Monday, March 9, 2015

Irrigation pump woes.


My current project.

Pump control panel issues.
Rain let it rain!  We need some moisture, so our irrigation project has moved up the priority list.  I went out today to get the pump working.  The cover is ancient and rusted but I knew the bugs where getting inside the panel.  I had no idea how many different types of insects, flying and crawling kinds were living inside.  I did wonder if there was any live power inside.  I couldn't see anything so I broke off a dead thistle stem and used it to clean out the panel.  I spent over 30 minutes just scraping hornets nests, spider webs and mud wasp nests out.  I did use an electrical tester and found no power.  Being a wise grasshopper I did not believe it.  I kept my leather gloves on and used a wooden handle wire brush.  When the wire brush started sparking I was not surprised.  The power was right at its entry point.  There is a large mechanical breaker hidden in the back of the upper fuse assembly that is operated by the outside handle.  There is a small switch on the right outside of the box that is broken and will not turn.  It is the run switch and will need to be replaced.  The bottom solenoid assembly needs to be replaced also.  I plugged the holes and bent the upper panel to prevent the bugs from crawling past. I had to put in a new wire clamp pass through on the bottom of the panel.
 
Clean control panel.

Painted and labeled box.
 I opened up the pressure switch near the pump and had to dig out more bugs so the contacts would be able to close. I could not get the pump to work.  I could not get the lower solenoid to operate at all.  The dirt needs to be dug out from the channel as an added bonus.  I used a wire brush on the outside of the entire panel and painted it with some dove gray vehicle primer.  It was very windy but I was quite surprised at how good the spray nozzle on the can worked.  It gave a narrow wide spray of paint.  As someone who painted an entire car with can paint I can attest to how much better the modern nozzles are twenty years later. 

I counted irrigation pipe hand lines.  I think we have enough.  I just need a 90 degree connector and three 3 inch plugs. 

My little sister, Chris,  came out to visit.  She wanted to pet an alpaca.  I had caught one the other day for Lori, my other sister, and she had spread the word about how soft they were.  I fed early so we could touch them.  I snagged the little black one and held on by just grabbing its hair on the back.  Chris got to pet it and then she wanted to pet a white colored one.  So I wandered around and leaped toward a brown one.  I grabbed its back hair near the neck and it started to fight me more than the first one. So I decided that my manly 165 pounds would subdue this creature.  I threw my leg over its back and straddled this small weak creature.  My toes were barely touching the ground then it started running and bucking! I just held on.  I made it about 12 feet before getting thrown off.  I landed on my hands and toes.  Chris was laughing after she asked me if I was okay.  She had her back to me and turned around in time to see me riding said mild mannered creature and subsequently getting bucked off.  Note to self, do not straddle alpacas.