I hate it when an inanimate object is smarter than I am. I’ve had that experience the past couple of weeks.
The fill valve on our swimming pool hasn’t worked since we moved into the house. Whenever I opened the valve it leaked badly. So for our first year in the house I filled the pool with a hose. It was a nuisance, and sometimes I overfilled the pool. Not good.
Two or three weeks ago I decided to replace it. I found out the valve was a garden variety irrigation valve, easily found at any home repair store. Since this was PVC I already had the tools to do the work. I bought two 3/4 inch nipples and a valve.
I turned the water off at the street and went about my repair. It was quick and easy to complete. When I turned the water on my new valve started to leak slowly. I could have ignored it, but I knew that it would irritate me to see it’s continual drip, drip.
A day later I turned the water off at the street cut the pipes and reinstalled the valve. “This will get the job done,” I thought. Wrong. I turned the water on and now it leaked in a different spot.
I traipsed back to Lowes. This time I bought two more nipples and a cut off valve. I was getting tired of the trip to the cut off at the street. I installed the cut off valve first. No leaks. “Yes,” I exclaimed. “This is going to work this time.” Wrong again. I installed the valve for the third time, and it leaked again.
After this third failure I went to Lowes again. I asked a salesman what I was doing wrong. “Should I use Teflon tape,” I asked. With a new valve and two more nipples I went back home. “I’m gonna get it right this time,” I thought.
I wrapped the nipple with tape and threaded it into the valve body. I gave the cement time to dry and then turned on the cut off valve. Another leak. The fourth lousy leak. I’ve decided I’m going to go to a shop that specializes in irrigation supplies. I’m going to get them to thread the nipples into a new valve body.
This has not cost me much money—about $25. But it should have been about $12. Eventually I will figure out why my repair keeps leaking. There’s some itsy bitsy fact about valve installation that I haven’t uncovered yet. I’ll be so glad to figure it out so that I can move on to something else.