The Homeowner’s Lament…

Oh irrigation system, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:

You clog in ways that make no sense.

You leak in areas I can’t even get to.

Your emitters break at the drop of a hat.

You surprise me with increased water bills, even when I check to make sure that everything is running “properly.”

Your tubing is nonstandard, and therefore a pain in the neck to replace.

Your pop-up sprinklers may pop up but not actually disperse water.

Or they may not even pop up at all.

Because I depend on you so much (since we don’t get rain for 6 months out of the year), I can’t just move plants around as I see fit. I have to move YOU around too.

You are unfortunately an all-too-necessary bane of my existence.

I had already come to grips with the all the home maintenance issues I need to deal with and haven’t until now (thank goodness for a contractor across the street). Soon we will replace an exterior door and part of a wall (termite/water damage, anyone?), replace all the electrically-connected smoke detectors (they are long out of warranty), finish installing a new screen door, and a few other ┬áitems around the house. I’d prepared myself for that. It’s frustrating that we’ve reached the point in our lives where household repairs aren’t nearly as easy for us as they used to be (and some things I could never do, like deal with electrical stuff). So now we get to hire more people. I suppose I could rationalize that we’ve paid our dues when we were younger and took care of all sorts of stuff ourselves, so now we’ve earned the opportunity to be able to hire others to do the difficult stuff. Sure I can. But it almost feels a little like defeat. Heck, and because I’m shrinking, I even have more trouble getting the filters out of the heat/air conditioning registers in the house because they are well over my head.

But I’d accepted all those things. And then I heard a little too much water from the irrigation system this morning. So I figured I’d better do a run-through of the yard and see what was wrong. I should have stayed in the kitchen.

There are approximately 5 leaks in the front yard. This means I have to dig up the yard in the wrongfully-wet spots just to see if I can figure out how to fix it. (Did I mention how much I hate dealing with irrigation issues?)

Then there’s the lawn sprinklers. Fortunately they are mostly ok, but one pop-up doesn’t dispense any water. I am guessing it’s clogged; I have to figure out how to take it apart, clean it out, and put it back together again. But there’s one zone of pop-ups that doesn’t even come ON, and yet I can hear water running. Oh joy and delight.

There are two areas of the yard where I can’t even see what the irrigation is doing. I’d pretty much have to hack plants back and dig around just to see if all is well. That’s going to get done LAST.

So much for my trying to plan for some landscaping upgrades. I had so hoped that come October (when the rains come), I’d be able to fix up one corner of the yard where I have a tree and a garden bench, and the edging along the lawn where I have some overgrown plants. Maybe in December. Maybe next year.

Maybe I’ll just go watch the football game.


  1. Lucille says:

    If you need help, I happen to have just met a guy who specializes in irrigation repair and water conservation. He seems pretty good. Happy to give you his info if you need help.

    • Robin says:

      Ironically the worst of it isn’t the lawn. It’s the stupid tube and emitters. If something bad has happened with the lawn sprinklers, I will call someone in to fix it. It’s hard to justify paying for someone else when there are parts that I can actually get to. Not that I enjoy this process in ANY way….It just seems like not only is my house falling apart, now it’s the yard too. Sigh.

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