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Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 2:33pm

Leaking Valves

I just bought a house, and I am trying to get the sprinkler system working. The main feed pipe was broken right after the backflow preventer. I excavated the pipe and replaced it. After turning the system on, one zone was stuck on, and the backflow preventer leaked like a sieve. After I put a rebuild kit in the backflow valve, all the zones started working, and I could turn the system on and off like your supposed to. I then found two broken off sprinkler heads that I had to replace.

I then opened the valve box that the main pipe feeds into. The box was full of water. I then excavated the pipe all the way to the valves, and the valves them selves. It looked like two of the valves were leaking. They are Richdel 204AT screw on top valves. I took the valve apart, and the diaphragm looked okay. I put the valves back together and they starting leaking really bad. I took the tops off and put them back on again, and they still leak horribly.

I can't seem to find parts for the valves. They are old, the system was installed in 1988. Im thinking that I am going to have to cut the valves out, and redo the assembly. What valves should I replace them with? or am I missing something to get these old ones to stop leaking. Thanks.



Posts: 2,324

Location: USA


Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 10:10pm

I've had problems with the old jar tops leaking even with a new bonnet and diaphragm. But not always. Here's what you need. 2400


Wednesday, May 24th 2017, 11:20am

I see there are two types of 2400's listed. Flow control or non flow control. Whats the difference besides the price? I'm just going to replace all four valves in the assembly. My luck the other two will start leaking after I replace the leaky ones. Thanks.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,298

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, May 24th 2017, 12:47pm

Flow-Control versions of 2400 valves are taller, so if there was very little clearance between the valves and the lid of the box, you stay with the standard version. Do note that you can use the 'guts' of a 2400 to rebuild a R204A valve. That means the old valve receives a new diaphragm assembly and bonnet, and the old stainless steel tube in the R204A body is replaced by the shorter one removed from the 2400. Fair warning - without a large pair of slip-joint pliers, it can be very difficult to properly tighten the cover ring on the R204A, because it tends to stick. The 2400 got round the sticking problem by using a different cover-ring material and a different thread pattern to go with it (which is why the rebuilds of the R204A require you to keep the original cover ring)


Wednesday, May 24th 2017, 1:31pm

The space was pretty tight in the valve box. I got four 2400 non flow controls coming. Its too bad that my local stores just carry Orbit Watermaster valves. I'm also glad that I found out they are pretty poor quality, before I used them.

I already got the area all dug up. After 30 years in the ground, I'm going to just replace them. I found some more piping repairs that need to be addressed after getting everything all uncovered as well. Looks to me that someone didn't winterize the system in the no too distance past. They ended up breaking all this piping that needs fixing, and never bothered to repair it. Thanks for the replies guys.

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