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New Member


Thursday, May 31st 2012, 1:21am

my trevails.

Just one problem plaguing me at this point, figure out where a broken pipe is (I suspect that's the problem).

anyway, I moved into this house last year. after moving in, I took a look at the system one of the previous owners had installed. 2 pvc pipes coming up out of the ground and capped. a couple of ball valves for shutting off water and 7 control valves in 2 valve boxes.. (terminology right?). Controller on the other side of the house in the garage, no transformer for it.. oh well. I finally got around to getting the thing running this spring. First step was to hook up water to the 'input' of the system.. I have a garden hose from a bib on the back of the house. I'm going to hook to the main line later after the system is fixed, more on that later. With no power to the valves, I applied water. A couple of the valves had water flow. After some futzing around, I figured a couple of the diaphragms were clogged. Nobody seems to carry the brand of valves I have. Finally tracked down some complete valves for about $19. Used the diaphragms from the new valves to replace the clogged valves. got to a point the water does not flow when it shouldn't.. yay.. got a replacement transformer and hooked it up. Went through with a volt meter and checked, I have power to the valve side of the house. yay, that's working.. instead of running back and forth switching the controller, I removed the wiring to all the solenoids. set 1 zone 'hot' and used jumpers at the valves to activate the solenoids one at a time. I started in the back yard first, got water flowing to the first zone. Went to the backyard and looked for water. Found water bubbling up, dig out the sprinkler head and remove it, and cap it. Went about this for all the heads in a zone. Once I had all the heads capped and no water flow, I moved on to the next zone. A couple of sprinkler heads were missing, the elbow at the pipe connect was broken on a couple of them. I had one sprinkler head that was about 6 inches below ground. (I think they added top soil at some point.) I found one sprinkler head *under* the deck.. I had one pipe that may have been roto-tilled, I ended up replacing about a 5 foot section of pipe. I was cursing one of the owners as I was discovering discarded wood that was buried in the area.. Since the existing heads were packed with mud and the springs not working right, I've just decided to replace them as I go along. I'm nearing the end of getting all parts of it working.
the backflow preventer was of course missing. Looking at code, it looks like the preventer has to be a minimum of 12 inches from the foundation (in addition to 12 inches higher than the highest sprinkler head). The 2 PVC pipes that come up out of the ground are only about 7 inches from the foundation. the valve for shutting off the water main has a T on the downstream side, the of course, they took the wrong side of the T, if they used the other side, it would have been more than 12 inches from the foundation, not 7. I'm going to have to re-do that part of the piping. I can cut the T on the sprinkler side of the shutoff, so I don't have to cut water off at the street.
Oh yeah, one zone that serves the strip of grass between me and the neighbor has a couple of head right next to the neighbors driveway. Once the system is up and running, I'll be watering a 6-8 foot strip of grass of my neighbors. I'm not that worried about it. Those are actually helping to water my side as part of the overlap anyway. I guess.

I sure wished someone had a design map of the system for me. Would have helped out quite a bit.


Thursday, May 31st 2012, 8:14am

Sounds like more fun than a person should have.
I bought an old home. They added a 10 x 20 game room to the back.
Turn on the back yard zone.
Water flows out from under game room.
I don't have the energy you do. I told the back yard that it needed to look to the sky for water.

I have not heard of the "12" away from foundation" rule.
Mind if I ask where you are located?


New Member


Thursday, May 31st 2012, 9:34am


The PDFs have the clearance drawings.

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