I frantically sent the email, with a subject line starting with “URGENT.” Then I called the number from the website and left a message saying I didn’t need the service person to come for my 7:00am appointment to look at my sprinkler system. I didn’t need them to come because I found key information that made the service call unnecessary. The internet saved me money.
Broken Sprinkler System
About a week ago, I opened my sprinkler system for the first time this summer. The control panel said the system was on, but none of the sprinklers pop up. I called an irrigation system company and scheduled them to come out and diagnose the problem. Some of the prices they quoted me that may contribute to my bill are:
- Labor fee of $75 per hour
- If wiring had to be traced to find a break, $90 would be incurred for use of a special tool
- Replacement of a faulty control panel was $400.
I was bracing myself for draining $600 or more from my emergency fund.
Searching for the Answer
Yesterday my wife suggested searching the internet for sprinkler system troubleshooting tips. After 30 minutes of fruitless searching, I found the owner’s manual for my control panel. One of the scenarios listed in the troubleshooting section matched my symptoms exactly. The control panel lit up, but the sprinklers wouldn’t turn on. The suggested action was to replace a small fuse.
I took the fuse out and inspected it. It didn’t look blown, but I figured replacing it was worth a shot. I bought a pack of five fuses for $1.99 at a local hardware store,
I replaced the fuse, turned on the first zone of sprinklers and waited. After a few moments I heard the faint sound of gurgling getting louder. Suddenly 4 sprinkler heads popped up and started spraying water across my front yard. Fist Pump!
I turned off the system, changed the control panel to the next zone and watched the next set of sprinklers pop up. I repeated this process until I had verified all nine zones of my system worked.
It’s hard to say how much money I saved by canceling the service call. The technician my or may not have recognized the fuse needed to be replaced. He may have traced my wiring, he may have even recommended replacing the control panel. What I do know is a little time searching the internet saved me at least the $75 minimum service call fee.
How about you, EOD Nation, tell me your favorite story when searching the internet saved you money in the comments below!