The Drooling Sprinkler Head

So I find myself looking at a sprinkler head the other day, just drooling onto the grass and the low part of a sidewalk. I’m not a fan of sprinkler systems, because I’d rather see nature tend to her plants. There is so much energy expended to create water irrigation systems for plants that are rarely spoken too, but that is a story for another day.

This story is about repairing the drooling sprinkler head. I know something about plumbing, but am not a licensed plumber, and tend to learn as I go. I knew there was a pipe underground and the Hunter PGP Sprinkler Head screwed onto a threaded fitting. That was the extent of my knowledge about the Hunter device. I knew the pressure system of the water pump and knew there were multiple sprinkler heads connected to it.

I located the part in a nearby plumbing supply store and proceeded to drive over to get one. When I got there, another gentleman was at the service desk, asking for specific parts, naming them by their specific name only a plumber would know. I realized his truck was outside, Fullport Plumbing & Heating Inc. I did not know him, but after some research on his company found out his name was Craig Finizia.

I certainly appreciate going to a real plumbing store versus Home Depot, because you have access to many of the preferred materials and I always learn something when going there, from the service desk attendant or from my observations of what parts and tools are available on the floor.

Another service desk gentleman comes up and waves me over, all of us masked of course cause there is pandemic thing going on. I had brought the drooling sprinkler head and asked, “Do you have one of these?”

“We don’t carry them anymore, but I think we have one left in the back. I’ll go check.”

“Thank you!”, I said.

He came back while I waited and while I listened to Craig continue to order his materials. I love learning new things. The service desk gentleman came back and said, “I had two left”, and proceeded to hand me one. He then handed me a bunch of little red cylinders connected together. I looked at them.

“What are these? I am just learning about sprinkler systems and this is my first job fixing one.”

The service desk gentleman said they go in the sprinkler head to govern the flow and I looked at the head and knew it popped out with water pressure, but did not know how to install it. My brain had no knowledge of this device. It was then that Craig stepped in.

“Hey, let me show you. I used to install irrigation systems.”

I handed the Hunter PGP Sprinkler Head to him and he began to teach me the basics. He pushed the head up by pressing the bottom and exposed the opening where the nozzles (red cylinders) go. He asked me about the water system.

“City water?”

“No, its a well.”

“What’s the pressure?”

“I believe it is 50 or 60 PSI.”, which was the extent of my irrigation knowledge for this particular job. Craig then began to school me on the device. He was deliberate in his training, paused to make sure I understood what he said.

He explained the flow rate of each red port and how it had to be matched to the desired spray distance desired.

“How many heads in each zone?”, he asked.

“I believe 3 or 4 per zone.”

He did some math and determined I would use the 2GPM port.

I listened as he continued to explain and educate me.

“Do you have a key?”, he said?

“What key?”, I asked.

Craig then asked the service desk gentleman if he had a key for me. The service desk gentleman went to the back again and came back with one. It was an Alan wrench with a handle and some additional tools on the plastic handle.

Craig showed me how to use it and make the adjustment. He also explained how to set the spray path and how the device worked when making the adjustment.

The whole exchange probably lasted for about 5 minutes and when I left the store, I was ready to install it. I thanked him for the knowledge and was very appreciative of his generosity, taking time from his busy day to school and irrigation new-be like myself. He did not have to do this, but he saw a fellow tradesman trying to do a job and paused his time and flow to help me.

These are the people, the kind souls out there who take time to help others with the gifts they have. I would have loved to have been able to see his face, but we had masks on. I was so grateful for his time and when I returned to the job, I was able to install it within 5 minutes and make the adjustments needed. I then proceeded to adjust other sprinkler heads that were watering pavement, thanks to the kindness and sharing of knowledge Craig had extended to me, a total stranger wearing a mask. I had experience now from a great teacher.

There are the people out there that make the world a better place by giving of themselves day in and day out. I met one such soul that day and his name is Craig Finizia.

Fullport Plumbing & Heating Inc.

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