Irrigation valves etc

Theres a few lessons all wrapped up together here
Here are the main ideas:

Many things run in a circle or circuit round and round
(reap what you sow, the circle of life, all that blah blah blah)

In a system, things often break at the junction or the connection.
(only as strong as your weakest link)

The more moving parts, the more likely things will break, especially when under pressure or tension, or due to use and fatigue over time.
(Nothing lasts forever, ‘its not the years, honey. its the mileage’)

Circuits and analogies:

Water enters the house at pressure, water leaves through the sewer
pumps and gravity provide the push and drain

blood leaves the heart through the arteries, returns through the veins
the heart and muscles provide the pumps
when you are alive you feed on plants and animals and on bits of minerals and metal
when you die you feed little animals and plants and go back to the earth

in irrigation, theres a circuit between the timer controller and the valve
electricity goes round and round
turn on, turn off, turn on, turn off
timer controller to solenoid to valve and back again in a loop

Lotta different colored wires, but they all finish the circuit together. In this case along the green common wires:

At the junction analogies:

when you turn fifty sixty seventy years old
its knees and hips and shoulder replacements
at the joints
if you are a butcher without a bandsaw
where do you cut?
where the bones meet, cut right through the ligaments
a few tiny cuts, and bend it back
using the bones themselves as leverage
and the point as an anchor to work off of

Where do a lot of accidents happen?
at the intersection or along a straightaway?
where people meet, or where people are off by themselves?
wheres is a fight more likely to happen?
down at the bar or the nightclub, or in the cabin in the woods?
where will you hear the most interesting stories?
where people of all the same gender class height and weight gather
or where there is a mix of experiences and life challenges?

Where do we trouble shoot irrigation problems?
at the valves opening and closing
between fittings and connections
where two wires are twisted together
where the copper meets the brass, or where the brass meets the plastic
at the spot with the rubber washer, the plastic flange, the teflon tape
at the junction

Here, a waterproof silicon filled connector was not used. So over time water snuck up in there and algae and mosses started to grow:

Moving parts analogies:

I have a little fillet knife
a leather covered rapala blade from finland
it is the oldest tool I own, about 36 years old
its still in fine shape, a blade of stainless steel and a hardwood handle
been through the salt and sand and countless fish
still works great, no moving parts
metal is a bit thinner from filing it sharp, but other than that
never had a problem with it

from there we move on to the pruning shears with some nuts and bolts
and on up to chainsaws and mowers
small machines with moving parts
small machines that work well if you take care of them
keep em oiled, keep em sharp

In landscape irrigation:
that gate valve
maybe it crusted over from not being used for fifteen years
metal parts all rusted into one another
That ball valve
maybe it got used too much
kids playing with it, on off on off
maybe there was high pressure in the pipes
100, 120, 150 pounds per square inch of pressure
all that water hammering and stopping and going finally messed up the valve

water carrying lime and iron and bacterial speck sediments full of clogs
rats chewing on wires
wetness and algae seeping into the electrical wire connectors
rain filling up the irrigation box with poor drainage
there is a lot happening in the garden
where it is not dry and clean and pest free
where the sun’s UV lights are beaming during the day, tearing apart atom chains
and that cold wetness chill creeps in at night, making things weak and brittle and rotten

Theres some irrigation boxes that are sitting in soil with poor drainage. Often clay hardpans. This is the result:

its amazing with all that is happening
stuff works as well as it does
until some catastrophic event
that is why you build safeguards and repetition and redundancy into the system
that is why, if you can, keep it simple and elegant
Function is the design

Does it work? Is it working?