Sprinkler head trickling water when off


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Old 08-06-23, 07:01 PM
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Sprinkler head trickling water when off

Hello, I have 6 zones for my sprinkler system. In one of the zones, the sprinkler head is slowly trickling water nonstop despite the sprinklers not being on. When I turned off the water to the sprinkler system, the trickling water stopped.

Is this due to a bad solenoid on the valve? Would replacing the solenoid solve this issue? Otherwise, what could the issue be?

Thank you for your help!
 
  #2  
Old 08-06-23, 07:13 PM
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Is the irrigation pipe run to that sprinkler head downhill and water is just draining out? A solenoid valve that hangs slightly open to barely trickle water out of a head and doesn't fully close is quite rare.
 
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Old 08-06-23, 07:27 PM
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My property is pretty flat. I don't think the irrigation pipe is downhill.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 01:05 AM
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When I turned off the water to the sprinkler system, the trickling water stopped.
Then you have done the first step, confirmed that the main valve is not an issue because the one solenoid only leaks when the main valve is open. So next step, buy a repair kit or even a new valve to see if that solves the problem. The valves are not that expensive and replacing is fast if you can get the valve off!
 
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Old 08-07-23, 04:05 AM
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Thanks, that was what I suspected would be my next step, a new solenoid valve.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 05:36 AM
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a new solenoid valve
Or, replace just the solenoid if that's possible on your system...
 
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Old 08-07-23, 07:20 AM
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Yeah that's what I meant, replacing the solenoid.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 07:56 AM
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All the zone heads would show same symptoms if the zone valve/solenoid was defective.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 07:58 AM
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All the zone heads would show same symptoms if the zone valve/solenoid was defective.
Could be a small leak that is collecting at the lowest/last head.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:20 AM
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Could be a small leak that is collecting at the lowest/last head.
If that's the case, would replacing the solenoid solve it or is beezlebob right that if it was the solenoid, then all the heads in the zone would leak?

​​​​​​​THanks.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:25 AM
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All the heads in that zone fed by that one solenoid valve would have the same available water pressure and if hung or failed to close, would therefore all show signs of leakage.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:33 AM
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All the heads in that zone fed by that one solenoid valve would have the same available water pressure, and would therefore all show signs of leakage.
I will do a double check of the other sprinkler heads in that zone. If none of them are leaking and only the one sprinkler head is leaking, then the problem is not the solenoid head, right?

If none of the other sprinkler heads are leaking, then what?

​​​​​​​Thanks!
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:51 AM
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The water you see leaking from that one head is no doubt coming from or being released from somewhere. What/where is that source?

Keep in mind that a closed solenoid still presents a system where even closed popup heads provide a slight vent to the atmosphere needed for remaining water pressure and water weight to flow out of the system via the path of last resistance.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:53 AM
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I understand, but it does not look like water that's draining out. There is a constant, steady trickle of water that does not stop. It only stops when I turn off the water to the system.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 10:58 AM
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It really doesn't matter what head has, doesn't have water. You confirmed when the main valve is off they stop so the next valve down the line is the solenoid. Don't know what valves you have but a repair kit is $10 and a new valve is $20. It's the next thing to swap out in the process of elimination.
 
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Old 08-07-23, 11:02 AM
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There is a constant, steady trickle of water that does not stop. It only stops when I turn off the water to the system.
I would look at the water source valve as a potential culprit. Also, keep in mind the popup with the least shaft and spring resistance will be the one that will deliver the trickle from real low pressure and flow rate.
 
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Old 08-09-23, 08:52 AM
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If none of the other sprinkler heads are leaking, then what?
I haven’t searched for it but I think this has come up before on this forum: just one head leaking. I am not sure so you have to take this with a grain of salt, but I think the consensus was as Marq1 stated in post #9:

Could be a small leak that is collecting at the lowest/last head.
I don’t have a sprinkler system so I don’t want to recommend a test that could do harm. But I don’t see how this test could hurt if those heads just screw on/off. Could you unscrew the head that is leaking and cap it with a PVC cap (very cheap), and then see if the leak moves to another head, and if so, cap that one also, and see if the leak moves again to another head.

Maybe you would see the leak move in kind of like a line or something, indicating a slight incline in your system which would explain why that one head would vent the leak.

But that test would be just to make you feel comfortable before you change the valve, if you are really bugged by just that one head leaking.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 08-09-23 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 08-10-23, 07:05 PM
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I don't have an issue changing the solenoid valve. It's $10 and from what I've watched on youtube, it seems like a very simple swap. I've done more difficult things than that around my house. Thank you for the suggestion.
 
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Old 08-11-23, 05:06 PM
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Hello all,



I did some work on my valves today. Here's some information I found out today:



1) The brand of my valves are Irritrol



2) The sprinkler head that's leaking is in fact the lowest in the zone. I have a slight incline and this sprinkler head is on the bottom of the slight incline.



3) When I opened up the valve corresponding to the zone, everything looked good in the valve. Nothing looked broken or torn. However, despite the water being shut off and the controller being on standby, water was coming out of the valve. See this link: Bad Valve. I decided to open up the valve next to the "bad valve." As you can see in the video I took, no water was coming out of it: Good Valve



I suppose the water coming out of the valve like that is a big clue as to why the sprinkler head has water coming out of it. I would imagine this has nothing to do with the solenoid?



Thanks for all your help!
 
  #20  
Old 08-11-23, 05:53 PM
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Are you sure you're not seeing backflow from that one valve? With your water shutoff that amount of water should not be draining from the supply as a vacuum will develop to slow it down. Your second valve that is not leaking might be positioned in such a way as to prevent backflow (i.e. it's a high point)?

It take just a small amount of debris to to allow water to leak by a valve sealing surface. Although my valves are supposed to be "self cleaning" and I have a filter on it, occasionally I'll find small debris inside the valve. How it gets there I have no idea, but after opening up the valve and flushing it, it seals again.
 
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Old 08-12-23, 06:59 AM
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I don't know if it's backflow. I am learning about this as I go. I did not see any debris inside the valve. When I took the valve apart, I had a bucket of water next to me so I could dunk the parts in there and get the dirt/debris off that was sitting on there.
 
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Old 08-19-23, 05:46 PM
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Update:

I found out my valves are the irritrol 2400t valve. I have 6 zones for my sprinkler system. The zone with the leaky sprinkler head is Zone 5. I bought a new irritrol valve, took everything out of the valve body from the Zone 5 valve and replaced it with the guts from the new valve. I put the water back on, but the Zone 4 sprinkler heads are shooting water even though the controller is not on. None of the other sprinkler heads are shooting water.

Thus, I was not able to check if the new solevoid/valve guts solved the leaky sprinkler head in Zone 5.

Since I opened up the Zone 4 valve last week (see "good valve" video in the post from 8/11/23), that was Zone 4 valve), I thought maybe I didn't put it back together properly. I disassembled it and reassembled it. That didn't work. Water is still shooting out of it.

However, when I first opened Zone 4, the metal part on the bottom of the solenoid itself fell out. When I inspected the bottom of the solenoid compared to the old Zone 5 solenoid that I just replaced, you can see it's missing (see the two pics below).

Here is the video of the Zone 4 valve shooting water when the water is turned on, but I did not direct the controller to run the zone: LINK

Here, you can see the two solenoids side by side. One has the white plastic/silver ring and the other one appears to be missing it: LINK

Is the reason for the water shooting out of the valve and all the sprinkler heads due to the missing white/silver part at the bottom of the solenoid? I'm thinking of testing the old Zone 5 solenoid on the Zone 4 valve.
 
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Old 08-19-23, 06:02 PM
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Is the reason for the water shooting out of the valve and all the sprinkler heads due to the missing white/silver part at the bottom of the solenoid?
Yes. The solenoid plugs a small hole which through the magic of pressure difference on unequal size areas allows the valve to open and close. You can confirm the valve still work by your plan to switch solenoids.

Did you lose the white piece in the dirt?

This might help, might not...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJxzewHgutI

Edit: Those solenoids look a little used/rough. They might be letting just enough water through to overcome the pressure differential and slightly open the valve allowing a little water through the valve before the pressure reset (and repeats). This might lead to what appears to be a leak on that zone. I'd buy a new solenoid even if you find the missing white piece. To test it out.
 
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Old 08-19-23, 08:06 PM
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I donít know if I lost it in the dirt. I unscrewed it and the thing fell out. I didnít notice any other pieces fly out or anything resting in the dirt.

Iíll try the old Zone 5 solenoid in the Zone 4 valve and see if that at least stops the water from spraying out.
 
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Old 08-27-23, 12:10 PM
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Yes. The solenoid plugs a small hole which through the magic of pressure difference on unequal size areas allows the valve to open and close. You can confirm the valve still work by your plan to switch solenoids.

Did you lose the white piece in the dirt?

This might help, might not...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJxzewHgutI

Edit: Those solenoids look a little used/rough. They might be letting just enough water through to overcome the pressure differential and slightly open the valve allowing a little water through the valve before the pressure reset (and repeats). This might lead to what appears to be a leak on that zone. I'd buy a new solenoid even if you find the missing white piece. To test it out.
I swapped the solenoids. At first, it was looking good. A little water was seeping out and the sprinklers were not shooting out water. I waited a few more minutes to see if water would stop seeping out. However, the opposite happened. The valve started gushing water out and the sprinkler heads began shooting water.



I'm lost. I don't know why it would do that. And yes, the solenoid was screwed in tightly. Do I have any more steps to take or do I just bring in the sprinkler guy?
 
  #26  
Old 08-27-23, 01:59 PM
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Confirm that you only have issues with that one valve? And that it occurs when you switch the main supply on? Points towards something incorrect with the internals of the valve. Since this just started after you disassembled it, something probably went wrong on the reassembly. Here is a view of the internals for reference (page 3).

https://cdn2.toro.com/en/-/media/Fil...2400-2600.ashx

When I had issues similar to this, all I did was buy a new valve, gut the old valve and put all the internals of the new valve in the old valve body. Way cheaper than calling in outside help and just as easy as changing just the solenoid. Rarely is the actual valve body damaged.

 
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Old 08-27-23, 03:29 PM
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So here's what happened:

I bought a new valve. I took the guts of the new valve and put it in the body of Valve 5 EXCEPT for the divider. The old divider seemed like a better fit than the new divider, which felt a little loose. Perhaps I should put the new divider in. Right now, it appears that Valve 5 has some slight water seepage coming from it. I actually can't tell if that's water from Valve 4 spitting onto Valve 5 so it looks like water is coming out of it because the switches to turn the water back on is in my basement. I turn on the water supply, come upstairs and outside and around to the side of the house. By then, I can't tell if the wetness sitting on top of Valve 5 is from seepage of water from the valve itself or from Valve 4. I'm operating under the assumption that Valve 5 has some slight seepage.

When I turned on the water supply, all of a sudden, Valve 4 began spurting out water. We hypothesized that maybe the solenoid was missing that white circular piece and that was causing the water to shoot out and the sprinkler heads to spray water despite the controller being off. I then took the old Valve 5 solenoid and put it in Valve 4 to see if that solves the issue. It didn't. Perhaps the parts don't go together and I need a new valve and all the guts are from the same valve instead of mixing and matching.

I'm thinking:

First step: Buy a new valve and replace the guts of Valve 4 with the new valve to see if that stops the water from spraying.

Second step: If the first step solves the issue with Valve 4, then go back to Valve 5 and put in the new divider and take out the old divider. Maybe doing that and reassembling the valve will stop any seepage.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 08-27-23, 04:13 PM
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Put a piece of wood in-between the valves to stop cross watering so you can isolate where the water is coming from. If valve 4 was fine from the beginning and all you did was pull the solenoid, then put the original solenoid back on it. I wouldn't touch the inside if you haven't yet. Check to make sure all o-rings are present and in good condition.

Any leakage from the valve to the exterior can cause the valve internals to open up and provide flow to your sprinkler zone. Confirm you didn't mess with the little bleed screw (#5) at anytime.

Did you watch the YouTube video, it holds your hands on how to make sure your putting everything back together correctly, plus it shows what parts need to be where so you can see if anything is missing (like the small steel pipe in the middle of the valve body).

Main thing is you need to ID where the water is coming from ("leaking") on both valves before you can start towards a solution. If the valves are wet when you get to them, dry them off and watch for water. Or set your phone up to record when you turn on the water to see what happens.
 
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Old 08-27-23, 07:52 PM
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When I replaced the Zone 5 valve guts/solenoid, that's when the issues with the Zone 4 valve started. Water started shooting out of that valve. I think this is because when I first opened up Zone 4 and 5 valves to troubleshoot, the solenoid metal part fell out of the body. I think I lost that white plastic part in the dirt. At the time, I thought it was odd that the solenoid part fell out. I put it back in and put it back into the valve. I replaced the Zone 5 valve and turned everything on. Then Zone 4 started shooting water everywhere. That's why I tried the old Zone 5 valve solenoid on Zone 4, to see if that would temporarily fix the issue.

I did fuss with the bleed screw. But I tightened it back.

I watched several YouTube videos on how to disassemble/reassemble the valve two weeks ago. I don't remember if I watched yours. I will watch yours tomorrow.

I do think the Zone 5 valve needs a small tweak to get it to stop seeping water. Maybe something in the assembly that I need to do correctly. I can watch the YouTube video, disassemble, and reassemble.

When I placed the old Zone 5 solenoid valve into the Zone 4 valve earlier today, here's what happened.

LINK - in this link, this was right when I first turned the water on. Zone 5 valve on the left...you can see a little water pooling. But the Zone 4 valve on the right is shooting a little water.

LINK - in this link is about 3-4 minutes after the link above. You can see that after a few minutes, lots of water started shooting out of the Zone 4 valve. I didn't touch anything. I was just standing there watching the valves. I was hoping that giving it a few minutes would stop the water from coming out of the valve.
 
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Old 08-27-23, 08:59 PM
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In your first video, the bleed screw on zone 4 either needs to be tightened, or is stripped. The bleed screws are softer plastic than the valve body and can deform or strip easily if over tightened (can also be cross threaded). I would attempt to tighten it first, if no luck switch the bleed screw with zone 5 bleed screw, be gentle but firmly tighten it. You can also flush that port by unscrewing the bleed screw completely then turning the main on and off. If your unable to stop water from coming out that port/bleed screw the valve guts need to be replaced.

The zone 5 valve, it appears the slight leakage is coming from the crown (the circular part that screws onto the valve body). This means either it is not screwed down tightly enough or the gasket has failed. You will have to visually look at the gasket to confirm it is ok. Try tightening it first.

In the second video, it appears the water is coming from the crown of zone 4 . Again this means either it is not screwed down tightly or the gasket is not sealing correctly due to damage or misalignment.
 
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Old 08-28-23, 08:41 AM
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Thank you. When you say "crown," are you referring to the nut cap as listed on the diagram that you linked me to? I doubt the gasket failed on the Zone 5 valve b/c the guts of that valve is completely brand new.

When you say gasket, which part are you referring to on the manual? I just want to make sure I'm on the same page as you.
 
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Old 08-28-23, 12:34 PM
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I also watched the YouTube video that you posted: LINK

I do not have that tool he has to tighten the nut cap. I wonder if that's my issue.

Also, the guy puts the cover assembly into the nut cap and then screws it in. But when I do that, the cover assembly doesn't stay inside the nut cap. It's easier for me to put the cover assembly over the diaphragm/spring, hold it in place with my left index finger and use my right hand to screw the nut cap on. If I do it this way, will that be an issue?
 

Last edited by RJHNY1; 08-28-23 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 08-28-23, 01:30 PM
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I have an update. I went back to the valves.

Zone 5: I tightened the bleed screw and I was able to manually tighten the nut cap a little more. I have not turned on the water, but let's see if that stops any water from seeping through. I haven't turned on the water because, read the next paragraph.

Zone 4: I went back to the valve and decided to see if I can follow your advice. It seemed loose in there. I disassembled it and went to put it back together. I have a major issue. The cover assembly is not secure in its place. It wiggles and moves around. See this video: LINK

I decided to get the old valve guts from the Zone 5 valve. I put it in the Zone 4 valve. However, I have same problem with the cover assembly being loose. See this video: LINK You can see the Zone 5 valve on the left, which is pretty solid in its place, which I did 2 weeks ago. Then you see the Zone 4 valve with the old Zone 5 valve guts on the right, which is loose.

Your guidance would be most appreciated!
 
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Old 08-28-23, 02:56 PM
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are you referring to the nut cap
Yes

When you say gasket...
It's integral to the diaphragm. Its the upper outer part of the diaphragm that provides the seal between the cover assembly and the valve body. That's where I think your slow leak is occurring if the nut cap is not screwed down tight enough or if it is damaged/distorted.

If I do it this way, will that be an issue?
Whatever work best for you is fine

It wiggles and moves around.
That is a problem. Some possibilities are...the gasket is the incorrect size, the cover assembly thickness is different between the original and the replacement, the nut cap is not fully screwed down, the divider thickness is different between the original and the one you replaced it with. I'm having a hard time following everything you did so I would go back to the beginning and replace the guts of the zone 4 valve with its original parts and start from there. If I remember correctly that valve was working fine, so put it back to what it was and it should still work fine.

Hopefully tightening the nut cap on the zone 5 fixed that issue.


 
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Old 08-28-23, 03:36 PM
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In this video that I posted earlier: LINK In this video, that's the original guts of the Zone 4 valve that you see there. I only tested it with the guts of the former Zone 5 valve to see if the same issue persisted. The same problem happened with the guts of the Zone 4 valve and the guts of the old Zone 5 valve. Just to be clear, I did not mix and match with the parts. I took everything out of the Zone 4 valve and put everything in from the old Zone 5 valve.

Hopefully tightening the nut cap on the zone 5 fixed that issue.
I hope so. I don't want to put the water back on b/c it's going to flood the valve box with the way the Zone 4 valve is right now.

​​​​​​​It's integral to the diaphragm. Its the upper outer part of the diaphragm that provides the seal between the cover assembly and the valve body. That's where I think your slow leak is occurring if the nut cap is not screwed down tight enough or if it is damaged/distorted.
The Zone 5 valve right now is all new. Not the valve body, but everything else. Nothing should be damaged or distorted. If it's still leaking a little water next time I turn it on, I'll disassemble and make sure the diaphragm is sealed properly. I remember running my finger around the edge of the diaphragm to make sure it was in place.
 
  #36  
Old 08-28-23, 06:48 PM
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original guts of the Zone 4 valve
Not intending to demean your work, but if that has all the original parts back in your zone 4 valve (which worked fine prior to disassembly) then that points to a reassembly error, or the the nut cap isn't screwed down enough. Not sure what to tell you now.....
 
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Old 08-28-23, 06:53 PM
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No offense taken. The very first time I took apart the Zone 4 valve assembly, the solenoid part fell out of the body. The white o-ring that keeps it in the solenoid body is not there. So when I put it back in the valve and turned on the water, I think that's why the valve is not working properly. That's why I put the old Zone 5 valve solenoid in the Zone 4 valve, to see if that would fix the issue. But it seems like that just created other issues.

Regarding the nut cap, it definitely is screwed down. I cannot twist it anymore. I put on a glove for a better grip, but for some reason, the cover assembly is very loose in there.

I don't know what to tell you. I've followed all the videos, including the one you shared, to a T. The Zone 5 valve is pretty tight and snug.

Do you think at this point, I should buy a new valve, take the guts out, and put it in the Zone 4 valve body and go from there?
 
  #38  
Old 08-29-23, 10:50 AM
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the solenoid part fell out of the body
Obviously should not affect the fit/tightness of the cover assembly.

should buy a new valve
Might be your only option. Before installing I would compare carefully the old to the new to see if anything looks different. Maybe you catch the issue before the install and be able to fix it without using the new valve guts.
​​​​​​​
 
  #39  
Old 08-29-23, 11:02 AM
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Yeah, I don't understand why the cover assembly is not being held in place. I may go back out there later after work and take another look. I am baffled.

What I may do is take the guts from the Zone 4 valve, bring it inside the house, and practice it on the new Zone 5 valve body that I have sitting inside. I want to see if I can get it tight while sitting at my table. It's much easier than being hunched over on my knees outside. Maybe if I play around with it, I can get a better idea of what I'm doing wrong.
 
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Old 08-29-23, 12:37 PM
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So, inside my house, I took the guts of the Zone 4 valve and practiced it on the brand new Zone 5 valve body that I did not use when replacing the guts of Zone 5. I put it together and I'm happy to say the cover assembly is on tight and does not move.

I wonder why outside, in the valve box, using the same exact parts, the cover assembly is loose on the Zone 4 valve body.
 
 

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