Bill Holmes - Activities - Construction - Martha O'Brien Backyard


While moving two sprinkler heads west a meter, I noticed a second pipe in the same trench. Curious, I probed, and found it went along the north side of the garage to the driveway sprinklers. That motivated me to remove the dirt over the manifold. There I discovered the mess created by the gardener. Instead of adding one valve to the existing manifold, and using its extra signal lead, he added a second PVC pipe from the spigot to feed his new valve, and ran a second cable to control it from another timer. No wonder that area looked crappy. I had to cut the manifold from the valves using a reciprocating saw, because the valves could not be unscrewed from he pipe. Even with the valves in a vice, the threaded couplings were difficult to remove.

I tossed the galvanized pipe assembly on the front lawn in preparation for cutting it, so it would fit in the rash can. When I lifted it to put it in the vice, the manifold fell from the pipe. I removed the galvanized pipe just in time. Imagine it failing after the residents fell asleep, the backyard and who knows what would have been flooded.

This is where the mess was. You can see where the galvanized pipe went along the wall. 

I built a new manifold that used the north driveway sprinkler line as a feed line. I extended the in-ground ground added by the air conditioner installers to the house ground wire extending from the wall. The plumbers who replaced the galvanized pipe with copper, neglected to reconnect the house ground to the pipe.

I put a cap in the black control cable installed by the gardener to keep water and dirt from the pipe,

and routed it north under the small garage door sidewalk, and connected it to a new control cable that extended the line out a cap, behind the hedge to the north of the garage.

In addition to extending the control line to a moved valve and a new valve, I ran a drip soaker from one side of an adapter on the new valve to behind the hedge, and under the small garage door sidewalk to water the plants by the power panel as well as the hedge. The other side of the soaker irrigates the bamboo on the north side of the garage.

Valves north of garage. The left one runs the north driveway sprinklers. The right one runs the soaker line.

After adding neoprene insulation.

A male plug was connected to the security light power and plugged into an extension chord switch into which decorative string lights were plugged. Touching the male plug could have resulted in electrocution. The kludge was kept in a Zip-lock bag to keep it dry. I replaced the kludge with PVC conduit and exterior boxes.

The TV cable connections were a mess stapled all over the roof and rafter. While organizing it, I discovered that the ground wire the cable guy used to ground the system was in fact cut at the wall by the painters years ago. I extended the plumbing ground to the ground wire in in the switch box to ensure the security circuit was properly grounded. I extended the continuation of the ground in the socket box to the TV cables.

| W. T. Holmes | Activities | Construction |