It hasn’t been a great start to spring on the lawn front. First, we had a warm weather streak when I turned on the outside water before the sprinkler system had been activated. When I was out of town, it got cold again and the outside pipe that feeds the sprinklers froze. Turns out it split the pipe, so the sprinkler company had to cut out that part and replace it when they came to turn on the system for the year (see above, left). They didn’t charge much extra to fix it, so I was happy.
The first time the system came on at 2am, the pipes in the basement started humming loudly–it sounded like the civil defense sirens were going off. I couldn’t figure out the source of the hum and it seemed to be coming from everywhere. The sprinkler company was in the neighborhood a week later for a neighbor’s system, so I asked them to look at it. He couldn’t find the problem and suggested I call a plumber. Not wanting to spend the money for that, I monkeyed with it for about two weeks without success.
Earlier this week, though, my brother-in-law stopped by to take a look. He is a true Mr. Fixit and took all of about five minutes to resolve the issue. I wasn’t here to see it, but I guess he turned on the sprinkler system, hit one of the inside pipes a few times with his hand and the humming stopped. I ran the system this morning for the first time since then and it’s blissfully silent now. Thanks Dan!
The other problem was my old lawn mower. I had purchased it for $50 a few years ago from my previous neighbor when he moved to New York and got a lot of use out of it. Last fall, however, it make a “chunk” noise while I mowing the side hill and shut down. I couldn’t manually get the blade to move, let alone re-start. I used a neighbor’s mower for the rest of the season and put the broken one in the corner of the garage.
Two weeks ago, my wife dropped it off at the local hardware store to have it checked out. They called me last weekend and said it wasn’t repairable. I looked at the Consumer Reports lawnmower reviews for their best value award and bought the Toro pictured above (right). It was the cheapest one they had, but it was the exact one I was looking for based on the CR recommendations. I liked buying from the local store too and was happy to see that the same model at Home Depot was the same price (and out of stock).
Time for some lawn work!Originally published by DK on May 3, 2007 at 10:00 pm