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Sprinkler Antics

Some parts of our lawn have been dying, while other parts are green. I know I've got the sprinkler timer running enough to have a full-green lawn, as I've checked it three times now. I know water is flowing, because I ran the sprinklers previously. But apparently not long enough.

Today I ran a sprinkler test again, and watched it more carefully. Apparently one of the sprinkler heads is just stuck, and the other one sometimes hangs up after a couple cycles. So I go and swivel the heads manually, and notice they rotate freely. But the sprinklers still get stuck when running themselves.

About this point I've gotten kinda wet from collateral spray.

While looking at one of the heads, I notice that there seems to be more water than expected flowing down the lawn, and not from the sprinkler itself. I follow the stream and find a burbling hole in the ground a few feet away.

"Okay," says I, "there's an underground leak here. That may explain the weak sticking sprinklers." So I grab a trowel to dig up the leak, so I can figure out what parts I need to buy at the store.

Dig dig dig. No pipe. "Oho! I see. The water is coming from the side of this hole I've dug. Let me follow it."

Dig dig dig dig dig. "Huh. This seems to lead towards the sprinkler head. My there's lots of roots here. Let me get the shovel."

Dig dig SPANG! "Ow! WTH was that? Good lord! That's a big tree root! Let me try digging around the other side."

By this point I'm covered in mud. SPANG! "Dangit! Another tree root!"

Spang Spang! "They completely surround this sprinkler! Big roots! Let me whack them with the shovel like an axe."

Spang Crack! Sprinkler parts everywhere. "Augh! Well it needed replacing anyways. Maybe I can use the water hose to excavate the roots so I can cut them with the hacksaw."

Excavate excavate. "Good grief! This is one solid sleeve of root around this sprinkler! Augh! Get the power tools!"

Which, of course are back at the shop, and I am covered in mud, head to toe, and don't want to get my car muddy.

"Grr! I know! Gasoline and a blowtorch! Maybe dynamite! I'm sure Homeland Security would understand!"[1]

[1] No, the Department of Homeland Security would not understand. Luckily, I regained my senses before immolation began.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. *comforts poor batbat* };)
Aug. 6th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)

You mean you don't have either magnesium and aluminum shavings laying about the workshop or the formula for thermite memorized?

So, are the roots newer than the sprinkler?

Aug. 7th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Oh, aluminum shavings are something I have plenty of, thanks to the mill. Rust I can obtain with a sanding wheel.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
"Tool Time"

hehe... we had that problem too.

So my father cut it down, took a grinder to the roots, and we were all fine and happy for a while.

Then the area subsided.
Then it subsided some more.
Then dad started pulling back the sod and pouring fill dirt into the hole every so often as it settled.
Then he started pouring gravel in and topping it with sod and he called the city and they said the nearest line was 30 feet away and that couldn't be the problem.
Then he went to using cement and topping it with gravel and sod.

Let's just say he was stuborn and he had tools.
But after the cement and 3 feet of topping, it stopped subsiding.

About 3 years later, the city was roto-rooering out the main sewer drain down the street and the rooter broke. The willow had broken thru the side of the sewer line and dad's patch had sealed it up, but not without a very large -unclearable- partial blockage.

Workers couldn't figure out how a concrete plug had gotten placed in that location... it just seemed to have teleported in since there was no sign that anybody had drilled down and applied it around pipe which was under the roadway.

Aug. 6th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Luckily, I regained my senses before immolation began.

Dammit! And I had Edward Norton lined up for the movie adaptation, too.
Aug. 7th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)

I mean, fun, but still...
Aug. 7th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: Dude!
Landlord has yet — after what, ten years? — to even fix the fence out back. He'll never fix the sprinklers.
Aug. 7th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Ok, you TOTA::Y need your own garden/repair/maker show!
Aug. 7th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
And at 10pm on BBC-5 we will have "Topiary With Revar" and everybody's favorate Bat-Bat will demonstrate how to use a CNC machine to do Bonzai and stump removal using C4.

To be followed immediately by a special service announcement by Fire Marshal Bill.
Aug. 7th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
"Gorb, dis iz turnink into vun of dose planz. Hyu know... De kind vere ve keel everybody dot notices dot ve's killin' people?"
"It iz?"
"Uh huh. And how do dose alvays end?"
"De dirigible iz in flames, everybodyz dead an' I've lost my hat."
"Dot's right. Und any plan vere you lose you hat iz?"
"A bad plan?"
"Right again!"
Aug. 10th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Hee. You already went there.
I had a mental picture of you pulling a Spark moment when I read this. "When I put this back together properly it will be more than just a sprinkler system. It'll clean trash off of itself! Deter squirrels with LASERS! And best of all, it'll have robotic arms to toss the newspaper to the front porch! All I need is to excavate enough of the lawn to install a compost-powered generator that we'll build on the CNC unit..."

Aug. 7th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
Why am I getting Home Improvement flashbacks?
Aug. 7th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
If you really want a lot of excercise and take out frustration...
I do have a mattock at my house. It breaks tree roots quite well. C4 does sound like more fun though and might improve the look of the fence at the same time.
Aug. 8th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Re: If you really want a lot of excercise and take out frustration...
This one is soooooo getting the Sawz-All treatment.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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  • 17 Oct 2011, 19:18
    Clever! ^_^
  • 7 Oct 2011, 08:38
    Was each link made from two pieces, or was there fill material inside that you removed? I'm having trouble seeing how to print these in a makerbot-compatible way (though I could just be overlooking…
  • 5 Oct 2011, 22:40
    Nah. It'd just take a dissolvable support material and higher resolution. There are commercial 3d printers out there that can print ball bearing assemblies in one pass, fully assembled.
  • 5 Oct 2011, 18:46
    Nice! ^_^ I was going to be flabbergasted if you were actually able to print it as a unit, but I guess that would take antigravity.
  • 5 Oct 2011, 18:19
    I printed each piece individually and assembled them after some cleanup. I did print four segments at a time, though, unattached, in a 2x2 grid.
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