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18 Sep 2019

The Lawn, a Status Symbol for Americans

Lawns have become an American status symbol, we all silently observe whether the grass has been cut, if it’s green or dying, or if there are weeds growing or not. Often times we can even form an opinion about a person we’ve never met completely based on the condition of their lawn. Have you ever wondered where this obsession with lawns came from and why we seem to care so much about our front lawns? At Sprinkler Master we found some interesting facts about the history of American lawns!

 

The first people to have “lawns” were the English and French. In the 1700’s many rich and high-class citizens started to have landscapers include nicely cut grass areas in their gardens. It was very difficult and expensive to maintain because the only way to cut your grass was with animals or servants with hand scythes.

 

Thomas Jefferson was one of the first people in America to take this European idea and try it in his own yard. A few other rich Americans followed but it was still very expensive to maintain and keep your grass looking nice. Because it cost so much to maintain a lawn, if someone had a nice lawn everyone knew they had money and were better off than most. 

 

The first lawnmower was built in England around 1830 by Edwin Budding. Edwin had modified a carpet cutter and made adjustments so it could cut grass instead of carpet. The lawnmower developed over time from horse-drawn, to steam-powered, and eventually gas powered like we see today

 

As lawn mowers developed they were easier to produce and cheaper to buy.  As time went by, soon the common man could own a lawnmower and have their own lawn. Now everywhere we go almost every home has a lawn and you can even buy a robotic lawn mower that will mow your lawn for you! 

 

While almost everyone may have a lawn, it’s still important to maintain your lawn. Having a nice lawn adds to the value of your home and makes your home more inviting. A good looking lawn is still seen today as a sign of a well put together life. At Sprinkler Master we want to help you have a great lawn!  Contact your local Sprinkler Master to get your sprinklers repaired today!   

Call now for your lawn sprinkler needs. 

 

 

Bellis, Mary. “How Was the Lawn Mower Invented?” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 1 Mar. 2019, https://www.thoughtco.com/first-lawn-mower-199163

“Best Robotic Lawn Mower: 2018 Guide & Robotic Lawn Mower Reviews.” Yardening Pulse, 7 Jan. 2018, https://yardeningpulse.com/best-robotic-lawn-mower/

D’Costa, Krystal. “The American Obsession with Lawns.” Scientific American Blog Network, 3 May 2017, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/the-american-obsession-with-lawns/

Hansen, Jolene. “The History of the American Lawn.” Pennington.com, Pennington Seed, 4 Oct. 2016, https://www.pennington.com/all-products/grass-seed/resources/the-history-of-the-american-lawn

Image of guy cutting Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12429

Jccarlton. “The History Of The Lawn Mower.” The Arts Mechanical, 16 Sept. 2016, https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/the-history-of-the-lawn-mower/

“The History of Lawns.” https://www.planetnatural.com/organic-lawn-care-101/history/

18 Sep 2019

sprinkler zone won’t turn on? 

Solution:   Find the Valve Box: First thing to do is to locate the valve box. The valve box is generally a green box located somewhere on the lawn. Inside the valve box there is generally 1-4 valves as pictured below.  If you can’t find the valve box call us:  

Locate Correct Valve & Turn on Manually: The best way to locate which valving on, is to e isn’t turn on each valve manually. This is done by twisting the solenoid ¼ turn counter-clockwise. The solenoid is the cylinder looking part of the valve with the two wires sticking out of it as seen below (for most valves).  

This should turn open the valve, and turn on the sprinklers. If the solenoid will not twist, the bleeder screw can also be loosened to turn on the valve. The bleeder screw is the smaller screw that is also located on the valve. When the bleeder screw is loosened it will leak a little bit.

 

Confirm Wiring is Correct:  Once the valve is located, make sure the wires are connected correctly. As shown in the picture, each valve has two wires coming off of it. One wire from each valve needs to be connected to the common wire. This wire is usually colored white or black. Then, the remaining wire from each valve needs to go to its own differently colored wire. For instance, if there was a valve box with 3 valves: valve 1, 2 and 3. Then I would connect 1 wire from each valve to my white wire. Then valve 1’s extra wire would go to a red wire, valve 2’s extra would go to a blue wire, and valve 3’s extra would go to a green wire. It doesn’t matter which wire from a valve is connected to the common vs. its own strand.

 

Check the Solenoid: If the zone is still not turning on after the wiring is confirmed to be correct, check to see if the solenoid of the malfunctioning valve is working or broken. 3 nine-volt batteries connected in series are needed in order to check the solenoid. Take both wires of the solenoid and touch them to the battery, one to the “+“ end and one to the “–“ end as pictured.

Once the solenoid is touching both ends of the battery, the solenoid should start clicking. If the solenoid doesn’t click, it needs to be replaced. To replace the solenoid simply twist the bad one off and screw in a replacement. When removing a solenoid from a valve the secondary water needs to be shut off.  

 

Redo Wire Connections: If the solenoid is working and the valve still will not turn on when turned on from the timer, redo the wire connections that are involved with the malfunctioning valve. Simply cut off the old wire nuts, strip the two wires that were cut, and reconnect the wires with waterproof wire nuts. Also try and trace the wire as much as possible. Look for any cuts or big scrapes along the wire where one of the strands could have been cut off. Also look at the timer and make sure that the wires are all connected correctly to the timer. Each timer should come with it’s own user guide to help with wiring. 

vi. Extra Trouble Shooting: If you have done all steps, and the zone still isn’t turning on, then you may want to replace the entire guts (diaphragm, spring, etc..) of the valve. To do this please refer part b where I explain how to repair a valve that is not turning off.

Another thing that could happen is that the flow control could be all the way off. The flow control is another screw on the valve. Not all valves have flow controls. The flow control screw needs to be loosened all the way for full pressure. If the flow control is tightened, then the pressure will be so bad that the sprinklers won’t even come up.

If the zone isn’t turning on all the way and it isn’t a flow control issue, look for areas in your lawn where there might be a broken line. Broken sprinkler lines will take all the pressure. This causes the other sprinklers to have low pressure or even not come up at all.

 

 

If are still having trouble with your sprinkler valve not turning on call click here to contact us.