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Heidelberg Beach Maintenance Information and Tips

Main Water Supply

At times, it is necessary to shut off water to the entire community. These are usually emergency situations such as a water main break within the subdivision or a need to repair a connection from one of the cottages.

Normally, this is all handled by people familiar with the task. If you need the water to be shut off, if possible please go through official channels and contact a Board member. This will allow everyone to be notified appropriately and the various actions to be coordinated.

These instructions are here in case of emergency and the proper people cannot be contacted.

There are three shut-off valves for our community. Two are associated with our main water meters and are located in maintenance holes, one at the south end of West Virginia Road, and the other near the fire hydrant near the playground. The main shut-off is in a maintenance hole in the extreme southwest corner of the property, up by State Route 6. Look for the fire hydrant; the access cover is nearby. This valve technically belongs to the county.

Unfortunately, because of the organic way our water system was installed, the two valves associated with our main water meters are ineffective in shutting off the water: there are bypasses that allow a significant amount of water through. For this reason, we must use the county's main shut off up by State Route 6.

Equally unfortunately, because of its age, the main valve is incapable of completely shutting off the water. To compensate for this, the basic process is to shut off that valve as completely as possible, and then determine if the pressure has been reduced enough to effect whatever repair is necessary. If the pressure is still too strong, the next step is to open a "bleeder"—usually the fire hydrant near the playground. This bleeder takes pressure off the system and allows most pipes to drain, allowing work to be done. This step should be taken judiciously, since opening the hydrant drains the entire system and puts more risk on straining the junctions, valves, and weak spots when the water is turned back on.

The handle/tool for operating the main value is kept in the garage of the Foote cottage, 47 Kentucky, against the wall in the northeast corner. It has a metal wheel on one end; the wheel is about 8 inches in diameter.

There is an arrow embossed on the wheel with the word "OPEN", ostensibly showing the direction the wheel should be turned to open the valve. Unfortunately, the arrow indication is wrong. Additionally, the directions the valve must be turned are the opposite of the familiar "Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty" mnemonic. Looking down at the wheel, it must be turned clockwise to open (turn on the water), and counterclockwise to close.

The wheel will have to be turned many times to get the water off. In several locations it will probably become very difficult to turn; a pipe wrench may help. It would also be advantageous to have a helper positioned at an open spigot (e.g., the fire hydrant near the playground or an exterior faucet on a cottage), to help gauge when the water is "off" to the fullest extent possible.

Because of the age of the valve, it can get stuck. Sometimes it will happen that the valve will be turned to the point where it won't turn anymore, but the water is still not off. In this case, it may help to reopen the valve several turns, and then close it again. Repeating this opening and closing action can loosen the valve and allow it to be closed further.

Extreme care must be taken when turning the water back on. A sudden "punch" of high-pressure water rushing through a drained or partially-drained system has the potential to damage valves, junctions, and the pipes themselves.

The air in the pipes should also be given a chance to escape to minimize sputtering and debris discharge in all of the cottages. If the fire hydrant near the playground has been opened, position a helper there. If that wasn't done, open several exterior faucets on cottages at the south end of the property, and position your helper accordingly.

Turn the water on very, very slowly until you can hear a trickle running through the main line. Then stop and wait. Your helper should signal you when all air has been expelled, and the water is running clear. You can then slowly open the valve all the way. Once fully open, it's recommended that you back the valve in the opposite direction (close it) one-quarter turn.

Promenade Water Supply

The Promenade water supply feeds three water outlets: (1) the drinking fountain and water spigot by the Pavilion, (2) the spigot roughly in front of 93 Ohio, and (3) the spigot on the beach. To prevent problems associated with frozen lines, volunteers currently shut off the water in the fall and turn in back on again in the spring. In case of emergency that the volunteers are not available, these instructions are provided here.

Monkeying with the Promenade water is tricky. The valve is persnickety; micrometer adjustments are necessary to find the "sweet spots".

Also, the value turns continuously in a circle. Most valves turn one way to open and reach a stopping point; turning the valve in the opposite direction will close it and reach another stopping point. The Promenade water valve turns infinitely in either direction.

The "key" or handle for the valve has a "T" at the top. For purposes of explanation, imagine there is a piece of red tape on one side of the "T", enabling you to differentiate the two sides. Further imagine a clock face above the handle. When the red tape is pointing at the "12", the water is off. Rotating clockwise to the "3", the water is on. Continuing on, at "6" the water is off again, and at "9" the water is on again. You can turn the handle counterclockwise and the same effect will occur.

Here is the key point: even though the water appears to be off at both the "12" and "6" positions, only the "12" position will allow the persnickety valve to be fully, truly turned off. The "6" will slowly leak through the bleeder valve, and eventually flood pools of water onto the Promenade.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you never turn the handle more than a quarter turn in one direction. For example, to turn on the water in the spring, only turn the valve a quarter turn counterclockwise (using the familiar "Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty" mnemonic). Then in the fall, turn the value a quarter turn clockwise to return it to the sweet spot of complete shutoff.

To turn the Promenade water on or off, you'll need the "T" key or handle. It's kept in the Pump House, the small shed in the northeast corner of the property north of the Pavilion. Also handy might be a strong flashlight and a small bucket.

The access for the valve is in a covered riser north of 95 Ohio. A flashlight might be helpful in fitting the key handle onto the valve.

Just to be clear, the clock analogy above was for explanation only; the "12" and "9" positions do not correspond to north or west, for example. When you connect the key handle, that will establish your "12" or "9" position, depending on whether the water is currently off or on. There is also a magic marker indicator on the side of the riser showing the "Winter" (off) position.

To turn the water on, first go down on the beach and uncover the valve under the spigot there. That value is covered by a circular plastic cover; the cover can be removed by sliding it up the spigot pipe (it can be removed completely by carefully passing it over the spigot). Shut that valve, so that the handle is perpendicular to the pipe. Now, up on the Promenade, open the spigot in front of 93 Ohio. Return to the main value and turn it counterclockwise a quarter turn. Watch the spigot on the Promenade and micro-adjust the valve to get the greatest flow.

If you don't get the valve in the perfect position, water may escape from the bleeder valve and begin to fill the riser. More micro-adjusting may be necessary to find the sweet spot where the bleeder valve is off. Again, a flashlight may be helpful to determine if all bleeding is stopped. (The small bucket can also be valuable if the riser becomes too full and needs to be emptied.) Once all is set, shut off the spigot in front of 93 Ohio. Do return after several hours, peek into the riser, and be sure that there is no water inside.

To turn the water off, do the opposite: open the spigot in front of 93 Ohio. Return to the main value and turn it clockwise a quarter turn. Watch the spigot on the Promenade and micro-adjust the valve to get the water stopped. As above, you'll have to get the valve in the perfect position to stop all bleeding, so please refer to that paragraph again. It's much more difficult to find the "off" position than the "on" position.

After the water is off, go down on the beach and open the valve under the spigot. This will drain all the water from the Promenade pipes, so prepare yourself for a flood. Leave that valve and the one on the Promenade open for the winter.

Basketball Goal

The basketball goal has a height-adjusting feature that can vary the height in 6" increments from 7'6" to 10'.

To Raise Goal: Place the end of a broom handle under the rim or backboard and push upward until the desired height is reached. The mechanism will automatically lock in one of the fixed adjustment positions as the unit is lowered slightly.

To Lower Goal: Place pole into the black release cup of the adjustment mechanism (just behind the backboard). Push upward to release, then let gravity lower the goal to the bottom-most position. The mechanism will not lock into the intermediate positions on the way down as long as the cup is depressed.

Entrance Lights

The bulbs used for the entrance lights are currently Ecosmart compact fluorescents, 30 watts (120 watt replacement), 2100 lumens, 3500 K bright white. Any similar compact fluorescent outputting at least 2000 lumens will do.

The bulbs were last purchased at Home Depot (no endorsement implied). For some reason, these specialty bulbs were in a completely different part of the store than the normal light bulb area, so ask before you give up.

To remove the top covers of the fixtures, you must remove two screws (#2 Phillips) on the east and west sides of each fixture, just under the tops. The screws are simply meant to keep the covers from falling off, not to tighten the covers securely.

Be prepared with damp rags and glass cleaning solution, as the fixtures will be full of cobwebs, dead insects, and spider spots.

When you change one bulb, you might as well change them both. You'll have all the tools and materials there, and usually when one goes, the other is not far behind.

The electric eye controlling the lights is to the northeast, near the bottom of the slope, attached to a pole near the edge of the area known as "The Orchard". For testing, put a glove, hat, old sock or rag over the eye and wait several minutes—the lights will come on.