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Tuesday, July 20th 2010, 11:44pm

Seems to be problem with valve for a zone?

Just recently I've had a problem with one zone. Since I bought this house, this particular zone has never worked by using the controller. So I have just been turning the solenoid a 1/4 turn and watering that way. Just in the last week or so, now when I turn the solenoid, 2 of the six or so sprinklers (in the lowest part of the yard) only get a dribble of water coming out of them, the others are bone dry. I also notice that at the same time the sprinklers stopped working, one of the 2 sprinklers that dribbles with the valve on also has a slow leak when the valve is off. I was thinking it could be a bad valve/diaphragm, so I took the diaphragm out. Definitely looks well used, but no cracks or tears and the solenoid exhaust ports were clean on both halves. When I manually turn the solenoid I hear a lot of water going through the valve (sounds like the same amount as when it was working). I'm not noticing any soft spots or anything like that, though. The sprinkler that is leaking when the water is off is close to the edge of the driveway, so is it possible it got run over and busted the pipe below the ground? Really trying not to dig if I don't have to, but I'm thinking it doesn't look good. I'm really not sure which sprinkler is the first or last, but the ones dribbling are the farthest away from the valve if that helps. Any suggestions on where to start or where else to look? Thanks.




Tuesday, July 20th 2010, 11:47pm

oh yeah, it's a hunter system, not sure of the model number, though. Thanks.



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Wednesday, July 21st 2010, 11:25pm

If you're positive the valve is working then you obviously have a break somewhere. It could easily be next to the driveway and the water is going under the cement. Try letting it run longer until the water surfaces. Wiggle the sprinkler heads while valve is on and see if one doesn't come off in your hand.

Since you have water draining out of the last head there's something wrong with the valve that will need to be repaired anyway. I'd fix the valve first then see what happens.

A simple way to see if there's water flowing thru the valve if you don't have any other means is, go out to the water meter and see how fast it's moving or spinning while the valve is on. If it's moving at a good pace then the valve is probably on and you have a break in the line. If it's barely moving or not at all the valve isn't opening. You can compare the speed with a valve you know works.

Good luck!


Advanced Member

Posts: 77

Location: Kamloops, In Beautiful British Columbia


Thursday, July 22nd 2010, 8:41am

Valves are not designed to open by the solinoid that often . Get the valve fixed, then figure out if you have a problem with your wiring to your controller.

Turn your zone on and leave it on to see if you have a leak in your pipe. The water should bubble up to the surface. You might have to give it a little help if your soil is very sandy, or if your lines are buried 12"-18". Carefully dig out a small area, in the area that you think that you might have a break to open the soil up a little.

Not everybody has water meters to do that type of verification on.
Irrigation Contractor

Certified Backflow Assembly Tester



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Thursday, July 22nd 2010, 2:26pm

Ok they don't have a water meter. Very low odds where I come from.

Hook a pressure tester up to a hose bib. Watch for a pressure loss when you turn on the valve.

No loss the valve didn't open.

The break in the pipe, if there is one, is possibly between the head that has water coming out of it and the one that doesn't.




Friday, July 23rd 2010, 5:14pm

I'm going to down to Ewing to get a new valve this afternoon, I will let you know what happens. thanks for the info, i'll let you know what happens.




Friday, July 23rd 2010, 10:19pm


I replaced the diaphragm inside the valve. The old diaphragm wasn't cracked or torn, but I guess it was just old and deformed. I didn't realize how deformed it was until comparing it to a new one. I also got a couple of new heads while I was there. Thanks for the help with this, I appreciate it.

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