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1

Saturday, July 28th 2012, 6:09pm

Slow leak at sprinkler head

I have a sprinkler head (Rainbird 1800) that is trickling out water when the system is off. I thought perhaps the cap head was loose or worn out so I tried replacing it but the same trickle exists with the new one. The water is coming out where the pipe slides through the cap.

This particular head is 1 of 6 heads in the zone. It has the lowest elevation in the zone. I'm guessing a valve somewhere isn't closing all the way and the water leaks from the sprinkler head with the with the lowest elevation since water can escape there the easiest.

I bought the home with the sprinkler system in it so I don't know much about the layout of where things are. Any suggestions where I should start looking and what this could be?

Thanks.

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 350

Location: Central Minnesota

2

Saturday, July 28th 2012, 7:08pm

Weeping valve. Find the valve that controls the head that is leaking. Clean out the inside of the valve and inspect the diaphragm. The valve is not sealing properly and letting a small amt. of water through it.
As for the location of the valve. Could be anywhere.

3

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 7:57am

Thanks. Is there typically one weeping valve for each zone, or sprinkler head, or just one master one for all zones? Are the weeping valves all located together somewhere or (if its 1/zone are they "inside" each zone?)

There's a spot in my yard close to the house with a plastic cover that has sprinkler stuff in it. I know there's wiring in there and some piping. The inside looks like it's maybe gallon sized and there's dirt in the bottom. I haven't probed around in there in a while but I guess that's a good place to start.

4

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 9:04am

OK, pulled the cap off the underground can. There's wiring in there and also one sprinkler valve. If I have 6 zones should there be 5 more of these cans elsewhere in the yard? I suppose there would have to be a valve for each zone otherwise how could water pressure be directed to the different zones. And if I found one can with one valve in it by itself it should be reasonable to assume there would be other cans with only one valve in them elsewhere in the yard as well. Ughh, this is gonna be a pain to find them.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,026

Location: Metro NYC

5

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 10:49am

......and your location is.......

(there's a reason for this)

6

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 11:14am

South Jersey. (I have my sprinkler system blown out before every winter).

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 350

Location: Central Minnesota

7

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 1:38pm

You got it figured out! GENERALLY,the valves are positioned in a certral position to the zone they feed. Big generalization on my part, but this is how we install our valves. Usually you can luck out by walking and stabbing the ground with a screwdriver, paying close attention to areas that feel like divots, or low spots. If all else fails, a wire locator will better help narrow your search.
FYI...a "weeping valve" is a term given to a sprinkler valve that doesn't completely close.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,026

Location: Metro NYC

8

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 1:48pm

"south Jersey" doesn't quite pin it down (I was hoping for Texas) ~ the small round lid might be for your master valve, which won't inform as to the rest of the layout

9

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 2:36pm

Here are some pics which will hope explain where I'm at. The first pic is a photo of my front yard. It's a slight slope which goes downward toward the road. The yellow arrows are about where the sprinkler heads popup. The pink arrow in the middle is the sprinkler head that's leaking. It's the lowest one in the zone and is right at the curb in the middle. I Assume the pipe runs parallel to the driveways since the heads are right next to them. I wonder how the line is run to the middle head that's leaking though. Also, the piping that goes into the ground comes from the side of the house and must go under the driveway on the left to get to the area of the grass in the photo.


Next photo is the cover of the can that has a valve and piping and wiring in it. This is the only one I know about. It's pretty close to the house and inbetween where the electric and water come out of the house.


Here it is with the lid removed


And here is a photo of the side of my house. The yellow arrow on the left is where the electric from the rainbird brain comes out of the garage and into the ground. The yellow arrow on the right is where the water piping comes out the house and into the ground. (FYI, I had to replace the faulty pressure vacuum breaker a month ago). And the pink arrow in the middle is the can with the valve and electric that I referenced above.


So, now that you can see what I'm working with should I start blindly just sticking the screwdriver in the ground in that patch of grass in the front yard with the leaky head. Should I be looking for a similar can as above with the green top or could the valve be buried by itself without any protection elsewhere in the yard?

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 350

Location: Central Minnesota

10

Sunday, July 29th 2012, 3:02pm

You're looking for another valve box. It's unlikely that they would've only installed one valve box and buried the others. It is extremely common for those small boxes to become buried over the years.
When we install zones that MUST have a line under a driveway, we do whatever we can to avoid running the mainline under the drive. What I am trying to say is that the valve may be on the opposite side of the driveway from where the sprinklers are.
If they, in fact, had to run a line under the drive, then look along the edges of the drive for areas that are sunk or low from the installers digging trenches in order to install the line under the drive. This would at least give some reference for the direction the line runs.
I would search the left side of the drive judging by the lay out of the houses/drives in the houses across the street. I would not run mainline under that driveway.

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