Irrigation system issue


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Old 04-17-24, 02:16 PM
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Irrigation system issue

As per usual, my stepson in Idaho had his irrigation system winterized, as he has in previous years. We can’t get water flowing no matter what we’ve tried.

In the yard are two green-covered irrigation basins, where each of six zone valves are located & all solenoids are functioning. There are two ball valves, one before the vacuum breaker, & one after.

Walking a straight line to the front of the house is a circular, green-covered basin, with a valve located at the bottom. My assumption is that this is the irrigation system’s main shutoff. Turning the valve in either direction produces nothing, meaning, the sound of rushing water. In the past, all that was necessary was turning on the valves before & after the vacuum breaker.

During winterization, no one entered the house, so we’re puzzled as to the lack of water. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 04-17-24, 05:09 PM
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There is a shutoff in the house that shuts off the water to the irrigation. Otherwise everything would freeze.
 
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Old 04-17-24, 06:43 PM
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Irrigation System Issue

At no time, did the Winterization Service Technician ever enter the house, as no one was home at the time of the service. Could anything else be the culprit, explaining the lack of water flow? The Rainbird Control Panel is 100% functional.
 
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Old 04-17-24, 07:25 PM
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If water wasn't shut off in the house.... and you are turning a zone on and are getting no water... listen at the water meter. If you hear water running as the zone is running then you likely have an underground broken (frozen) pipe somewhere between the house and box.

Water ALWAYS needs to be shut off inside the house in freezing climates.
 
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Old 04-17-24, 09:34 PM
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Irrigation System Issue

In the event there was a leak between the shutoff & the irrigation box, is there a way to pressure test the line from below the vacuum breaker to the irrigation shutoff valve?
 
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Old 04-18-24, 05:08 AM
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Are there two water meters? That is sometimes done with irrigation systems. The water may be turned off at the street/meter.

Also, sometimes irrigation T's off of the main water line between the meter and house. There is often a shutoff installed near the connection so the irrigation system can be isolated.
 
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Old 04-18-24, 11:38 AM
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Irrigation System Issue

The water meter at the street did in fact have two meters, but one of them belongs to the neighbor. We shut off every water consuming fixture in & around the house & then observed the water meter. On the water meter is a compass-like device that spins as water is consumed. With all water consuming fixtures off, there was absolutely no movement of the compass-like device. If there was a leak, the compass-like device would be spinning. Then we turned on a water fixture, & the compass-like device began spinning.

During the Winterization Blowout, could something have occurred to prevent water flowing from the water main?
 
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Old 04-18-24, 03:27 PM
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Since you have underground metering.... there is a 99% chance that the sprinkler shutoff is underground and on the house side of the meter.

There needs to be an anti siphon valve in the system.
It's typically above ground. That's what you need to find.
It will have shutoffs on it.
 
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Old 04-18-24, 05:49 PM
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Irrigation System Issue

Upon further investigation, at the bottom of the green-covered irrigation pit, is what looks like a plug of sorts (maybe a stop & waste valve, based on Internet pics?) adjacent to the conventional looking shutoff valve. Any ideas on this adjacent
fixture, & could its closed state be the reason for no water flow? What’s the purpose of this additional plug/valve?
 
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Old 04-19-24, 11:43 AM
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Irrigation System Issue

Okay, thanks for everyone’s collective input, but we figured it out. As it turns out, at the bottom of the circular, green, lid-covered irrigation pit was a stop & waste valve in addition to a drain valve. Once we figured it out, the irrigation system was back to normal.
 
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Old 04-19-24, 01:39 PM
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There should still be an anti siphon valve in the system.
If not... your system is very old or was installed with no inspection.
 
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Old 04-21-24, 10:37 AM
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Irrigation System Issue

I believe I mentioned a vacuum breaker previously. Doesn’t the vacuum breaker serve the same function as an anti-siphon; preventing “dirty water” from backing up into the house water?
 
 

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