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Kosh

Unregistered

1

Thursday, May 2nd 2013, 7:53pm

Zone seemingly has low pressure

Hello all,

The irrigation system was put in around September of 2012. I paid a company to come out and winterize it since I don't have a compressor capable of blowing out the lines. Spring time is here so I took it upon myself to de-winterize it (activate) it. This is the first house I've lived in with an irrigation system so I took to the web to find out how I should do this without damaging the system. I read many articles and found a lot of common steps so I decided to go for it. I first went outside and closed the pep-cocks (not sure if I have the term right) on the backflow preventer. I also opened the the valve from the house to the backflow preventer all the way (it was left about 1/2 to 3/4 open over the winter). I had my wife turn on the valve about 1/4 of the way inside the house the water came out of the top of the backflow preventer as i expected. I then had her turn it on all the way. With the water flowing from the top of the backflow preventer I then slowly turned valve to the on position that leads to the sprinkler system. The backflow preventer fully activated and water stopped coming out of it. Hopefully the steps I took up to this point was correct.

I went into my garage and plugged in the electronic sprinkler control panel. I manually turned on each zone and ran it for a few minutes. I went around and looked to see if any sprinkler heads were buried or stuck, a couple were and I moved the dirt/debris out of the way.

Everything seemed to work as intended until I tested my last zone (zone 6). The first couple heads seem to have decent pressure but all the sprinkler heads after that had very little pressure. I turned off the manual run and unplugged the control panel. I went to the valve box on the side of the house and manually opened zone 6. The zone performed the same as before with low pressure. I went and observed each head to see if any were stuck or blocked and they seemed to be OK. Suddenly, the other sprinklers with low pressure started flowing properly. I thought great maybe something was just in the pipe impeding the flow. I went back to the valve box and turned it off (remember i turned it on manually). Went back into garage, plugged in the electronic sprinkler control box, and manually ran the zone again. To my surprise, it was back to the low pressure crap it was doing before. I thought I would let it run for a few more minutes like last time and it would come back to full pressure but it did not. I have now unplugged the control panel.

Having a irrigation system is new to me so I'm learning as I go. If my method to de-winterizing it was wrong please let me know so I do not repeat that mistake. Also, any ideas on what might be causing the low pressure for one of my zones will be greatly appreciated as well. I believe that because my system is new there should be some sort of warranty, but I fear it might get screwed if the cause of the improper function was the result of my actions.

My first thought was maybe the valve didn't open all the way which is why I manually opened it but that doesn't seem to be the problem. The only remaining things I can think of is that there is a break in the pipe (which seemed weird to me that when I ran it the first time full pressure came back eventually). My other thought is there could be some debris in pipe although I don't see how that could of happened especially since I currently have nothing but grass (no trees or bushes with roots that could of gone crazy).

Let me know thoughts, I look forward to your input!

Scott76

Active Member

Posts: 46

Location: Kansas City

2

Monday, May 6th 2013, 10:54am

There are many different things that can cause this. You can almost rule out a leak because the pressure came back. My thoughts would be along the following, bad diagphram or a blockage that is moving around. With it being a new system, the likelyhood of a bad diagphram is small so I would lean toward a blockage.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,448

Location: USA

3

Tuesday, May 7th 2013, 6:59pm

I've seen a on a rare occasion a loose fitting where the pipe comes out of the fitting to where sometimes it's holding pressure and sometimes it's flooding stealing all the water from the heads. It's possible there's a problem between where you saw the head with a good spray and the next sprinkler that isn't spraying well.
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Are the seals bad on the sprinklers? Can you get the line to work by manually pulling the heads up?
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What happens when you turn the valve on with the bleeder screw?

Scott76

Active Member

Posts: 46

Location: Kansas City

4

Tuesday, May 7th 2013, 11:02pm

On the blockage, I would take the valve for zone 6 apart (after turning the water supply off) and look inside the bottom of the valve and see if you see any junk/debris/parts. Remove said junk/debris/parts and reassemble the valve. While you have it apart, it wouldn't hurt to turn the water supply on and allow water to vent from the valve bottom. This will help clear anything that has floated back toward the supply.

A blockage can get in the pipe during install and slowly move around until it finally clogs a valve.

Kosh

Unregistered

5

Friday, May 10th 2013, 7:11am

Zone seemingly has low pressure

Thanks for your responses and help. I've been running the troubled zone for the past few days with no issues. Not sure what was causing the initial problem but it appears to be fixed. It makes me worry a little since I fear it might happen again.

As for how I got it working....not a clue! I just ran the system both manually (opening valve myself) and with the electronic controls and all seems to be well.

Scott76

Active Member

Posts: 46

Location: Kansas City

6

Friday, May 10th 2013, 9:15am

There is a 50/50 chance it happens again. You more than likely have something in the piping and its currently in a position that isn't hurting things. If it moves to where it was before, the problem should return.

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