Day: May 4, 2023

Thur. May 4, 2023 – Star Wars Day

Cool and damp leading to rain later?   We are forecast for possible rain and thunderstorms… but as always, we’ll see.   It was a bit overcast most of yesterday but then did get sunny later.  I believe the highs were in the mid 80s F.

And once again I found myself outdoors.   This time I was fixing the vacuum breaker for the sprinkler system.   It’s almost summer, and we need to start irrigating soon.  The VBP had “popped” during the freeze and was fountaining when my neighbor saw it and shut off the water.   Good neighbors.  For some reason we weren’t home when it broke.   I’ve let it be until I could get a replacement.  Since they are $140 in the store, I waited and several showed up in the auctions.

So I got the one I won and headed out to see what I was going to have to do to replace the bad one.   The thing is about 10 pounds of brass or bronze, and very sturdy.   The part that broke is plastic.  Hmmm.   The replacement is the exact part that is installed, and I’ll have to cut PVC pipe and splice the new one in… unless….   yes, the broken parts are meant to be replaced.   The 15 or more year old one didn’t want to be removed.    It’s marked “Hand tight only” but it was very secure.   My huge pipe wrench didn’t budge it, even after liberal application of Kroil.  I test the new one and yep, the plastic parts do come out.   So.  I ended up cutting the plastic part out of the threaded socket, and breaking all the pieces out.   The guts of the new part went in easily enough, and worked.   Hooray.  Didn’t have to cut any pipe or glue any splices.

Started testing the zones.   Realized I’ve got 7 zones, but can only find 5 valves.   Hmmm.   That’s a problem for another day.   I got the two zones in the front yard checked before I ran out of time.   Kids had stuff to do after school, and I was the one tasked with enabling that…   All in all, pretty straightforward for a plumbing project.    I might even order the parts kit and put the ‘new’ one back together, but that will wait for a while.  I’ve got another bronze one for the BOL system from the same auction, so there isn’t any rush.

Today I’m headed to  my client’s house.   I will work on getting the ethernet over coax installed and tested.   There may be digging involved.   If it’s pouring rain, I’m going to be cancelling and finding something else to do.   The other project there (replacing another bit of dead gear) is delayed by shipping.   The part was supposed to be here by now, but is currently showing delivery for tomorrow .  So if I can’t work outside, there isn’t much point in me driving out there.

For what it’s worth, the part is an interface box from Crestron and part of the AV control system.  I bought it on ebay when my search finally alerted on a new item listing.   It’s been unavailable from the manufacturer, and un-fixable under warranty for MONTHS.   This part is definitely grey market and I hope it works.   It’s listed as new in box but who really  knows.   It’s a $450 gamble that I hope pays off and gets the system back to 100%.  [cor blimey, that’s a lot of declarative statements in a row, someone should take me to task for that!]

Ah well, I’ll probably never be a New York Times Best Selling Author…

I will be stacking stuff though.  Lots of stuff. I better get to it.


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