegetation cut out around them, and I was able to water the majority of our front yard for 30 mins. Good soak!

Friday, May 16, 2014

PVC Plumbing Repair

This project was not on the list at all but as I was turning on the water valves for feeding water to the sprinkler system in the front yard, I discovered a broken gate valve and so in order to use the sprinkler system, it had to be repaired.

Rusted and cracked

It seems that this supply line probably originally was just a spigot on the edge of the porch wall and when the sprinkler system was installed, they modified the set up to get water to the system. Since the gate is turned off in the winter to keep the pipes from freezing, air does get to the inside of the pipe and it is an old pipe so it just eventually rusted out.

Before cutting

I had to get a new gate valve, and then cut out the PVC portion, so I could remove the old gate valve and put in the new one, which then meant rebuilding the PVC portion. This was a better option than trying to cut through the galvanized iron pipes on the other side of the valved and then having to couple them.

First cut

Once I cut through the PVC in two spots with a hack saw to pull out the majority of it, I then unscrewed the old gate valve with a plumbers wrench. I took all the parts, including the new gate valve that I had previously purchased with me to the local hardware store to find out exactly what I would need to buy and configure.

Cut out portion and old gate valve

At the store, Jim helped me to figure out what pieces I needed and explained exactly how to do all the connecting, as I had never done any PVC "glueing" before. He actually threaded the pieces that had threads together for me before I left, and I took a picture of the set up so I would be sure to put it together correctly. He also cut several pieces of the 3/4 inch PVC I would be using in between to varying lengths, so I wouldn't have to cut them myself and I would have a few options for getting the new stuff lined up with the old stuff that still remained as part of the system.

Laid out at store

I also bought the primer and glue for the job since we didn't have any at home, with this being my first time ever doing this kind of plumbing.

New gate valve

When I got home, I cleaned up the threads of the pipe sticking out from the porch wall, and then reapplied three rounds of teflon tape before then screwing on and tightening the new gate valve.

New gate valve attached

Once I had it connected, I lined up all the other pieces where they would go in the line and made sure that the various connecting pieces of 3/4 inch pvc would fit where they needed to be. I cleaned up the ends of any rough edges of the cut pieces of PVC with a rasp file. I put on latex gloves as recommended by Jim to keep my fingers from turning purple or blue from the primer and glue. I then applied the primer to all the pieces I would be eventually applying the glue to, which included both sides of each junction.

Pieces with primer applied

Once I had all the pieces primed, I double checked my order of things and then started to apply the glue to each piece and its opposite junction piece and putting them together with one quarter turn. Once I had the entire thing glued back together, I cleaned up my mess. I decided to wait 24 hours before turning on the water to the system because we have a lot of pressure on our system and I wanted to give the entire thing time to set up.

All finished

We'll see how it works...I am sure as soon as the water is turned on, I will then have to deal with the issues the sprinkler system itself has, and that will be a new project to blog about.