Irrigation issues


Old 05-20-14, 09:13 AM
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Irrigation issues

So here's the story.... I just bought a house that has an in-ground irrigation system that wasn't working... at all. After locating all the wires and checking solenoids I determined my backflow preventer wasn't passing water to the main line. So of course I turned to the web to see what I could find out since I don't have much experience dealing with BPV's. Nevertheless, I bought a rebuild kit for so now itís working as it should, or so it seems. However, the problem is as soon as I turn on the ball valve to the main on the outlet side of the BVP all my sprinklers turn on. So I took the solenoids valves apart checked for the diaphragms for damage or debris, I went as far as replacing the actuator (solenoids itself) to see if that would do it. I wired up the control box and tried it again, but still the same outcome all sprinkler heads are popping up and wonít shut off even when I turned the zones off at the box. One thing I did notice while enjoying my afternoon shower with these sprinklers is one of my solenoid boxes had an excess amount of water pooling up in and around it. Iím kind of stuck at this point. From everything Iíve found I donít think I have a master valve, but then again Iíve been wrong before. The next logical step is to dig up that solenoid valve and replace the whole thing. Perhaps that may be the master? Any thoughts out there regarding possible solutions?

Disclaimer: Iím not a master plumber or anything, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night!
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Old 05-20-14, 10:40 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

The solenoid valves can be turned on/off via the electrical circuit, but also have a 'manual' override which allows water to flow without the timer being on. This is used for testing and also winterizing. Maybe whoever winterized the system left the valves open?

Another option to try is to unplug the timer completely. This should turn off all the solenoids, and take the electrical side out of the equation. Then you can see if the zones work as expected, check for leaks, etc.

Does the system look reasonably new/clean? Of course just because it's old or overgrown doesn't mean it shouldn't work... but it's a good indicator of how well kept the system is.
Old 05-20-14, 02:38 PM
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First make sure the valves were not left in the manual open position. I doubt it since it sounds like you've taken one or two apart already but it's worth confirming.

Are there any leaks in the valve bodies?

Disconnect or remove power to your controller. If the zones remain on than you have a mechanical problem of some type with the valves.

trapped air
If the sprinklers do stay on I'd go to the valve box and manually cycle each valve to the open and closed positions several times trying to burp and trapped air bubbles out of the valve. You can also try gently/moderately tapping on the valve body to help dislodge stuck air bubbles.

Do your valves have a flow control adjustment? If so try closing (reducing the flow) the flow control. You should reach a point where the valve will close. If you don't have flow control on the valve try turning down the flow adjustment on your emitters.
Old 05-20-14, 05:46 PM
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Hi. On top of the valve there is a knob in the center that controls flow, leave that alone. On the top off center is a smaller knob that is a bleeder used to manually turn the water on and off make sure it's closed.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
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