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Julie

Starting Member

1

Saturday, August 14th 2010, 9:07pm

Newbie in trouble

I just bought a house and the sellers haven't been very helpful regarding questions I have about how some things work. There is an Orbit irrigation system in place that does not look very old and which reportedly was operating well "recently".
The control panel is located in...no kidding...a garage attic which can be accessed only by climbing an 8 ft ladder (not included) There was damp soil around the system valve/pump arrangement on the ground but no evidence of watering for the 3 days since escrow closed (and probably for at least a week before that)

I borrowed a ladder and examined the panel, read the instructions, and attempted to manually water the stations. Nothing was watered after it cycled through all the stations BUT there was a sizeable new puddle of water around the valve/pump area.

HELP ! ! ! It would appear that SOMETHING happened at the valves but nothing was watered properly. I have to figure there is a significant leak in the system, at least.

The sellers are BYE BYE. Why on earth would you locate the controls in a garage attic ? ? ? Do I need to chalk it up to experience and start over ?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,450

Location: USA

2

Sunday, August 15th 2010, 4:09pm

What do you mean by valve/pump? Can you post a picture of it?

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

3

Monday, August 16th 2010, 9:22am

ASSUMING THE SYSTEM ACTUALLY WORKED, then I would think you would need to "start over"... except for perhaps getting some wire and extending the controller down into the garage.

From what you've described, it sounds like you tried to manually activate the zones with the controller, that the system includes a pump for boosting water pressure, and that when you tried to turn the system on, the pump started, water leaked around the valves, and nothing was watered.

If so, it sounds like perhaps something with the controller is managing to activate the pump, but not the zones. You might want to try something like getting the pump to start, but then manually turn "on" one of the valves (usually requires turning the selinoid on the top of the valve about 1/4 turn).

BTW, where are the valves located... if you're getting a puddle from "leaky" valves anywhere INSIDE the home, then that doesn't sound like a good thing... and while I don't think there should be ANY Leaks (I built mine to maintain water tightness) I can see someone installing stuff on the "cheap" and no care about a minor leak if the leak only occurs while the system is running.

Fireguy97

Advanced Member

Posts: 77

Location: Kamloops, In Beautiful British Columbia

4

Monday, August 16th 2010, 1:00pm

Julie,If your valves are also orbit, they should have a small black 'flip' type switch just below the solinoid and over the pipe where the water goes to the irrigation zone. The solinoid is a black plastic cylinder that sits on top of the irrigation valve.

If you flip the small switch to the other side, the zone should come on manually at the valve. This might narrow down the problem.

I would also get some irrigation wire and move the controller to a more accessable area in the garage.

You haven't told us what part of the country you're in. Is heat a problem right now?

If time is critical, you might want to get an Irrigation Contractor to come out and fix the problems. This will get it done quickly. Talk to friends or neighbors to see who is a good contractor to use in your area.

You can also get someone out to look at the system to give you an estimate of the cost to fix the water problem, while you tackle the controller problem at a later date.

Mick
Irrigation Contractor

Certified Backflow Assembly Tester

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,450

Location: USA

5

Monday, August 16th 2010, 2:10pm

Speculation is all fine and good but it sure would be nice to see a picture of what is leaking. Maybe it's a master anti-syphon valve with a bad float flooding the area.

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