You are not logged in.

Dear visitor, welcome to SPRINKLER TALK FORUM - You Got Questions, We've Got Answers. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains how this page works. You must be registered before you can use all the page's features. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,461

Location: USA

11

Friday, August 10th 2012, 7:10pm

Are you suggesting we aren't experienced?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,054

Location: Metro NYC

12

Friday, August 10th 2012, 9:56pm

It is not the controller. Had disconnected the wires from the solenoid and it still weeped. Also measured 0 volts out of zone three while weeping.

Sure I could have installed a quality automatic master valve and Installed a new controller to control it. Current controller is only 6 zone and all are used. It would also have required me to replumb the entire manifold in order to insert the new valve.
I was hoping for an experienced person to respond who might have encountered such an issue and had a suggestion for the correct fix.

The reason I have spent the time is that I am an engineer and always desire to know why something is failing rather than to simply mask the problem.
I do understand however people who do this for a living have to make a living and often times the quickest fix is the best.

After temporarily replumbing the zone #3 valve to its heads, and after running a complete sequence, the zone #3 head is once again weeping.

Here is a theory on why this is happening if anyone might care to offer a previous experience that might support the theory.

Theory: Zone #2 piping has somehow developed a slight and unintentional connection to the zone #3 piping downstream from the valves. And Zone #2 must be weeping but I did not see that because the lowest point in the system was zone #3.

I know that Zone#2 and Zone #3 pipes run parallel to each other for over 30 ft or so along side of the house. I know this from when I replaced a zone #2 head on the side of the house a few years back. When I dug up the head there were (3) 3/4" pvc pipes in close proximity to each other near that head. There was also a large tree root that had grown around the piping and that head.

Also to support this theory it seems that zone #2 and zone #3 must be run for a few minutes to establish the flow. Maybe possible that zone #2 must be full of water and zone #3 running creates a vacuum that begins the suck from zone #2 into #3.

I know this may sound like a stretch but it is my best guess at this point.

My next step is to focus on zone #2 diaphragm and valve assy. to see if it might be weeping.


Feel free to rip me for being an engineer or wanting to understand.
One small problem with any self-righteous homeowner rant is that real-world experience cuts it off at the knees. Professional repairman eyes might immediately see the problem. Or not. A pro would also know how to fit in a master valve without any sturm und drang.

What backflow prevention does this system have?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,461

Location: USA

13

Saturday, August 11th 2012, 3:16am

The "correct fix" should be obvious. Even for an Engineer.

Transorb

Unregistered

14

Saturday, August 11th 2012, 7:59pm

I was in no way implying that you are not experienced. Quite the opposite. I came here looking for your expertise.
I was hoping someone experienced ( meaning much more than an amateur like me) might have encountered a similar situation.

I do not know where Wet_Boots comments were called for? It was not a rant. It was a list of troubleshooting steps in an attempt to be as clear as possible.

It has a Watts 800M4 backflow valve.


mrfixit,
I am sorry but the correct fix still eludes me. If you mean a master valve then that would be a fix, not necessarily the correct one. Again I did not design this system. It was here when I moved in.
As I said I wanted to know why this is occurring rather than to mask it.

My mistake mentioning that I was an engineer. It was meant to be a comment on my troubleshooting process only. It was never implied that it made me any kind of expert on Sprinkler systems.
Your last comment was about what I should have expected from a WCH.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,054

Location: Metro NYC

15

Saturday, August 11th 2012, 11:01pm

If there is a PVB in the system located the regulation minimum of 12 inches above ground, then there is a straight run of pipe long enough to add a master valve. Add the master valve. Don't argue about it. Any engineer worthy of the name gets the desired performance in the most direct manner.

That's what you get for your investment of zero dollars, and zero information about the make and model of the zone valves. It happens to be advice that works. It worked yesterday, and it will work tomorrow.

Get to work, and good luck. :thumbup:

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,461

Location: USA

16

Saturday, August 11th 2012, 11:28pm

A Working Class Hero is something to be!

17

Monday, August 13th 2012, 8:47am

Ok gentlemen,
Every one take a deep breath and relax.

Transorb,
a couple of things to consider.
First, no, the master valve might not fix the problem but it will fix the symptom. End result is the same.
You have already put in a great deal of work on this. No use wasting any more.
I understand wanting to find the actual problem as I share it. It irritates me to not know why something is going wrong. However, in the field we focus on the end result. A master valve will stop the seepage.

You said " Zone #2 piping has somehow developed a slight and unintentional connection to the zone #3 piping downstream from the valves." No, your pipes might break and develop a leak but their won't be any unintentional cross connection. If "Maybe possible that zone #2 must be full of water and zone #3 running
creates a vacuum that begins the suck from zone #2 into #3." were true then it would be pulling water through a dirt medium and you would not only see dirty water but quickly clog nozzles.

As far as the personalities here and the sometimes brusque comments:
The regulars on this forum are working professionals. Some are landscapers, some are irrigators, some are plumbers. Each of them charges a fair rate for their professional services.
Except here. Here they offer advice and consulting for free.
They do it in their downtime and spend a great deal of time checking back and offering follow up advice.
Remember my comment earlier about "in the field we focus on the end result?"
That is what is offered here. Sometimes theory comes in but the first and main priority is stopping the problem.
When an answer is given and ignored things can become 'interesting.'

Regardless, glad you came with your problem. Put in a master valve to stop the immediate problem then, at your leisure and without wasting any more water, you can find the problem later.

Transorb

Unregistered

18

Friday, August 17th 2012, 1:55pm

Thank you for agreeing to take a breath. I early on commented that I understood professionals like yourselves position on addressing the problem in the most expedient method. Your business relies on making a profit and getting a system up and running in an expedient fashion matters.
Since I had the luxury of time as a home owner I chose the more tedious and time consuming route in order to better understand the why at my expense of time.

I further understand and accept that a master valve can be a valuable asset in a system. In my system there is no straight run long enough to add the additional valve without replumbing the entire manifold. My controller also does not have a master output. I did not check the cable from the controller to the valves, it may or may not have the required extra wire.
To add a master would mean a lot of time and expense in my case.

As a follow up I was able to identify that zone #2 diaphragm had a couple of very small dents in the plug section. This zone was the source of water from its valve. However no heads associated with that zone wept! It is somehow coupling underground together, yet I do not see any obviously dirty water or clogging (as of yet). Time will tell if I need to address this unintentional coupling. I cannot afford to dig up the entire yard and will wait to see if it becomes an issue later and address it at that point in time.

Without searching for and exposing this unintentional coupling it is speculation as to how this has occurred. I suspect somewhere in the area where I previously identified a large tree root growing in between the supply pipes. I did expose some of this area but did not identify any areas exhibiting leaking outside of the pipes.

After replacing the zone #2 diaphragm ... the zone #3 head is no longer weeping. The immediate issue is resolved at a much lower expense than adding a master valve. I recognize that a potential issue still exists if the unintentional coupling area is sucking in dirt. However a master valve would not change that either.

I certainly agree that if I were installing a system from scratch that I would want a master valve.

Thank you for your insights.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,054

Location: Metro NYC

19

Friday, August 17th 2012, 6:53pm

Two of your statements contradict each other ~ "I have no room for a master valve" and "I have a PVB" are mutually exclusive.

jacksonjtb128

New Member

Posts: 5

Location: Albuquerque, NM

20

Monday, September 10th 2012, 12:32am

I agree with Wet Boots that the 2 statements are mutually exclusive, and commend Gator Guy on his statesmanship. I also do not believe that there is a cross connection caused by tree roots, or whatever. A split in one pipe caused by tree roots would result in a leak, not seepage from a different zone. You could verify this yourself by capping the heads on zone 3. If there is a cross connection the water would then eventually start seeping out of zone 2.
As to engineers, I understand the urge to want to know what is happening and why. It's just a matter of how much effort and grief you want to invest. I worked at a job a few weeks ago where the owner had put on a new bonnet assembly on one of his valves. He had disconnected all the of the wires on the valves and wasn't sure which wires went where. I went to the controller to start tracing the wires and saw a bunch of wires leading to a terminal strip mounted on the wall which had different colored wires coming out of it. I asked the customer if the former owner was an engineer. He said "How did you know that?"
My point is that engineers tend to make irrigation problems a lot more complicated than they are.

Rate this thread