The Cool House: More repairs

Sunday, September 11, 2005

More repairs

I can't believe it's been almost two months since I last posted here. It's not that I have been away or seriously incapacitated, more a case of a fantastic summer encouraging long days in or by the pool and evenings watching the sun set over the Long Island Sound. In contrast to last year when we had cool weather followed by the remnants of three hurricanes, this year has been hot and dry.
The sprinkler system chose this arid period to play up. We extended it earlier in the year and it had been running fine but it suddenly stopped altogether. A phone call to the irrigation guy and we had a bunch of advice: try the battery, the fuse and the transformer. We replaced all three and thought we had it up and running again. But walking across the lawn one morning I realised that I wasn't getting wet and I usually play dodge the sprinkler at that time. A closer inspection revealed that it probably hadn't worked since the system broke down a couple of weeks before. If it had been any other part of the yard I would have left it until the winterization but I didn't want to lose all the grass so I called the guy and he came out, did everything we had done, replaced the timer and then came up with the bad news: we needed a new valve. He's an honest guy so he suggested we get a quote for a new system on the basis that as it was thirty years old things would break down more often and it might be cheaper just to replace it. He also offered to get a quote for a new valve. Two days later I had his quote $275 for the valve installed, and the new system $6500 with free winterization (a $150 value) the first season. Guess which one we went with?
The sprinklers are working again and we still haven't had any rain, forecast is 90F tomorrow - I hope this holds a little longer as we are having the siding power-washed and stained this month and the painter likes it to be warm when he works. I'll keep you posted.

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