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The last 10 posts

Sunday, November 6th 2011, 7:44am

by Frankpc

Thanks Mike. The system could have drains. As I dug around in the mud, I seemed I could almost touch where the leak was just outside the box. And it felt like there was some sort of plastic object there rather than just pipe heading for the next zone valve. I wouldn't think they would put a drain right next to the valve box because it has kept the valve box full of water and mud. (Maybe that is a normal place to put one?) I am not planning to dig up the ground this fall unless I get past a bunch of other chores. I'll let you know what I find.

Sunday, November 6th 2011, 12:45am

by mike1059

it's possible that your potental leaks are 1/2" drain valves that are partialy open or that have failed.

Saturday, November 5th 2011, 4:51pm

by Frankpc


Thanks for the support!

Blew the 7 zones out today through the backflow preventer testcock. Worked fine. My compressor is just big enough to maintain around 55 to 60#.

During the process, I found that there were good-sized air bubbles coming up through water that was in the 4-valve box. I figure that means water has been leaking from a connection in there 24/7, perhaps for months. And the pressure to all the zones must have been lower than normal. The leak is underground just outside the box. I'll have to dig it up in the Spring. hmm..... I hope I shouldn't be concerned that water from rain/snow will accumulate in the box, leak back into the pipe, freeze and crack it (??)

Thanks again!


Friday, November 4th 2011, 8:06am

by Wet_Boots

You will be fine. There isn't much usage that makes for common ground between female flares and regular pipe threads, so you have to make do with what you can find.

Friday, November 4th 2011, 8:02am

by Frankpc

True. Very few female fittings. Most were for connecting flared copper tubing to male fittings. There were only a couple flared female fittings for adapting to a different type of thread.

Perhaps I should try a plumbing place. I would think a hardware store wouldn't have the right fitting, but I'll check.

I can't mess around too much longer. It was below freezing today.

Thursday, November 3rd 2011, 9:46pm

by Wet_Boots

Good luck. I would have guessed you might not find any female flare fittings at a home center.

Thursday, November 3rd 2011, 7:15pm

by Frankpc


I used a metal detector and found a zone valve in a 6" cylindrical box. 2 missing valves to go. I was actually looking for a buried port to use for blow out. No luck there.

I bought two brass fittings and a 2' piece of 1/4" copper tubing to connect them together. One is a 1/4" female flare to 1/4" compression. And the other is a 1/4" female NPT to 1/4" compression. that seemed to be the best I could do. I am sure there is a less complicated way to connect the backflow preventer test cock to an pneumatic fitting. But I couldn't find it at Lowes or Home Depot.

Sure seems like the passageway through all of that stuff will restrict the airflow. I am hoping the copper doesn't melt.

Wednesday, November 2nd 2011, 7:42am

by Frankpc

I'll look for a 1/4" female flare adapter today at Lowes. I think the threads look pretty good and the top flared surface looks smooth.

I can't find any other blow out point. But her sod is in really good shape and it could have easily grown over a smaller access box - especially the 6" round type. I found one box that contains 4 valves and I had to cut away a lot of sod to get the lid off. Since there are seven zones, there are 3 valves that I haven't found, so I expect a blow out point could be hidden as well. I have confirmed that the person who used to blow out the system used the testcock port.

I've been considering feeding an audio or radio frequency signal into the wires at the control panel. Then, perhaps, I will be able to trace the signal to find the valves. But it would seem that won't help to find a blow out point.

I agree that the backflow preventer is in bad shape and should have been taken care of.

Thanks for your time and help!

Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 4:36pm

by Central Irrigation

That looks like a mess waiting to happen! I would first scour the area for a seperate blow out point. Only after I was 120% convinced I had to connect to a test cock, would I attempt it. I would first submit a bid to move the RPZ to a more reasonable location.

Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 3:12pm

by Wet_Boots

If those testcocks are the only place you can connect your air, then you need to get a 1/4-inch "female flare" adapter to get to a pipe thread. Don't do anything to the testcocks, unless no other option exists (and they do exist) - those flare-end testcocks are to connect to the hoses of a backfow tester.