The sprinkler racket is less well known than its many cousins in the rackets family, but I’m certain some dude on New Jersey Housewives is running it with a lotta “botta bing botta bangs” and “ehhh…ohhhhh…s” and other mafia stuff I can’t spell out convincingly.

At the micro level, sprinkler repair is no big deal if the problem is just a broken head. Buy the special Rainbird tools, stick in a new elbow below the new head, and Bob’s your uncle!  Editors note: I love using the Brit phrase, “…and Bob’s your uncle.”  The two of you reading this blog (thanks Marce for being the other one) will just have to deal with it.  I never heard a Brit say it in two years in the UK, but if Simon Pegg says it  – it must be authentic! I digress…back to the racket…but he is funny as hell in Shaun of the Dead…

Sprinkler stuff is like the shrimp on Forrest Gump – there are a million varieties and they do not go together. Not to worry, I have experimented with every conceivable variation/combination imaginable on your behalf! I took one for the team!  So here is what I learned – just because one piece of pipe, say “POLY” pipe “says” it has a 1/2″ diameter opening, this is, in general, a damn dirty lie, especially when comparing that POLY pipe to a similarly marked 1/2″ PVC fitting, into which you are foolish enough to believe your POLY pipe will fit snugly.  Not having a friggin’ PhD in plastic measuring, I look at the world from a woodworker/DIY perspective – that is, 1/2″ is  1/2″, no matter the material.  Wrongo!

Tip: Putting a PVC cap on a POLY pipe, primed and glued, at the end of your sprinkler main line = boooom! Ping! off the brand new window on your new addition.  Never one to take “welI THAT didn’t work” for a final answer, I made multiple experimental attempts.  Same result.

Lesson: when you go to the box store for your third visit for the same apparently simple problem, ask them where the fittings stuff is that goes with the POLY pipe.  If they show you something white, this is PVC and they don’t know that they are doing.  Now, if they show you something grey or black, it is probably POLY compatible, and it might work, except that you won’t write down the size of your POLY pipe and you’ll have to come back – again.  Anyway, blow their mind and ask, “so, why don’t these things work together, and, more importantly, why don’t you have little diagrams explaining this, maybe even a little miniature working model of sprinkler hookups?”  They’ll look around to see if anyone is listening, then whisper “Botta bing, Botta bang…”  Good luck!

PVC-Pipe-Fitting PVC + POLY = Blam! 29350polypipe