Anti-Siphon ValveI 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.

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