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Saturday, May 21st 2011, 2:02pm

Sprinkler system is getting no pressure, but cannot find leak...

Tuesday, my sprinklers worked fine. Wednesday, I had a total loss of pressure on all stations. Only the drip portions of the stations were working, yet not at full capacity. I cannot find a leak anwhere. Any suggestions?



Posts: 2,365

Location: USA


Saturday, May 21st 2011, 9:45pm

I look for a pressure regulator when I run across what you've described. If there is one the spring inside is probably broken in half.

Also look for a shut off valve that someone turned down. Could even be at the water meter. Gardeners make me money every year because they shut off a valve somewhere.


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 1:25pm

I have found the box in the yard that houses the regulator and shut-off valves. There are two valves, one on each side of the regulator. Both valves are open, so I guess the next step is to check out the regulator. I'm unfamiliar with this, but am willing to give it a try with some direction. The pressure regulator is a "Watts Regulator" with markings: 007M3 QT DC, 3/4", serial #211062, 175psi. There are two bolts that I can get to that look like they will remove the top of the housing. Is that where I'll find the spring? or, do you think the entire regulator should be replaced? Any advice would be appreciated.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,323

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 1:45pm

Watts 007 is a Double Check Valve Assembly, and not a regulator


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 2:38pm

Sprinkler system pressure problem

Okay, so now I've ventured a little further. I unbolted the top of the regulator housing to take a peek inside. There is an odd shaped plastic open cube in the center of the regulator. On the side where the water enters from the main, there is a spring that I can see, but not get to because of this plastic cube (which I also tried to remove, but it doesn't budge.) The spring looks intact. I turned the water valve on slightly to see if the water ran freely coming from the main. It did. On the side of the regulator where the water leaves, there is a "rubber ball" thing closing off the opening. I can push on it, and it will move away from the regulator which opens the port going to the sprinklers. I guess the water pressure makes this move during normal operation. I replaced the housing cap and opened the valves again. I tested a station to see if there was any more pressure. There was not. Why I am not getting the pressure I had on Tuesday remains a mystery to me. Is there anything else I can investigate myself, before calling in the pros?


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 2:59pm

I just saw your post... I guess I looked into the wrong thing. So, where do you suppose the regulator is? By the way, the part I described had the words "Watts" and "Regulator" on it along with the number "0552?" stamped on it... so what is a double check valve assembly? and what does it do? Thanks again for your help...


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,323

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 3:14pm

the Watts 007 is your backflow preventer ~ you may not have a pressure regulator ~ go back and check to see that every valve feeding the system is fully open


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 3:27pm

The only valves I know to check are the two on the double check valve assembly. In order to look inside, I closed the valves, removed two bolts from the housing and looked inside. While it was open, I slowly opened the valve from the main supply to see if there was adequate pressure. It came on fast and hard. Because there seemed to be plenty of pressure at this point, I am assuming that all is well leading up to this point. (My house water pressure is unchanged and strong.) I don't know where to look for any other valves that would affect the sprinklers. The valves in my basement only turn water to the faucets on and off. The sprinkler gets it's water supply from the main line coming from the street to the house, before the main reaches the house. Do you make house calls?


Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 4:43pm

With your back flow preventor in the on position, and no water running in the house. Check your water meter, there is a leak detector and also a guage.. Is the meter just spinning away??

Ideas come to mind

*Pipe break that is not surfacing- since you claim to have full pressure inside your house either you have a master valve with a pipe break or there is a pipe break w/o a MV and there is enough supply still to supply your house adequately

*Pressure Reducing Valve has gone bad, Typically a PRV is installed right before or right after the back flow assembly ( It looks like a small cone)

*Someone has ran around your yard and turned down the flow controls on all the valves

*Valves aren't fully on


Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 8:05pm

Wow... lots to do.

I made sure there was no water running in the house, looked at the valves on the backflow assembly (both fully on), then checked the meter at the street. Perfectly still. No movement of the little triangle or dial.

Pipe break: This is scarry... but again, the pressure in the house seems to be the same as before. I took a shower with no difference that I could note. I've done dishes by hand with lots of pressure from the faucet and sprayer. Toilets flush and refill just fine... I don't know where to look for "master valve" and I sure hope if I have one, it's not broken.

I examined the backflow assembly again. On one side there is only a pipe coming up from the ground to the assembly (presumably this is from the main water supply). On the other side, the assembly is connected directly to a pipe which exits the box and goes into the round box with the meter. The pipe then exits the meter and goes out the other side of the round box into another box that has lots of wires and a solenoid (at least that's what I think that thing is.)

Someone running around my house turning down all of my sprinkler heads (there are at least 40 of them) is unlikely, but I do have cameras outside. I'll check the recording (if it hasn't re-written over last Tues. night) for any mischief.

The valves at the backflow assembly only make a quarter turn. There is a stop at the full on position and the turn valves are both resting on the stop point. I believe that they are completely on. Also, I did open the valve coming to the backflow when I had the housing open to see if water flowed freely. It did, and quite forcefully. What happens as it leaves the backflow is a mystery. Maybe the exit is somehow stuck closed??? Some water does get through because my sprinkler heads do bubble. They just do not raise and spray anymore.

Bad karma, I think. I'm going to break down and call the irrigation people. I have to get this fixed before I go on vacation later next week. Otherwise, all of my flowers and plants will wilt and die in this awful heat (Alabama in the summer... got to love it.)

Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and helpful ideas. It's been great having someone to talk to about this. I've learned a lot. (Mostly that I need a professional.) I'll post again after someone figures this out.

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