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SWOkie66

New Member

1

Friday, July 1st 2011, 7:02pm

Missing Valve

I have an underground sprinkler system, Rainbird, which was connected to city water and worked fine. I recently had a well drilled which I connected to the sprinkler systerm. All works well, except for the fact that one zone (5 heads) will not shut off. The well and pressure tank cannot run more than one zone at a time. This zone worked fine when I tested it the first time.

I have a total of 8 zones, which are controlled by manifolds in 2 valve boxes. One box is in the front yard, and the other is in the back yard. The front yard box contains a manifold with only 3 valves and the back yard box has a manifold with 4 valves. That's 7 valves for 8 zones.

I manually opened all of the valves and accounted for all of the zones, except for the zone that will not shut off. I'm sure it's just a bad solenoid, which is an easy fix, but where in the heck is that danged valve? I have pretty much ruled out the faulty zone being tied in with another one on the same solenoid.

I called the company that installed the system 15 years ago. They have no schematics or diagrams for me to follow. They said they could use a locater to try to find the missing valve, but it would cost $175 and they cannot guarantee success. They did say that they bored under the driveway to get to the faulty zone, but that's about all they could remember.

I used divining rods to try and locate the valve box and have had no luck. I have located the underground water lines, but I found a curious spot in my driveway that appears to be a repair patch, which is suspiciously close to one of the heads of the faulty zone. Check out the pic and let me know what you guys think. I don't want to bust up concrete if I don't have to, but I have to fix this thing so I can run the system properly.

In the pic, the sprinkler head for the faulty zone is above and just to the left of the spot in the concrete (the spot that's dug out). The water line runs along the edge of the driveway, and the spot in the concrete lines up with where I've located the water line.





Surely, they didn't put a valve under the driveway. Thoughts?

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "SWOkie66" (Jul 1st 2011, 8:17pm)


Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 499

Location: Seattle

2

Friday, July 1st 2011, 9:15pm

Call up another company and ask if they can locate valves to get another price

With our pricing - my ability to locate. I could find that valve in 5-15 min tops. Minimum charge + a locator fee. For us it would be around $100

You can rent a locator, but they are not easy to use

SWOkie66

New Member

3

Friday, July 1st 2011, 11:29pm

I will definitely look into that, and thank you for your reply, but have you ever seen or heard of an instance where a valve was located under a driveway and covered over with concrete?

mike1059

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: portland or.

4

Saturday, July 2nd 2011, 12:44am

valve location

That pic looks allot like a pipe without a sleeve that cracked because it was to shallow. Have you tried probing within 3 to 4 feet of where the pipe enters that area. It's very unlikely the valve would have been paved over because the prep work for the driveway would have either found or torn up the valve.

SWOkie66

New Member

5

Saturday, July 2nd 2011, 9:59am

I dug down to where I thought the pipe came out from under the driveway and found nothing. However, the pipe that feeds the sprinkler head is about 1 1/2 to 2 ft. deep. I will have to try another approach. I thought maybe I could find the T fitting on that side to see if there were wires running to the valve and I would know which side of the driveway to look for the valve.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 499

Location: Seattle

6

Saturday, July 2nd 2011, 1:16pm

I agree with mike that it looks like a sleeve too shallow.

I have seen valves ( entire manifolds too) under concrete patios.I've yet to see one under a driveway.. Unless your driveway was extended. Those concrete guys care nothing other then themselves , they'll cement over anything

SWOkie66

New Member

7

Tuesday, July 5th 2011, 11:45pm

Update: It turns out that the line running under the driveway (the one in the pic) is the city water line...lol. I'm still trying to locate the line that feeds that zone, but it's been trying at best. I had a utility locator technician come by today and he found the electrical service to the valve boxes, but I'm still unable to find the valve.

mike1059

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: portland or.

8

Wednesday, July 6th 2011, 8:33pm

missing valve

As a last resort if a wire trace does not work find the head closest to the main water source and dig down to the pipe an see which direction it go's. You may even have to follow the pipe to the valve.

SWOkie66

New Member

9

Wednesday, July 6th 2011, 11:10pm

I found the line that feeds that zone. Still no luck finding the valve, though. Although, I was told by 2 different people that sometimes, sprinkler installers will "stack" valves. I've looked in the valve box and still only see 3 valves, and there is approximately 1-2 inches between the bottom of the valve and the dirt. Is it possible that there's another valve upside down in the dirt on the underside of the manifold?

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 499

Location: Seattle

10

Thursday, July 7th 2011, 12:26am

Pretty much anything is possible in the world of irrigation.

The probability is lower and more then likely you still have that valve somewhere..

In my experience.. As good as utility locators are.. They aren't as good as a pro irrigation tech locator, in the irrigation world

+ all the utility locating equipment is designed to trace wire.. Not find valves.

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