I have some really old sprinkler valves. They’re not ancient, but the last time they started to leak I found out that the parts were no longer made. That time the parts were available, but I knew that the next time there was an issue the sprinklers would need to be replaced.
Recently one of the sprinklers started watering on its own. It seemed random, but it wasn’t. The short summary of a long investigation is that even with the timers disconnected, the water was turning on when some of the front yard sprinklers would turn on.
I had been thinking of making some backyard changes, but wasn’t ready to start them so I thought I would just do a quick fix. I’d do nothing more than dig down just enough to cut the pipes to be able to put in new valves. Of course the new sprinklers had different spacing than the old, so I had to dig down enough to get some flexibility in the pipes so the new spacing would work.
Yards in this area consist of rock and clay. It’s difficult stuff to dig in and you pretty much have to soak it down to dig at all. Soak, dig, and after going down about six inches I started hitting rocks.