Progress in Paradise... Mowed the yard today, including (for the first time since we bought the place) the roughly 1/3 acre of field edge on the south side of the eastern edge of our place. This was all in weeds last year, my access blocked by the deadwood from the big black willow I cleaned up last week. It felt good to spray it for weeds, then see the grass thriving to the point where it needed mowing. We'll have much less problem with teasel and burdock this year.
Most of the remainder of my day was taken up with repairing the 6" irrigation water line that the fencing crew augured into yesterday. I took the first photo before I started – this is what the fencing guys left me with. The second photo shows what it looked like after I pumped all the water out with my sump pump. Next is the pipe completely exposed. At this point I located the end of the crack and sawed out the broken pipe. In the fourth photo you see the result: the bell end of one 10' length of pipe that the augur actually hit, and the roughly 30" long resulting crack down the length of the pipe. The heroic size of that crack is what let so much water out of the pipe. In the fifth photo you see my repair kit on my truck's tailgate. There's a 30" length of new pipe with a bell, much like the broken one I sawed out. There's a short piece of pipe (21" long) with a bell at both ends – that's the magic sliding repair piece. Finally, there's the all important “pipe lube” – basically KY jelly for PVC pipes. The cleaned-off ends of the irrigation pipe are in the sixth photo. Getting the dirt off them is critical to the success of the patch, as the internal rubber rings on the bells must mate precisely with the inserted pipes. Any dirt in there can cause an annoying leak. After I took this photo, I covered the three non-bell pipe ends with lube, slid the short double-bell piece over the piece of new pipe, inserted the bell of the new pipe into one end of the irrigation pipe, then slid the double-bell piece over the other end of the irrigation pipe. That all sounds easy when I write it in one sentence, but in fact it took me over an hour of grunting and groaning to get all those pieces in the right place. Those rubber seals are tight, and without the lube I don't think King Kong could do it. The last photo shows the completed patch, pressurized and not leaking! Yay!!!