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Proper Care

Page history last edited by pinkhamc@... 2 years, 8 months ago

Table of Contents (Items Covered on This Page)







WoWs in the garden have a tendency to collect dirt on the bottom inside and outside.  Debris also collects in the bottom of the pockets.  The easiest way to deal with these problems is to have a large tub that you can set the WoW in for a few minutes to soften the dirt.  When the soak is done, grab the WoW with one hand on the top and one on the bottom.  Tip it upside down so about 1/3 of the water empties out.  Now turn it upright again and close off the top with one hand and with the other still on the bottom, vigorously rotate your hands back and forth several times so the one on the bottom becomes the one on the top and visa versa.  This suspends any debris that may have previously settled in the bottom of the pockets.  At the end of one of the rotations when the hand holding the bottom is now on top, be sure you have a good grip on the bottom and let go of the open end.  Since the WoW is upside down in this orientation, all the water will flush out rapidly, carrying the debris with it.  If debris still remains in a pocket or two, fill that pocket with water and repeat the above process.  Don't get too fussy.   Algae clinging to the inside or a little debris on the inside or dirt the outside of a pocket does not affect the long term performance of the WoW.


Dry the WoW by tipping it upside down in a container such as an empty 5-gallon bucket.  Be sure the bucket is not in the sunlight since that will age the WoW.  See "HOW LONG CAN I EXPECT MY WoW TO LAST?"  It should be dry enough in a day to store until the next gardening season.  See "STORAGE."



Either lay the WoW flat or fold it along the seams (never across them) and store them in a dark place. I have an old dresser with drawer dimensions slightly larger than a WoW laid flat. Since sunlight ages the plastic (See "HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT MY WoW TO LAST?"), keeping it in the dark when it is not in use prolongs its life.



If your WoW develops a leak, a repair kit will be necessary. Each kit contains six repair inserts. It is very easy to use. Make sure the leaking pocket is mostly empty. If necessary, punch a hole in the bottom of the pocket with a nail. Slide a yardstick all the way into the insert and put the yardstick and insert into the empty pocket. Remove the Yardstick and fill the insert with water. Your WoW is now as good as new!  Generally, leaking tubes can best be repaired at two times: when filling for the first time each season or when changing from the tepee to the open configuration.  On occasion, a leaker in the tepee may need to be filled, but generally that configuration is stable even with two or three leaking tubes.  However, in the open configuration, a leaker that is more than half empty should be replaced.


If you should damage a large number of pockets, don't throw the WoW away yet! Identify the good pockets and save as many as you can by cutting parallel to each seam about 1/8th of an inch to the outside of that pocket's seams. Each removed pocket is a repair insert, just like you get in a repair kit!


  (shows how to insert repair tubes in a leaking pocket)

  repair tubes and longev start.MOV (provides tips on prolonging the life of a Wallo'Water-part 1)

  repair tubes and longevity end.MOV (provides tips on prolonging the life of a Wallo'Water-part 2)



This is not an easy question to answer.  It depends in part upon how much care you give your WoWs and how long each is exposed to sunlight in each season of use. Some fans who started using it when it first became available in 1982 reported they were still using the ones they started with ten seasons or more later. Others have had trouble keeping them more than two seasons. Use over many seasons depends upon two factors, listed in decreasing order of occurrence: protection from aging and the vagaries of chance.


1) Protection from aging: Wallo'Waters are treated with an ultra-violet inhibitor which is designed to double the expected life of the WoWs to two years. But remember, your WoWs will be outside for a maximum of three months each season and they will not be out during the months of July and August when ultraviolet light is at its peak, thus they could last from seven to ten seasons. Clearly , storing your WoWs in the dark when they are not being used will have a major impact on how long they last (see "STORAGE").


2) The vagaries of chance: Wallo'Waters are unusually thick for products made of sheet plastic (6 mil) and are treated with a puncture resistor, thus even though each one has 18 pockets that can develop a leak, leaking pockets seldom occur. However, leaking pockets have been caused by sharp stones, careless hoeing, a child armed with a stick, cats chasing grasshoppers, and other diverse causes. Therefore it helps to make sure the WoW is not set on sharp stones, to use care in hoeing and to watch little children and cats when they're in the garden. But even the most careful gardener will eventually have WoWs with leaking pockets. When this happens, an instant repair kit (see "REPAIR KIT") will solve the problem.



Your Wallo'Water will show aging in two ways:

1) Split seems. This is often the first sign of aging. A pocket will split along the outer edge of a seam. As long as enough of the original seam is still intact, a repair insert will correct the problem and should be used since you could still get one to two more season's use from the WoW.


Generally, when I clean my WoWs (See EMPTYING AND CLEANING), if there are four repair inserts, I save it for next year.  If there are more than four (which means one or more new leaks/split seams developed over that season), I mark the tubes with the repair inserts with an indelible marker, remove the repair inserts so they can be reused, and then make new repair inserts from the good pockets that are left. See "REPAIR KIT."  I adopt this policy because I have found if more than four repair inserts are needed to keep a WoW functioning, it is more economical and efficient to buy a new WoW.


2) Shattered plastic. The wall of the pocket will get brittle and handling will cause it to shatter. When this happens, it is time to buy a new WoW because the walls of the other pockets will soon do likewise.


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