Friday, May 30, 2014


I made
My day


It was no big thing.

In fact, it was only a two-inch "thing."

But repairing that two-inch "thing" was not something I learned in my formative years.

But, having seen it done once (thank you Eli Maroz), and reading what seemed to be simple directions from the Reader's Digest Fix It Yourself Manual, 1979 printing, the repair was made.

And THAT made my day.

I have an underground sprinkler system. Normally it's "out of sight, out of mind." But there have been problems. Some I attempted to fix (change a timer motor) and some I watched others do (repair - twice - a 2-inch PVC pipe that a was punctured by a grass cutter's string trimmer).

I would have done the second PVC repair but my pal, ibid., won't allow it. Some pal.

ANYWAY, the other day I was trying to water the south 40 (as in 40 centimeters, not acres) and - no pressure.

Walking around the postage stamp lot I saw why: water was shooting skyward like Old Faithful on a good day.

Ah ha, thought I, one of the sprinkler heads must have blown off. Replacing a sprinkler is something I can do and have done. Heck, I've even installed several rotators that actually work as desired. (I'd pat myself on the back but I'd hurt my arm.)

I shut off the pump and went back to the site of the gusher, so confident that the problem was a sprinkler than I carried a spare with me.

Surprise - the problem was a hole in the PVC.

HOW the PVC was holed I don't know. I do know the pipe was barely covered with dirt and the hole looked as if it was the result of a high velocity rock hit.

The problem

OK, I can fix this.

With my trusty hack saw I cut out the section of pipe that hosted the hole (above, in case you missed it). True, my cut's straightness was less than perfect, but . . .

That left me with two pieces of PVC that needed to be joined.

I remembered from the first time some PVC needed repair - a simple job necessitated when a different grass cutter lopped off the top of a vent pipe - I went to a plumbing store and got the pipe and preassembled coupling I needed. (That job still holds, by the by.)

So, back to the plumbing supply house I go. I explained - or tried to explain - to the counter guy what I needed. He brought out what I DID NOT need and said that was all he had. I knew better, but there was a Big Box hardware store in the same area.

Armed with the piece I'd cut out I wandered around the store's plumbing section until I found something I thought would work. PVC. Designed to join to 1-inch diameter PVC pipe and just slightly larger than the pipe I cut out.

Just to be sure, I stuck the old pipe into each end of the joint section. Perfect.

In addition to the PVC to join the two parts in the ground I also bought primer and PVC cement.

$20 later I was ready to FIX A PIPE.

After roughing the ends of the existing pipe and the insides of the connector with sandpaper, I was ready to go to work.

At least I thought I was ready.

Turned out I had to expose some more pipe on both sides in order to maneuver the joint into place, but in the end, even without any expletives to be deleted, the primer was applied then the PVC cement (one end at a time if you please) and the joint and the pipe joined.

>Not pretty, but it works

To my pal Eli Maroz, what I did is no big thing.

But I've never had success with plumbing. Leaks I fix often leak worse than before I "fixed" them.

I am many things, but a plumber I am not. (Nor an electrician, or auto mechanic, or 100 other things.)

So to have actually fixed something, even something as simple as connecting two pieces of 1-inch PVC, that makes my day.

It's the little things that count with me.

In this case, a 2-inch little thing.

I made my own day.

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