Problem With Old Sprinkler System


Old 11-18-11, 01:22 PM
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Problem With Old Sprinkler System

Hi guys,

I am trying to figure out what I should do about a problem im having. I am currently living in a house built in the 70s or before it. We never used the sprinkler system when we moved in and over the years the sprinkler heads started coming off and leaks started showing up.

So after calling a lawn care company to come fix the leaks they told us it would be best to just turn off the sprinkler system entirely. They spent hours looking for the place to turn off the sprinkler valves and I don't think they ever did find it because new leaks have sprung up and when i went and dug up some of the sprinkler lines some of them were capped. So im guessing since they couldnt find the place to shut off the water supply to the sprinklers they just capped most of the lines. Except i think they missed one and now its leaking.

So now im trying to do it myself I want to find out where I can shut off all the water to the irrigation system, but since this house is so old I have no idea if there even is a shut off. I think its connected to the main line because the only way to turn the sprinklers on or off before were holes in the ground where you turn cross bars in different holes to turn on the sprinklers.

What can I do? There shouldn't be any water going to this sprinkler line or any other sprinkler lines. Shouldn't my irrigation system have a shut off valve from the main line? I don't wanna go looking for it and have to dig it up if it doesn't. Since this house is over 40 years old I am looking for some advice on what you guys think would be the best route to take.

Thanks guys
Old 11-18-11, 01:55 PM
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So, do you not have a controller for the sprinkler system? Some place you can program when you want the sprinklers to come on and for how long.

You mentioned "...holes in the ground where you turn cross bars...". Does closing those valves not work? They sound very much like the shut off's that you are looking for.

Have you looked inside the house, basement or crawlspace for where the irrigation system ties in? If you can't find it in the house you may be correct that they tied directly to the main line coming to the house. Do you know where your main water line is located? If so I would search between there and the holes in the ground that you mentioned.
Old 11-18-11, 02:59 PM
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No control system, like I had mentioned this house was built at least 40 years ago and im guessing thats how old this sprinkler system is. Bare minimum setup I believe.

The cross valves should be the place where I turn them off and it keeps the water from coming out but so far I've only found 2 of them so ill have to keep looking for the others. It would make sense that this is where you turn them off because I am sure this system is connected to the main line. I think i just have to find the rest of them.

And I don't have a crawl space or basement. its a one story house on a concrete slab and I don't know where my main water line comes in. Would it generally be where the water heater is connected? If so I think i can get a general idea where it runs from the street to the house.
Old 11-20-11, 07:19 AM
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What state do you live in? In warmer climates, I think they did (do?) tap off the water main before it even enters the house. The idea is to get the maximum pressure and flow without having to go through extra valves or winding its way inside then outside again.

I would think there would be one master valve that turns them all off, but again, who knows.

If worse comes to worse, you may be able to get a pipe locating company to come out and see what branches off where. Being that it's so old, I'd assume the main and feeds to the sprinklers would be all metal piping making it easy to track and locate.

Good luck!
Old 12-06-11, 01:54 AM
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I would recommend finding the in-groud valves , removing them and capping the pipes. That's the easiest way to do. How to find a the valves rent a valve locator or call a sprinkler company.Don't go pocking around you will only cut wires.

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