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chuck13

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1

Friday, September 20th 2019, 1:58pm

Sprinkler Zone Not Functioning

I have an issue where one zone in my sprinkler system does always function correctly. About half of the time, the sprinkler heads do no fully pop. When they do pop, it is never immediate and usually takes anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes where the heads dribble water without fully popping up and spraying.

I can tell you whatever you want about the system because I built it 2 years ago. This zone has always had intermittent issues. Everywhere I read says this type of issue is caused by a faulty valve. I have cleaned the valve a few times but it never completely fixed the issue. I had this same issue in another zone and I was able to fix it by cleaning the valve AND removing one of the sprinkler heads from the zone. However the zone I fixed was in a less prominent location, and I would really prefer to avoid eliminating a sprinkler head on this zone unless it is absolutely necessary.


It is worth noting that both zones that have the biggest load in terms of water output. They are all rotor zones with 4 and 5 heads. However, I have several other zones with the same sort of setup and no issue at all. The system is low 50-55 PSI and I had it designed specifically to operate at that range, but I have always been worried that the PSI might be the reason for the issue. That is why removing a head has always been a last resort option.


Has anyone had any experience with these issues before?




mrfixit

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Posts: 2,424

Location: USA

2

Friday, September 20th 2019, 4:40pm

You might want to try using nozzles that use less water. That in effect would be similar to removing a sprinkler. Maybe install Hunter PGJ's. It's a smaller rotor and should pop up easier.

Just cleaning a valve wont do much. Maybe swap it out for a better one.

chuck13

Unregistered

3

Saturday, September 21st 2019, 2:27pm

So I was out there today and realized that if I manually open the valve, it works right away every time. If I use the control panel to open the valve, it will have the issues I mentioned above. This leads me to think it might not be an issue with the pressure after all.

mrfixit

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Posts: 2,424

Location: USA

4

Saturday, September 21st 2019, 4:06pm

Ok forget what I said. It's the valve. A new diaphragm would fix you up or install another valve. I don't know which valve you have to suggest which option.

mrfixit

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Posts: 2,424

Location: USA

6

Saturday, September 21st 2019, 9:45pm

Yes, I believe if you bought a new valve and swapped out all the parts it should function as new. Just make sure any ports in the valve body free from debris.

chuck13

Unregistered

7

Sunday, September 29th 2019, 12:18pm

OK now I think I really need some advice... I replaced the top half of the valve (and flushed the bottom half) but it did not change the issue. I have a few details which may help to diagnose the problem.

The zone I am having issues with is the closest zone to the source. If I turn the solenoid or use the control panel to turn on the zone, they will dribble water and halfheartedly go through their motions. During this time, I can pull one of the heads upwards and the rest of them will then fully pop. If I do not do this, half of the time the heads will fully pop up after some time, and half of the time they do not fully pop at all.

I use Rainbird 3/4 valves with flow control. Generally I leave the flow setting maximized and the bleed screw fully closed. I think it is important to note that I am able to work this zone 100% of the time by opening the bleed screw. It is only when I use the solenoid or control panel that I have issues.

It is maybe worth noting that the valve I used to replace was not exactly like for like. The store did not have 3/4 valves so I purchased the 1" valve, but I only replaced the top half. When replacing the parts, the top half of the valve, including the washer and spring, was identical to me.

I will say that since the replacement, I have noticed that when I turn the water off there is a low rumbling noise before and immediately after the heads come down. That has me nervous as well.

Any ideas?

mrfixit

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Posts: 2,424

Location: USA

8

Monday, September 30th 2019, 1:50am

I had a feeling you'd be back.
Are the seals leaking so the heads can't pop up?
I'd change any leaky sprinklers. Possibly do what I suggested before.
The noise that Rainbird valves make are the reason I don't install them. Is it a grunting sound? Yeah, It's obnoxious.

chuck13

Unregistered

9

Monday, September 30th 2019, 12:25pm

When you ask if the seals leaking, are you referring to the heads themselves or the valve? Oddly the old valve did leak a little bit, the new one does not.

All 5 of the sprinkler heads will pop up about 1-2 inches and move the way they are supposed to, but they will only squirt water very weakly for maybe a foot or 2. They will also leak water from the very top of the sprinkler head, but I am not sure if that is the issue. Once the heads fully pop (if they do), they will function normally and no longer leak from the top of the sprinkler head.

Do you think there is any concern with the grunting sound? It only happens when I turn the water off. I guess my biggest concern would be that it would do some kind of weird water pressure/hammer thing and blow off a hose clamp or puncture the poly tubing. If it is just an annoying sound, I can live with that.

mrfixit

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Posts: 2,424

Location: USA

10

Monday, September 30th 2019, 10:13pm

Maybe one of the fittings came loose on your poly pipe. Maybe the tubing is bent or pinched by a root Do any digging where maybe it was cut? Look for leaks.

Don't worry about the grunting sound. It's not going to hurt anything.

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