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.

GoBuffs

New Member

1

Thursday, May 16th 2013, 10:53pm

Spring system start up - control valves won't close and system won't pressurize

I turned on the water to my system for the season and expected the system to pressurize as is normal. Instead, all of the control valves remain open and the sprinklers are seeping. I have 12 Buckner control valves, none with flow control. I changed all of the diaphragms and re-seated all of the solenoids. Ten stations have 4-6 heads each, one supplies an in-ground pool via a float valve and one is drip. The lowest head on the property seeps the most. The pressure at the manifold seems adequate. Any ideas?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,420

Location: USA

2

Thursday, May 16th 2013, 11:46pm

We don't winterize where I live but I've seen this question on many occasions over the 7 years I've been following sprinkler talk.
Usually turning off the flow controls does the trick. You say you don't have flow controls though. I don't recall this scenario but....
What if you turned off as many heads as you can? This might build up more pressure in the manifold. If you can get one or two valves to shut off the others may follow suit...
---

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,878

Location: Metro NYC

3

Friday, May 17th 2013, 8:40am

You can probably get replacement bonnets for the valves that have the flow controls you need.

GoBuffs

New Member

4

Friday, May 17th 2013, 11:26am

New bonnets may be a solution to look at. These valves are 18 years old, but it may work as the replacement diaphragms are still available. I'll post the solution I end up with to help others with similar issues.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,420

Location: USA

5

Friday, May 17th 2013, 12:37pm

How about installing a ball valve after a couple of the Buckner valves. Shut them off to build pressure in the manifold. This should work if you can't find new bonnets.
Then again your valves are 18 years old. If you're going to the trouble of digging it might be a good idea to just change the whole valve.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,420

Location: USA

6

Friday, May 17th 2013, 7:36pm

One more thing. How sure are you that there's enough water and pressure getting to the manifold? You said there was, how do you know that? You might change the bonnets and still have the same problem.
----
Me again, you have 12 valves. Is there more than one manifold? Can you install a shut off valve to isolate some of the valves? Maybe there are shut off valves installed already.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (May 17th 2013, 7:45pm)


GoBuffs

New Member

7

Friday, May 17th 2013, 11:56pm

There are two manifolds, one for the front (5) and one for the back (7). Someone suggested lengthening the springs to make sure they was sufficient pressure on the diaphragms since these valves do not have flow control. Tried that today and no luck. I've changed all of the diaphragms, no leaks, and still not enough pressurization to charge the manifold. Water flows freely and I can't imagine all 12 diaphragms being bad. I did think about the extra valve to turn off the front manifold, but as you said, as long as I'm digging up the control box I may as well build a new manifold. I may try it though just in case it works. The back manifold is under a mature ash tree and roots would make digging that out a PIA. In terms of water pressure it has never been a problem in the past and I don't think it is an issue. I could take a pressure reading from the main anti-syphon regulator. What pressure should it be? Lastly, no replacement bonnets are available as they changed the bolt pattern from 4 to 6.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,878

Location: Metro NYC

8

Saturday, May 18th 2013, 5:00am

Bite the bullet and install new flow-control valves. Throttle them down, and the valves will behave.

GoBuffs

New Member

9

Monday, May 20th 2013, 10:22am

I tried everything this weekend and I still can't get the manifold to pressurize to close the diaphragms. And there is plenty of water in the system with sufficient pressure. In fact, the lowest sprinkler on the property is a Hunter PGP and the water stream arcs out 5-6 feet. None of the 12 valves even leak at the manifold. The only thing I can think of is one of the new Buckner diaphragms does not perfectly seal, which is depressurizing the entire system. So, facing the replacement of all control valves with a model with flow control, do you have any recommendations or preferences?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,878

Location: Metro NYC

10

Monday, May 20th 2013, 12:12pm

since the Buckner valves were probably relabeled products of an unknown manufacturer, you would have to be very lucky to find replacement bonnets

Rate this thread