Sprinkler System Issues PAGE 37.

April 22 2017:  I was washing my car last weekend using well water from the sprinkler system in the driveway when the sprinkler timer came on.  I started testing each of the SIX zones in the system.  What I discovered were a few sprinkler locations that were broken, and some that I did not know existed.  One of the first sprinklers I discovered was part of the group between the driveway and the sidewalk.  I turned on the zone and noticed some sprinklers doing what they are designed to do.  The next thing I see is water bubbling up next to the side walk near the "Bottle Brush" tree.  When the sand was washed away, I turned off the water pump and discovered a sprinkler head that was buried below the grass and it was full of sand.  I took it apart, cleaned it, and turned on the water to be sure the pipe was running CLEAR WATER.  With the water off again, I connected the sprinkler head and it worked normally when the pump was turned on again.  The leaves and sand on the sidewalk all came from that sprinkler area when the water was on before I connected the sprinkler to the pipe below ground level.

Here is a close-up view of the sprinkler head ready for service.  This sprinkler oscillates with 180 degrees of coverage of the area from the side walk to the driveway with the Bottle Brush tree at the center of the coverage arc.  The sidewalk is at the bottom of this image below.  There is a similar sprinkler head half way down the driveway on the other side of the Bottle Brush tree with 180 degrees of coverage working perfectly.  Five small, fixed coverage, pop-up sprinklers with 180 degrees spray are also on this circuit.  Two of them needed to disassembled and cleaned to move up and down freely.  They are located along the south side of the sidewalk facing the street, beginning near the southeast end of the property.

The next zone runs along the sidewalk all the way down to the end of the property at the speed limit sign.  The first three pop-up sprayers are before reaching the walkway from the front door to the street and mail box.  The third one of that group is seen in the bottom left corner of the image below.  The one that was originally here "blew it's top" spray nozzle off and became a fountain.  When I put my thumb over the pipe with the missing nozzle, most of the group along the sidewalk popped up and started to spray normally.  The pop-up seen in this photo came from the end of the line as seen in the next photo below this one.  There are two other fixed spray nozzles like this one in the shrubbery area against the south wall of the garage that are working just fine as a part of this zone.

I walked west on the sidewalk to reach an area where water was seeping out of the ground, but no pop-up was visible.  It was this unit at the number FIVE location of SIX pop-ups between the mail box and the end of the line near the speed limit sign.  I dug out the sand to expose the vertical pipe with the sprayer screwed on it.  I removed the pop-up unit, took it apart, and washed it out.  The underground pipe from here to the last pop-up has a crack in it that is now a fountain when the last sprayer is capped with my thumb.

Some digging in that area got me down to a white pipe with water leaking from it.  I measured the 12-foot spacing between each pop-up sprayer in this string to notice the water leak was not where the final pop-up should be located near the speed limit sign at the southwest corner of the property.  I used a long screwdriver as a probe to locate the last buried sprayer about two feet after the leaking pipe.  The image below was taken after I had removed the buried pop-up unit near the speed limit sign, took it apart and cleaned it.  I then installed it up near the mail box in place of the broken one which is seen in this photo after the water line was washed out.  When I turned on the water to this zone with this broken nozzle here, the water was dark with sand that was in the pipe and quickly turned to clear water.  I used my thumb to pressurize the string of nozzles and they all popped up, along with a new fountain where the crack in the pipe was found.  I put a fallen tree limb at the leak location and labeled this photo.  There is some work to be done here and a new pop-up nozzle to be installed.

On the other corner of the walkway from the front door to the mail box is this sprinkler that is laid over at about a 45-degree angle.  It is supposed to rotate when it popped out.  After a few test sessions, it is sweeping back and forth slowly.  This is the beginning of the third zone on the south side of the house.  This sprayer moves in a 180-degree arc of coverage that extends east of the walkway from the front door toward the Bottle Brush tree.  There is another pop-up fixed sprayer in this zone near the bushes by the entry and front windows of the living room.

Here is the sprinkler above in action, along with a view of the broken sprinkler further down the sidewalk.

While the water pump was running, I moved the sprinkler head from one limit to the other.  This photo shows it mid-way through its intended range of operation.  It has plenty of range, it just does not oscillate back and forth.

There is a second location with a broken sprinkler head about half way along the pipe on the north side of the sidewalk.  This unit is placed to have a 180-degree arc of coverage pointing toward the house, with coverage of both large oak trees in the front yard and the shrubbery between them in front of the house.  The sand and leaves on the sidewalk were washed out of the hole when the water was turned on.

This close-up view of the sprinkler from the photo above shows how the moving part with the spray nozzle is missing.  I took the top off for cleaning, then replaced it to keep the sand and water out of the pipe below.  I will have to dig around this location before I can install a new sprinkler head.

This photo show what happens when the water is turned on to this zone.  The missing part of this head controls where the water stream goes.

This third zone has another 180-degree oscillating sprinkler head at the west property line facing toward the big oak tree near the southwest corner of the house.  This photo is taken when the spray is going due south along the property line.

This view of the same sprinkler is taken from the sidewalk looking north.  This sprinkler is working perfectly.

Looking East from that sprayer you see the tree philodendrons and an area that was overgrown with ferns I cleared out over a month ago.

I walked over to this area to check for shrubbery sprayers.  When I pulled back a big philodendron leaf, a sprayer and a vertical pipe were revealed.

I found a second pipe with a right angle "elbow" that was also capped off.  An unused straight pipe was also laying there.  This location was about one foot from the outside wall of the master bathroom near the southwest corner of the house.  This is about six feet from the image above.

I started clearing out some of the philodendron leaves that were laying on the ground and other old leaves in this shrubbery area.  There were a couple of dead tree trunks from the philodendrons in this area.  They were hollowed out by insects long ago and crunched under my feet when I first stepped into this area.

It did not take long to fill my yard waste trash can with the stuff I removed from this area of the shrubbery.  You can see what is left of the hollowed tree trunks.

Here is that area after I filled up the yard waste can seen above.

When I step back to the sprayer near the property line and look EAST, this is how that area of shrubbery looks now.  The big oak tree near the southwest corner of the lot is just to the right of the area shown in this image.  The shadows on the ground at the right side of this image are from that large tree.  My heavy yard rake I used to clear this area and my yellow leather work gloves are also in the photo.

Here is an image showing the pop-up sprinkler in this area working as it should.

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