A collection of how-to articles

Prep Irrigation System for Stump Grinding

Stump grinders are great at destroying stumps. Unfortunately, they are also great at destroying irrigation systems.

I don’t want to alarm you, but those giant rotating metal blades that tear through wood and grass will also tear through plastic sprinkler pipes and heads; and will tangle up your sprinkler wire and cause huge problems.

BUT, this is all preventable. It will save you money and headaches to relocate the underground irrigation components before the tree service or landscaping company shows up to slice and dice the tree stump into sawdust.

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Backflow preventer

What is a Backflow Preventer

What is a Backflow Preventer?

A backflow preventer is a necessary part of an irrigation system that helps make sure that the water in the pipes only flows in one direction, rather than backing up and going in the reverse direction.

What does a backflow preventer do?

Think of the backflow preventer like a gate or a turnstile at the subway station or amusement park. You can walk through, but if you try to turn around and go back you will find that you are out of luck. There is a barrier that prevents you from reversing course and returning the way that you came.

The same rules apply with backflow prevention. If a back siphon forms and the water in your pipes starts to reverse course, a backflow valve helps to keep the water from reversing course and going in the opposite direction back into your home’s drinking water pipes through a back siphon.

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Winterize Backflow Preventer

It’s a Sunday night in November and you’re heading to bed when it suddenly occurs to you….your irrigation system is still on and it’s going to be crazy cold tonight!

How could it be this cold?!? Wasn’t Halloween like a week ago? How does time move so quickly? How are the days so incredibly short already? It’s only 3:30pm and it’s already dark. How is that possible?!?

Take a deep breath and relax. You may not have time to get a licensed lawn sprinkler system contractor out to blow out a sprinkler system, but you can at least buy yourself some time. 

Sweet, precious, time. There may not be much of it left, but there is enough to get you to bed in the next 15-30 minutes. That is, if you can keep taking those deep breaths and be cool, Yolanda.

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Photo of a sign that says, "Sprinkler shut-off valve inside"

How to Turn off Sprinkler Valve

Irrigation systems obviously need a water source. Unless, of course, you have a magical irrigation system. And if your irrigation system is magical, it probably does not require maintenance the way a regular, non-magical irrigation system does.

But if your irrigation system is not magical, you are going to need to know where the water source is located. It is probably going to be in one of a few places:

Is my irrigation shut-off valve in my basement?

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Outdoor Faucet

How to Find Shut-Off Valve For Outdoor Faucet

Why do you need to know where the outdoor faucet shut-off valve is? Maybe there are cold temperatures in the forecast and you want to make sure your outdoor hose bib doesn’t freeze and crack.

Or maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe you purchased your home over the winter and the outdoor faucets had already been drained to prevent potential freeze damage. Now that the temperatures have warmed up, you need to water your dry plants or wash your car.

Regardless of the reason, we need to find the shut off valve for your outdoor faucet…

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Hunter Pro-C Manual

Imagine a scenario with me. You opened up your wallet and poured out a bunch of money for an irrigation system so that you would have total control over watering your yard and plants. Or maybe you didn’t even have the irrigation system installed, yourself. Maybe you just bought the house, partly because the realtor mentioned that it has an automatic watering system.

That sounded awfully convenient at the time. Nobody wants to get all tangled up, dragging a hose and manual yard sprinkler around the yard. That would be both boring and frustrating — and worse, it’s WASTEFUL! When you turn on a hose sprinkler and walk away, you are nearly guaranteeing that you will forget that you turned it on in the first place, and you will end up wasting hundreds or thousands of gallons of water.

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How to Replace a Broken Sump Pump

If you’re anything like me, you don’t like the idea of your basement flooding. If you’re nothing like me, you do like the idea of your basement flooding. I don’t know why you would like to have a flooded basement. Maybe you’re an eternal optimist, and you just can’t help but look on the bright side. If this is you, you will probably hate this article because a working sump pump would mean losing your free basement swimming pool at the very height of the summer heat. If you are currently loving your life — floating past your washer and dryer on an inflatable pool raft, drinking a mojito, and catching up on the latest Stephen King thriller — please disregard the following information, which will not be helpful at all for you. But if you are a boring asshole who just wants a dry basement, and has a broken sump pump, please read on.

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