Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sprinkler System: Part 1

Remember way back in September when we shared this lovely photo?

What was supposed to be a weekend project to put in a stone walkway turned into a 4 month (and counting) long campaign to fix our old, abused, and nonworking sprinkler system.

Our house was built in 1984, and judging by the rotary dial in the sprinkler control box, we assume the sprinkler system was installed that year or shortly after. We learned from the former owners that the sprinkler system was broken when they moved in, and our next door neighbor, who has lived there for over 25 years, says he has never known our house to have a working sprinkler system. Needless to say, we had given up on it like all the previous homeowners. Until the day we began working on the stone walkway.

We started by clearing out a pathway along the side of the house, digging out a few inches of dirt and putting in a border.

Then we rented a truck from Home Depot, drove to a local stone supply yard, and filled up with several tons of gravel and flagstone. Once back at home, we shoveled the gravel from the bed of the truck into the driveway. With half our driveway filled with gravel, and half our yard excavated, Zach looks at me and says something like, "You know, if we ever want to try and fix the sprinkler system, now is the time, before we lay all the stone..."

I should mention that about a year before, we had an irrigation company come out and give us a quote as to how much it would cost to fix the sprinkler system. He walked around our yard for about 45 minutes then delivered the news that he could not find the backflow box (where the main water line ties into the sprinkler system). Essentially, he couldn't turn the water on.

Cut back to me standing there, covered in sweat and dirt, as Zach proposes we fix the sprinkler system. I knew he was right. That it was now or never. For a second I pictured a lush green lawn, without the effort of dragging a sprinkler around the yard. But then I snapped back to reality, and the giant pile of gravel at my feet. I tried to talk Zach out of it, but his logic prevailed, and we spent the rest of the weekend digging...


  1. I love the way you aren't intimidated by taking on difficult home improvements and how you work together! Can't wait to see the results :) MRS. W