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Time to tune up your sprinkler

April 3, 2017

I don’t want to sound like a cliché - but I can’t believe it is April! It’s the first of the month and time for us to talk about another project to add to your repertoire. Before you know it you will be watering the yard and plants so let’s tune up the sprinkler system.

Replace any broken pop-up sprayer easily with a Rain Bird or Orbit pop up sprayer. If your sprayer riser pipe has broken off down in the irrigation pipe, remove the riser with an extractor, put a new riser in, screw in the new pop up sprayer and Bingo,you are done.

Do you regularly replace sprinkler heads around the driveway because someone misses the driveway and rolls over your sprinkler head? Protect sprinkler heads with a Concrete Donut. Just drop it down over the sprinkler head, and if you need, trim it to fit the driveway with a miter saw and a masonry blade. If you are a hand sprinkler like me, you might need to work on your hoses.

Replace old washers with new rubber washers (not vinyl) so you have no leaks between the hose ends and the nozzle. Metal hose ends that have been run over, and damaged are fixable. Straighten out the end as well as you can with pliers and then lightly screw in a Flexy. Flexy will give you a correct fitting hose end that you can use again and will be a permanent built-in washer. Need a new hose nozzle, try Little Big Shot. Made in the USA this solid brass nozzle has three adjustable settings from a power spray to a delicate pinhole stream.

If you have a sprung leaks in a garden hose use Extreme Tape to repair the hose. Extreme Tape is a self- fusing tape that can handle extreme temperatures and water pressure. Fix your outside irrigation before summer hits, and we are all under water restrictions.

Now to some great email ...

Question: I have noticed a lot of black stains (which I am assuming is mildew) on my mother’s headstone at the cemetery. It is a very expensive granite headstone that I don’t want to damage cleaning it the wrong way. What can I use?

Answer: The owners of 30 Second Outdoor Cleaner assured me that you could use their product to clean the headstone. Whether it is marble, granite or concrete, it will not harm the surface or the grass around the headstone. Spray the stone liberally and let it work for about 5 minutes keeping it wet. Then rinse with clear water. The stone will dry clean.

Question: I had Sheetrock work done in my house recently, and the dust was everywhere, especially in the air conditioner. My AC stopped working. I called my repairman, and he came over, sprayed something in the upstairs unit and my AC started working right away. I tried to see what he used but, he was kind of secretive, ha! Do you know what he could have used?

Answer: It’s a product called K. O. Dirt Blaster. It will strip off the dirt and grime from the coils of your AC unit without any rinsing. It’s a high pressure cleaner that can be used on refrigerator, AC and small engines that will just melt the dirt and dry clean. You can use K.O. Dirt Blaster on window AC units and not have to rinse clean. While you are up in the attic and do yourself a favor, put a packet of ACTabs in the drain pan of your AC unit. It will open up a drain line if yours becomes clogged. It might keep you from calling the repairman again.

Question: What is the effective way to keep squirrels from digging up your garden? They are destroying our pansies.

Answer: Squirrels act so friendly, but they are not. Do not be distracted by their cuteness, get serious! There is a product called Messina Squirrel Stopper that has proven to work well for South Texas. Look to see how the squirrels get to your pansies and then spray all that area wit h Messina. Don’t spray your flowers directly, just around them. Messina provides a sensory barrier, and the squirrels don’t like the smell, taste or feel. It’s odorless and will last 30 days regardless of weather. The quart spray will cover 750 square feet

If you cannot find the products mentioned here locally, you can find them at www.happyhandyman.com. Click on Shop Johnnie’s Favorites, or call the store at 210-341-1573. Email Trudy Chuoke Lesage at happyhandyman2@yahoo.com. Mail can be sent to Johnnie Chuoke’s Home and Hardware, 2361 NW Military, San Antonio, TX 78231.