No matter what Momma says, I still consider myself an irrigation repair genius, an idiot savant in the field of quick, effective fixes. (Momma says only one of those words applies.)
Because I worked on the world’s supply of sorry, miserable, numbskull-designed irrigation systems, I learned a lot about fixing broken lines, serial pin-holes and mysterious pressure drops in hydraulic tubes; I also compiled a list of crooked contractors who installed worthless, previously failed parts, drew up fantasy as-builts, and used pipe so brittle it shattered if a dog barked.
. . . pipe so brittle it shattered if a dog barked.
Since I’m trapped here at the GCS Rest Home–with no chance of returning to irrigation duty–I thought maybe I would pass along my Top 3 Secret Methods for dealing with possessed irrigation systems.
1. The Parallel Hole: When the heat is on and grass is frying, there is not a lot of time for the traditional slow and nervous archeology excavation. For sheer speed, in a time-sensitive situation, dig a quick exploratory hole with a narrow round-tip shovel and then use a probe to locate pipe and wire. (Never trust a blueprint.)
Then, using a backhoe, open a hole slightly deeper than the pipe, parallel to the break. This will allow you to hand-dig from the side and underneath the pipe, cave the dirt into the parallel hole and rapidly assess the situation.
Note: Don’t do this if you have soil given to caving in. We had red clay. Pretty much like digging through pottery. Sometimes, we even saw cave dweller paintings on the walls of the ditch.
Pretty much like digging through pottery.
2. The Rainy Day Tent: If you are facing 189 leaks, course-wide, use the breathing space afforded by a rainy day to tackle one of the big, scary leaks, the one you would never try on a hot day, but are terrified that it will soon explode on a Friday . . . at quitting time.
Open the hole and erect a tent of sorts, using a tarp anchored by stout string to a couple of vehicles. You can then spend the day doing a proper fix, one that will last for generations, rather than the panic mode repair supervised by golf pros and club committee members leaning down over the hole and telling you how hot it is and how long #11 green has been without water. You will be alone, except for loyal crew members and there’s always plenty of folks to send for parts.
. . . leaning down over the hole and telling you how hot it is
3. The RDIV, or Rapid Deployment Irrigation Vehicle: Probably the biggest reason I had no fear of numbskull irrigation systems. Rather than explain here, just watch the training video and earn 13 MOG credits.