If it ain’t fixed, go ahead an’ break it.

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I think I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about stupid shit I have no control over. The follow-up to that statement is I’m a man of action. I don’t just think, I do. I prefer to repair the carnage created by my incompetence before I become a victim of inertia.

Take my garage door for example. Last fall, I paid a plumber to fix a leaky valve on my irrigation system. I don’t even remember what it cost, close to $300. Ever since then, when zone 1 runs, zone 3 pisses out water, and visa versa. Well, I thought, it has to be the controller. So I replaced the controller, $70. Same problem. Well, I thought, then it has to be the wire between the controller and the valves, the two valve wires must be shorting; that plumber probably hit the wire.

I hurriedly replaced the wire. $35. Did not fix the problem. I left the wire loosely hanging while I went to get my son, and when I ran the garage door, it caught the wire up in its coils, breaking the wire and breaking the cabling that helps lift the garage door. Although I have yet to go home and wait for the garage-door-repair guy to come between 2 and 4, he told me it was going to cost $130 plus a little tax to fix the garage door.

And now that I’ve replaced everything but the valves on my irrigation system, it occurs to me the simplest answer is probably the best: The pressure is so high that it forces right through the valve’s bladder even when it’s turned off. So all I have to do is decrease the amount of water going into the system, right? Because I can only think of one thing that could go wrong, and that would be very, very expensive.

[Afterward: I discovered the real problem before I made a horrible mistake. I had inadvertently hooked two zones together with my drip system. Not the plumber. Me. Dang.]