New to irrigation system


Old 07-17-18, 03:22 PM
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New to irrigation system

New home has a RainBird irrigation system, 5 zones. Is there a way to detect leaks? I have quite a few holes/sinking spots in my yard; they aren't wet/muddy at the surface. Some may be from previous owners dog digging, or old tree stumps below surface, or ???. Several seem to be near sprinkler heads or valve boxes though... so I am wondering if there are leaks there, or settling due to filling in the holes (not sure how old the system is).

Other than digging these low spots and risking more leaks if I hit the sprinkler pipes, any other ideas? Are flow meters common? I saw the new Rachio v3 smart sprinkler system supports them, but haven't seen them elsewhere.

Also, my 2 outdoor spigots are on opposite side of house from driveway and new tree. Can one be added at my above ground sprinkler PVC pipes (after backflow but before sprinkler valves), or not advisable?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-17-18, 04:48 PM
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If you have a leak you will know it, there will be a big wet muddy spot.

Personally I would not add a spigot to a sprinkler system, I would get it added to the house plumbing but that is me!
Old 07-18-18, 05:23 AM
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Leaks on the downstream side of your valves are difficult to detect unless they are gushers. You can probe the sunken areas with a metal rod or wooden dowel to see if it's unusually wet underground. Other than that you can dig. Usually a major leak after the valves will cause the sprinklers to not perform well due to reduced flow and pressure.

You did not say where you are located but if you are anywhere there are freezing temperatures if adding a spigot you should use a yard hydrant. That would make the new spigot frost/freeze resistant.
Old 07-18-18, 05:52 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, some of the spots at least are after valves so they would only leak while that zone is active. All the sprinkler heads seem to be working well. I'll try the dowel idea.

The city water meter is on north side of home near the sprinkler backflow and garage. Unfortunately the water main comes up into house through the slab more on the south side where the existing spigots are. I don't think there is any plumbing on the north side of the house to tap into (except the sprinkler). Indiana, so will be getting freezing temps Oct-Apr. If I were to put a spigot on sprinkler pipes, it would be blown out and disabled with the sprinklers.
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