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The last 10 posts

Monday, November 2nd 2009, 8:26pm

by faithfulfrank


You're the best. I did what you said, and I now see how the solenoids come off. I did check that white thing inside, and it seemed tight. I see how you use the other part of the solenoid to tighten it, etc. It seemed tight, and I felt like I really did not do anything, but low and behold, the zone no longer leaks.

As of now, the whole system is perfect. Since I'm only down here twice a year and since water is so expensive down here, checking the system is one of the first things I do when we get here. It seems each time I'm fixing a pipe or replacing a rotor, etc.

This time I was stumped because I did not expect to have to work on the "new" valves. I really appreciate your help. SprinklerWarehouse does not stock any valve parts for Irritrol valves, so I'm glad you helped me fix things without needing parts. I'm kind of surprised they do not stock the parts, since these valves were well recommended and I bought the valves from them.

Thanks to you I learned a lot this trip. We'll see what I find next April......

Thank you again!!! Frank.

Sunday, November 1st 2009, 9:13pm

by faithfulfrank

Thank you MrFixit!

I'll do that tomorrow. I did not know there was anything to do/check inside the solenoid. I appreciate the good help and the education.

I knew I needed to learn more about the solenoids.......yesterday one of them did not seem to be working correctly. I think it was my fault, perhaps not having them screwed on at the right depth or something. Today they were working fine.
Yesterday if I had them snug to the valve,no water would go through, too loose, even just enough to let water flow and they would not turn off. Today all was well except for the excessive leaking on one zone.

Thanks again. Frank

Sunday, November 1st 2009, 9:01pm

by mrfixit

Ok Frank listen up. Take the solenoids off. Take the handle under the solenoids off, that on/off lever. See the thing under that lever? It's black or white in color. Make sure those are snug. Use the on/off handle to tighten them. Don't over do it. Replace the handles approx 1" from the valve stem on the OFF side of that lever. Replace the solenoids. That might do the trick.

Sunday, November 1st 2009, 3:51pm

by faithfulfrank

Well, I spent most of the afternoon working on the system. I repaired two pipe breaks caused by the landscapers, and took apart all four zone valves. I also replaced a couple of rotors. Everything looked fine with the zone valve parts, no obvious breaks, etc, but I cleaned up all the diaphragms, etc.

All the solenoids seem to work fine now....I just have one zone that seems to be leaking. (A few of the other ones are leaking a very little, but not enough I don't believe to be a problem. This one zone is leaking enough to have a trickle go down the street gutter continually.

So I guess that even though all LOOKED ok, I still need a new diaphragm ? Could it be anything else? I'll call them tomorrow and hopefully place an order for the correct parts. I appreciate all the good help. Am I on the right track?, or could it be just a solenoid adjustment?

Thanks, Frank.

Saturday, October 31st 2009, 5:53pm

by faithfulfrank

Well, I started today working on the system. My zone #2 was the worse, so I took the valve apart and cleaned it all, checking the diaphragm, etc. I think the problem with that zone lies with the solenoid. I noticed that with the solenoid turned all the way down on the valve, nothing would flow on that zone. turning it "open" a bit allowed the water to flow. Putting it right where it was allowed water to flow, but when I turned the zone off at the controller, the water kept the solenoid will not turn the valve off or on. I switched solenoids with another zone, and then it worked, so it seems to need a new solenoid for zone #2.

I found some other problems, like a leaking rotor and two pipe breaks, made by a landscaper cutting a pipe when trimming. The pipe seems to be much too shallow when it was installed 15 years ago. I'll fix these other things tomorrow and continue to work on the valves and try to get a clearer picture of what I then will need. Monday I'll call the warehouse.

One thing about these valves......the solenoid has an "on/off" lever that hits the main valve stem if you try to get the solenoid off. there seems to be no way to unscrew the solenoid off without cutting off that "on/off" lever. My old valves did not have this lever, so you could easily unscrew the solenoid off.

My question is, where is the proper setting for the solenoid on the valve? If you screw it all the way on, they do not seem to always work. If you "Open" them a bit, water will flow, but sometimes the water then does not turn off when you turn off the zone at the controller. Where should the solenoid be set at?

Thanks! Frank

Friday, October 30th 2009, 8:20pm

by faithfulfrank

Dear MrFixit,
Thank you very much for your help.
I plan on inspecting all of those valves tomorrow.
Funny, the old valves were over 10 years old with no problems. I just replaced them 22 months ago because I'm only down here a few times a year, and thought it was a good idea.

I'll do a good inspection tomorrow, and if needed, I'll buy new diaphragms. Based on what you told me, I might just call anyway and order new ones....

Thanks! Frank

Friday, October 30th 2009, 7:43pm

by mrfixit

Irritrol is owned by Toro.

Frank, a diaphragm can be ruined the first time you use the valve. I had to replace three diaphragms this past Monday that I'd installed a week before. I flushed the heck out of the manifold and pebbles were still getting in. Turns out she had a plumber work on a hose bib not long before. It's important to have a clean water supply.

Now the part you need to inspect is the part you described as "On the bottom of that diaphragm there is another round ring of rubber that seats on the bottom body of the valve." Look for pits or embedded debris. Also check what you described as "that seats on the bottom body of the valve." See if the plastic seat is damaged at all.

Frank I can think of one more thing. That part you said was higher on the valve. The part that turns. If that's not off all the way there might be some leakage. You might take the solenoid off and make sure the part under it is snug. Don't over do it.

If you can't find something you need try calling to see if they'll get it for you.


Friday, October 30th 2009, 3:43pm

by faithfulfrank

I just checked sprinkler warehouse under replacement valve parts, and they only list RainBird, Hunter, and Weathermatic.......not Irrittrol. Why would they sell valves and not the parts? Is Irritrol really hunter or rainbird?

Thanks, Frank

Friday, October 30th 2009, 3:23pm

by faithfulfrank

Well, i'm embarrassed to say I do not have a deep knowledge of the inner workings (yet) of the zone valves......but I did just take apart one of the old valves, (a Richdell) to get a look. This "old" valve looks almost exactly like my new irritol valves I installed in December of 2007, 22 months ago.

There are two sides. One side just unscrews, and inside there is just an o-ring and t small plunger type stopper with a long thin rod that goes into the top that unscrews.

The other side is screwed together with 8 screws. Taking them off and taking off the top part revealed a spring with a long needle going through a diaphragm. On the bottom of that diaphragm there is another round ring of rubber that seats on the bottom body of the valve.

Between them I believe is the solenoid, that screws on. inside that is a small spring loaded plunger. The only difference I can see between my old richdell valve and the new ones is that the solonoid sits higher on the new one, and there is a small "on-off'" lever between the solenoid and the valve body on the new one. This lever does not seem to do anything.

So, my question is, am I correct in assuming I should check the diaphragm on the side that is held together by the 8 screws? If I do not find anything like sand, etc, should I unscrew the other side and check that plunger? Can
I buy from sprinkler warehouse just the diaphragms? Should they go bad in this little time?

Luckily, I installed a sprinkler shut off valve when I installed these valves......they never had one before. When I did all of the plumbing, I was careful not to get any sand/dirt in the line, but I suppose it could have gotten there somehow. I did shut off the sprinkler shutoff, and of course, all rotors stopped leaking.

If you can be so kind now in just telling me if I'm on the right track I'd appreciate it. I just was not sure if you meant the side that unscrews with the plunger, or the real diaphragm unit that was under the eight screws.

I'll check with the sprinkler warehouse for those diaphragms. Thanks again for all the help!!


Thursday, October 29th 2009, 8:21am

by faithfulfrank

Thank you MrFixit!

I appreciate the quick and kind help. Luckily, I kept the old valves that I replaced. I'll get an education taking apart one of those so I learn what you are saying before touching the new ones.

Do you really think diaphragms could go bad in less than 2 years? I'll do what you say and report back. Again, I thank you and this forum for the many times you all were and are helpful. 2 years ago I did not know what a sprinkler system was. Then I bought this Florida home, and since I've replaced rotors, repaired broken pipes, replaced and moved all the zone valves, worked on the rain sensor, etc,etc. I have a supply of new rotors, etc that I bought here so I do not need to run to the hardware store......I'd rather buy here.

Thanks again! Frank