Along the lines of sharing my life with both of you readers, I wish to report that the irrigation pipe leak saga has successfully concluded, thanks to Big Aaron, who once again saved my butt at the expense of his.
Recall that I had a gusher on Tuesday evening; I had great fun times trying to isolate it and shut off the supply. It was an intense leak, causing my water meter’s dials to spin like a whirling dervish. I finally got the irrigation system water shut off, which made the repair far less time critical. I could have waited a week without feeling any adverse effects.
Big Aaron wasn’t available yesterday, but he came out first thing this morning and started digging. Aaron needed all of his muscle to uproot a large viburnum bush that was impeding his shoveling effort. Said Aaron, “Nothin’ like a little bush rasslin’ to get your heart started in the morning!” The next obstacle was a collection of roots from the turkey oak that had died and was removed last year. Some of them were as thick as my wrist. With loppers, a saw, and eventually, an ax, Aaron finally got to where the pipes were, about a foot deep.
Of course, as luck would have it, there were three other irrigation pipes lying on top of the main, where the leak was. Thus, Aaron had to cut out a section of one of the pipes to give him access to the leak, which turned out to be in a 90° elbow in the 1½” main line (see photo above). I had never seen a thick PVC fitting eroded in such a way. Aaron said that it probably started out as a pinhole and the water pressure took care of the rest. He cut out the bad section and replaced it, using normal PVC dope plus what he called “blue glue”, which forms a tight, hard seal even if water is running in the pipe. The blue glue reminded me of that plastic bubble stuff you had as a kid. It came with a little straw to blow through to make the bubbles. I never had enough lung power to make the bubbles in the blue plastic stuff, so I was content to sniff the fumes. But I digress. After replacing the bad pipe plus the 1″ pipe he had to cut, Aaron had to wait 30 minutes for the blue glue to cure.
So, he and I went to the shade and started telling dog stories for a half hour or so. Aaron’s wife works for an animal rescue organization. My neighbor, who is the guy who discovered the gusher in the first place, came over to join in the bullshit session. He had his son-in-law’s yorkiedoodle or yorkapoo or poodledork — whatever one calls a Yorkshire Terrier and French Poodle mix. So we had more dog stories. We talked about poodle mixes of all kinds, we talked about pit bulls that play gently with Maltese Terriers, and we talked about the same pit bull taking apart a raccoon. And thus, the thirty minutes passed pleasantly and it was time for the pressure test.
All was well. I went into the house to make a phone call, leaving Aaron with a huge mound of sandy soil, a downed seven-foot bush, and a couple of big holes to fill. I came out ten minutes later to find everything in place and Aaron in his truck writing up my bill. I gave him a check for $185.62, which I consider a bargain for this back-breaking work, and sent him on his way.
Another calamity resolved for the big Turkey. What is next?