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Today I'm a Plumber / Sprinkler Repair Man!

Discussion in 'DIY - Do-It-Yourself Projects, Construction, Etc.' started by Nifty, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Oct 22, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Almost Self-Reliant Administrator

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    We have a SUPER old Champion Irrigation 1" Vacuum Breaker / Check Valve on our sprinkler system.

    The whole thing is usually covered up and on a whim I decided to take a look and check everything. Well, it was leaking pretty bad... like a drip every second. The ground was completely saturated and there were some really stringy roots all around, so I'm guessing it's been doing that for a very long time. :(

    Here's what it looks like:

    upload_2014-10-22_14-21-10.png

    I was very worried I was going to have to replace the whole thing, but my father-in-law suggested I might be able to just unscrew the top and replace the gaskets.

    I unscrewed the top and the washers / gaskets (or what was left of them) were a mess. It's as though they had melted... black oozy gooey stuff.

    I went to Ace Hardware, but since the gaskets were so far gone, they didn't know what to give me. They tried their best and I came home to replace the two washers with what they gave me, but it didn't work at all.

    Luckily, I was able to find the model number of the unit and searched online. I found the parts and after a few calls I found a local place that had the washers in stock!

    I came home and replaced everything. So far it seems like it's working great! I showed the guy at the store my pictures and he said, "I hope this works because changing out that whole thing is going to be a nightmare!!"

    Here are a couple of pics of the top pulled off and the old gasket and new:

    upload_2014-10-22_14-26-30.png

    upload_2014-10-22_14-26-50.png
     
    sumi and Joel_BC like this.
  2. Oct 23, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Almost Self-Reliant Administrator

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    Update: I was a little freaked out because after putting everything together I started to see a drip every 20 seconds or so. My initial thought was: Hmm, this is probably about 60 gallons a year... I'll just skip two showers a year and call it even!

    I put a measuring cup under it two hours ago to measure how much water was actually leaking, but to my surprise the cup is bone dry! So, I guess I'm all set and can add those two showers back to my schedule!
     
  3. Oct 23, 2014
    Smart Red

    Smart Red Lovin' The Homestead

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    My spouse has always asserted that the worst thing Man did to created a multitude of problems was to put water inside the house. I suppose that would apply to water piped through a plumbing irrigation system underground as well.

    Water in the house ALWAYS seems to remind me of Murphy's Law. If something can go wrong it will -- and at the worst possible time.

    I am glad that you managed to find a (relatively) simple solution that worked. Doing most of our own plumbing at the apartments, we know how difficult that could have been for you.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2014
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    Never thought of it quite that way about putting water in the house, @Smart Red but I think your beloved husband is on to something. A burst water pipe in the ceiling is guaranteed to bring down the ceilings, flood the house and wreak general havoc. A hot water heater with the bottom out of it is a likewise PITA.

    @Nifty I am very glad you were able to fix your problem and even more glad that you don't have to skip any showers. I bet your wife is too! :lol:
     
  5. Oct 26, 2014
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    I congratulate you, Nifty. Glad the story has had a happy ending
    People from time to time have asked me what knowledge & skills a person needs to be able to homestead. They have a sense it's all about growing gardens, making compost, animal husbandry. I never belittle those essentials, but always mention carpentry, plumbing, rural water systems, the basics of household-electrician work, gasoline engines, etc. You either learn to deal with this stuff or you'll spend a lot getting help.
     
    Denim Deb likes this.
  6. Oct 26, 2014
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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  7. Nov 5, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Almost Self-Reliant Administrator

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    Thanks for all the great comments everyone!

    So far things are still looking good. I'm SUPER happy that my $10 fix is saving me from hundreds and hundreds of $$$!!
     
  8. Nov 5, 2014
    Nifty

    Nifty Almost Self-Reliant Administrator

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    I totally agree! I'd probably say that my experience has been this: Learn how to search Google and Youtube for information and instructional videos!! This is probably the #1 most useful skill. If you can learn how to effectively find info, you can quickly become an expert (or good enough) at many things!
     
  9. Nov 5, 2014
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    Yeah, that's my learning style, too. Or, rather, find a flesh & blood mentor if possible. Next best: AV - Youtube (for which Google is good), DVD, etc. I like books as a supplement and a context-giver, though in some details they can go out of date too quickly.
     

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