Premature Sprinkler System Check Valve Failure

Old 10-31-22, 11:56 AM
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Premature Sprinkler System Check Valve Failure

I live in south Florida and have a 20 plus year old sprinkler system on a 30 foot deep well which has 6 zones. The water table is about 9 feet below ground level. Over the years the old hydraulic control began to not advance to the next zone correctly and the pressure at the sprinkler heads deteriorated so much that it would barely pop them up. I replaced the pump and the control with a new Rainbird electric model with a valve for every zone. After this the pressure was still low so I located the check valve which was mounted horizontally about 2 feet upstream of the well, about 25 feet from the pump inlet. I replaced the old check valve and the pressure improved substantially but after about a year the valve started intermittently leaking down so that the pump lost its prime, which had never happened before. While replacing the check valve again I treated the well with a sulfamic acid well cleaner product which greatly improved pressure so that I get full coverage for all zones. But after about 4 months the check valve is leaking down again and I am not sure what to fix. Could it be that the Home Depot Everbilt check valves won't seal without being mounted in the vertical position and a few feet down to increase the column of water above it? The well line is 1 1/4" PVC and the valve is approximately 20 inches below the pump inlet. Luckily the pump is near a hose bibb and I can run it on the hose until it sucks enough water from the well to regain its prime.
Old 10-31-22, 03:59 PM
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You talked about the check valve failing and how you replaced it. You never mentioned why it failed? That would be a big clue. Are things dying from mineral buildup or is sand in the water eroding and wearing things out?

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