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faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

1

Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 7:28pm

Help! One of my zones has no pressure...???

Hello all. In the past you have all been so helpful, I now have a new problem.
We just got to our home in Florida after being gone for 6 months. As always, one of the first things I do is to check the sprinkler system.

Well, all was perfect until I turned on zone #4. It seems to have hardly any pressure. All the rotor heads, etc are only up halfway or less, and the water is just peeing out or dribbling out of each one.

I checked the zone valves...they look ok, and the top knob on each one is opened all the way. There valves are new...I just installed them about a year or so ago and they worked perfect last October when we were last down here.

So my question is.....how do I troubleshoot this problem? I hope I do not have a water break. There seems to be no spongy areas, and each rotor valve seems to be getting some water and a little pressure....just not enough. What should I do??
I'm only down here for a few weeks and need to fix it before we return.

I thank you in advance for your good help.

Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,880

Location: Metro NYC

2

Monday, May 4th 2009, 6:55am

Get a pressure gauge and report on the water pressures on this, and other zones, and the static (no water flowing anywhere in the house) pressure.

faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

3

Monday, May 4th 2009, 9:09am

Dear wet boots,
Thank you for your reply. I'm familiar with home plumbing, etc, but where would I get a pressure gauge, and where would you attach it?

The complete system worked fine when I was here last October. All the other zones seem to be working fine, it is just this one zone.

I do not mean to be difficult, and I know you are just asking for info that would help figure out the problem, but is there anything else I could check?

I have new hunter zone valves installed around 16 months ago. The solonoid seems to be turning the zone on and off, and some water is flowing to every head, but just trickling out. I'll go to the local hardware store and ask about a pressure gauge. I'm just trying to fix it myself before I have to call one of the local sprinkler businesses.

Thank you...... Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

4

Monday, May 4th 2009, 9:18am

I see that sprinkler warehouse sells a pressure gauge with a female hose fitting. I'll buy one if I need to.....I was hoping it would just be an adjustment or something wrong with the valve or something. Hopefully I do not have a broken pipe somewhere.

Thank you. Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

5

Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:29am

The local hardware store told me that I should unscrew each head and flush out the line to see if I have a clog somewhere. Then they said I probably have a broken pipe somewhere.

I can unscrew those heads to try to "clean it out". I could also cut out the "new" zone valve and replace it with an old one I did not throw away to see if that changes anything. Could there be just a problem with the zone valve?

Thanks, Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,418

Location: USA

6

Monday, May 4th 2009, 12:43pm

Flooding

Hi Frank, look around for a broken pipe or a broke off sprinkler. Turn on the station and look for flooding. Don't bother unscrewing each sprinkler unless they're full of dirt due to a broken pipe.

faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

7

Monday, May 4th 2009, 1:43pm

Thanks guys,
I know with your help, I'll solve this thing.
I just turned on that zone to run for 90 minutes, so if I have a broken pipe, I'm thinking I'll see or feel a wet spot soon. When I feel the pipe coming out of that zone, it feels like a good amount of water is flowing, but of course, it is hard to tell that from just feeling the vibration of the pipe.

The first sprinkler head on that line is about 20-25 foot away from the valve, and when I took it off, the flow was slow, so I think it is either;

A) A broken pipe
or
B) something wrong with the "new" valve.

I trust you guys completely.....am I on the right track?

If no soggy ground appears, then should I replace that valve with an old one, or is there anything I should do with that valve short of replacing it......like change the solonoid, take something apart, etc.......???

Thanks!! Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

8

Monday, May 4th 2009, 3:56pm

First of all, I'm just a DIY home owner like you (the others posting here are a little more familier with the industry that I am).

Having said that, I don't think your problem is the valve per-sae. I've never heard of a valve going bad such that it caused a reduced flow to a zone. About the only way I can think such an issue could occur is if something has clogged the valve. But even that seems unlikely because the typical way valves get clogged is a small piece of something gets stuck in the piolet hole and it keeps the valve from either opening or closing completely. So I'm guessing that if the problem is a clog at the filter, you might be able to fix the problem by removing the guts of the filter and flushing the line from the water source to the manifold with the guts removed.

Now if the problem is stuff in the line, and you're having a problem with even the 1st head, then that's the only head you need to open to flush the line.

On a side note, I seem to recall reading that FL has a lot of sandy soil, and as such, it could take a long time (and possibly never) for the soil to become soggy if there is a break in the line. I've even read stories where a break was NEVER found because of surface water. In one of these situations, a break occurs say near a french drain or something, basically somewhere that the leaking water is able to flow away from the break and never build up enough to cause a puddle at the point of the break.

Random thought... is there an automatic drain that perhaps is not properly closing when the system gets pressurized?

But other wise, the most likely source I keep coming back to is a broken water line. If you can flush the system from the source to the valve, then from the valve to the 1st head, and you still have a problem, then it sounds like a broken water line to me... and of course the break could be ANYWHERE (before the 1st head, near the last head, anywhere since the a break anywhere will keep the whole circuit from pressurizing properly).

OK, another random though to try. Use your water meter to compare the flow of water between the "bad" circuit, and one of the "good" circuits of similar size. Do something like make sure no one is using ANY water in the house (maybe even shut off the main to the house). Then turn the bad zone on for say 10 minutes and measure how much water flowed... or measure how long it takes for the system to use 10 gallons. Then do the same for one of the "good" zones. If the problem is a clog in the line, then the flow to the "bad" circuit should be much lower than a "good" circuit. If the problem is a break in the line, then the flow to the "bad" circuit should be much higher than a "good" circuit. But remember, you have to base that on a zone that is about equivilent.

faithfulfrank

Advanced Member

Posts: 58

Location: USA

9

Monday, May 4th 2009, 8:23pm

Wow.......that's a lot of info! Thank you.

I did unscrew the first head. the water flowed out slowly. when that head is on, the water comes out less there then the other heads.

I'm thinking that since that first head is taken off and the zone is on, the water flows out slowly, that it either has to be a break in the line between the zone valve and that first head, or something wrong with that zone valve.

I was told be someone to take apart that zone valve and check the diaphragm, etc,etc.

If I find nothing, then cutting the line just past the valve then turning it on will tell me if it is indeed a break in the line, or a bad valve. If the water flows strong just past the valve, then it is a break in the line. If the water flows slowly, then it is the valve.....

Am I wrong in my thinking?

Thanks for the help........ Frank D.
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,418

Location: USA

10

Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 3:56am

flow control

Hi Frank, I remember seeing pictures of your valves from a past post. You have anti-syphon valves. I believe 2713APR's or 2711APR's. I have two thoughts for you. Number one, check the flow control on the valve. Make sure it's not just simply turned off. Also, instead of cutting the pipe just unscrew the cap of the valve then turn on the valve. That's the front half of the valve. Water should RUSH out of that valve if it's working correctly.

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