It’s Leaking

June 9, 2024 1 By Karlee Michael


automatic sprinkler system watering the lawn on a background of green grass

As we continue our backyard project this week we decided that this week’s project will be fixing up our sprinkler system and getting it up and running so we can use it when we plant our grass, as it will need to be frequently watered and we don’t really want to be using the hose everyday. Our house came with a sprinkler system that had already been put in but when we checked it out a few weeks ago we found out there was a crack in the backflow valve which meant that it couldn’t be used without leaking and spraying a lot of water at the turn on valve. 

When tackling this project I knew nothing about sprinkler systems and what steps we needed to take with this. As usual I turned to trusty google which helped us alot through this part of our project. I found this website called Sprinkler School that has been a great resource while fixing our sprinkler system. Any issues we had with our system or challenges we faced we were able to use the search bar and this website had all the answers. At first I was unsure of this site as it used terminology I was not familiar with but I realized at the bottom of the articles often there were diagrams that were very helpful to support their explanation. 

Once we figured out what all we needed to do and what needed to be fixed we went to Rona to get the parts while at Rona we were having a hard time navigating the store and finding what we needed. I had the idea of going onto their website and searching up the item we were looking for and make sure they had it in stock as the site tells you the number is stock and also the price. Knowing the price we were able to also scan the shelves easier looking for 

items of that price and that is how we were able to find the correct items. 

We got home with the correct parts we needed and then it was time to put it all together which was also a challenge. We changed the backflow valve and then also capped off one of the lines as this line did nothing while turned on. Our thought is that this system was put in place before the garage was built and they just cut the line when they built the garage as there is also a broken hose behind the garage that nothing comes out of that we believe was that line. As we capped them off and taped the valves as we went we thought we were finished, went and checked the lines and they were leaking from the back flow valve and the cap off. We were very frustrated and had no idea why this was leaking and what we had done wrong. Took a look at the Sprinkler School website again and was not finding an article that was similar to our problem or a solution we hadn’t already tried. 

Plumber putting a teflon joint on a thread


As we tried to problem solve this it came to my mind the thought of I wonder if we taped the valves correctly as we had never done any plumbing work before and just taped it how we thought was correct. I did some research into this and realized that we had not put enough tape on the valves and needed to tape them better. I found this article titled How to Use Plumber’s (Teflon) Tape, this website has step by step instructions with photos that helped us to realize we had not done it correctly. Once we took it apart and retaped the valve, we tried it and everything worked like it was supposed to. 

Update on last week: 

-With all the rain we had last week the yard has settled nicely and we are able to see that we need to bring in some dirt to raise the areas that have settled. 

-Had a small concern with the raspberry bush as some of the leaves were turning yellow, we found out that they had received too much water with all the rain we had got and just needed time for the ground to dry up. Once we gave them a few days without water they have grown nicely and are no longer yellow. 

Next Steps Of Backyard Project:

-move a few of the sprinkler heads so that they are in the correct spots to help us water our grass when we plant it 

-find out what type of dirt we need to finish grading our backyard as it has settled

-Putting a border around the area that will become the flowerbed 

-Planting Grass