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Sunday, May 27th 2018, 6:12pm

one zone dripping when another zone is on?

Hi Guys, looking for some help!
My system has 5 zones, all isolated by a master valve.
Zones 1,2 & 3 are all pop-up spray heads.
Zones 4& 5 are dripper, and micro spray heads-mixed in each zone.
Zones 1, 2, & 3 all work normally.
Zone 4 works well when it is ON, but when zone 5 is on, it has low pressure, and water trickles out of the zone 4 heads. Zone 4 heads do not trickle when either the master valve is on by itself, or when zones 1,2,& 3 are running.
The valves are rain bird brand, and I have replaced the diaphragm and solenoid for both Zones 4&5 valves, being careful to clean them well before re-assembly I have checked the voltage at the controller and the valves with my voltmeter, and found it to be correct. Even with zone 4 wires disconnected, it still trickles when zone 5 in on.
I found and fixed several leaks in zone 5, and while fixing the leaks has resulted in more zone 5 flow, zone 4 still drips when 5 is on. I am looking for more leaks, but there is nothing obvious.
One thing I found that was interesting, is that very low voltage can be detected in all of the + zone wires whenever normal voltage is flowing thru one of the wires. I thought maybe I had a short in my wire, so I bought some brand new wire and tested to see if there was voltage leak in the new wire, and there was!!-same as my exiting wire.

I'm stumped! ?(


Active Member

Posts: 42

Location: Washinton


Sunday, May 27th 2018, 7:59pm

Can you turn on zone 5 manually at the valve? If so does it function the same? This would eliminate an electrical cause for your issue.
Does zone 4 leak when any of the other zones are on? Depending on they layout the leaking may be due to "low head drainage" basicly gravity draining the water out of lines and not an actual leak. Yes, sometimes valves do not seal all the way, but you can usually listen to the valve and hear water flowing through it, if it is leaking by.
That is the main downside to drip irrigation the leaks! If properly installed they have flow regulators and filters on them just after the valves, you can check to see if you have clogged filter perhaps or a fault regulator.
Either zone 5 is to big, or there is a leak. Please let us know what happens when you open zone 5 manually, instead of by the controller.


Sunday, May 27th 2018, 10:10pm

When I open zone 5 manually, zone 4 still drips. Zone 4 won't drip when zones 1,2,or 3 are open manually, and zone 4 will not drip if only the master valve is opened manually. When zone 5 is on, and zone 4 drips--i don't think the solenoid for zone 4 is activated. The reason I think this is--that I can turn on zones 4&5 at the same time-manually or electronically, and zone 4 & 5 will drip and spray like normal. It's only when zone 5 is ON, that zone 4 dries at low flow/pressure.


Active Member

Posts: 42

Location: Washinton


Tuesday, May 29th 2018, 6:42am

That is strange, is it possible they are physically attached to each other? Maybe by repairing a leak you accidentally tied them together?



Posts: 2,393

Location: USA


Wednesday, May 30th 2018, 12:56am

Sounds like the timer is sending a partial signal to the valve causing the leak.
If you disconnect all of the wires from the controller, do you still have the same voltage leak at the terminals?
Check to see if there's an open terminal with no leak and move the number 4 wire there.

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