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robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

1

Sunday, July 22nd 2007, 2:36pm

beginner - help

bought a house with system in the winter. the system works fine until about a month ago. now, one zone won't turn on. it almost seems that the water pressure to it just isn't enogh to push the heads up. so, all they do is leak. to top it off, i can't find any (and i mean any) valve boxes, they're all either buried or something else. it's an 11 zone system installed probably about 15 years ago. if i could find the valve box (es) i'd probably be able to figure it out. but, i can't find even one. any advice? would a 11 zone system typically have 11 valve boxes, or would they all be in one/ and, if it's one, how far from the anti siphon divice is it generally located

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,464

Location: USA

2

Sunday, July 22nd 2007, 9:31pm

Nope, it's not typical to have 11 valve boxes for 11 valves. Sometimes it's set up that way. I see that only on older homes. You could look into renting a wire locator. Or hire someone who has access to one. While you're at it, have him locate all the boxes. As far as the distance the boxes would be from the backflow, they could be anywhere. I'd poke around with a screwdriver near the backflow as a starting point. Many times they'll be near by. Good luck!
If I can't fix it, it's broken!

robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

3

Sunday, July 29th 2007, 1:01am

hi. Me again. I hired a guy and he couldn't find any boxes. we did find wire. so, yesterday I started following the wire. my question: if i follow the wire i'll find the manifold....correct?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,464

Location: USA

4

Sunday, July 29th 2007, 8:57am

The answer is yes. The guy you hired should have found it with the wire locator though. Maybe hire someone with a little more experience.
Sometimes the signal is hard to follow but with persistence you WILL find the valves. I'm a little surprised a professional couldn't find one of 11 valves. There's a very good possibility that there are valves in more than one location. Following the wire with a shovel isn't your best option. If I couldn't find a valve I wouldn't charge you. Good luck!
If I can't fix it, it's broken!

robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

5

Sunday, July 29th 2007, 9:16am

he charged $120. the wires (2 of them) come from one side of the house, from the control box. the backflow preventer is on the other side. i did follow the wire with a shovel, it lead me in a strange pattern and then into a bush next to the house where i lost it.

i am stumped and my wife is pissed. it's getting frustrating.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,464

Location: USA

6

Sunday, July 29th 2007, 11:33am

Ok you've made some progress. I'd stop digging and call a reputable repairman. He can start from the bush where you left off. That is if you dug up the right bundle of wires for the particular valve you need to find. Now you can see why a shovel's not a good idea. It's possible those wires branch off in different directions. Plus if you accidently cut a wire and not realize it, you now have another valve that wont come on and you again have to find the problem with a wire locator. Don't be discouraged. I promise that a repairman who knows what he's doing will find the valve. Good luck!
If I can't fix it, it's broken!

robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

7

Sunday, July 29th 2007, 3:28pm

thanks. i'll get another repairman over. i'll bet i'm close. but i may be doing more harm than good. i'll keep you posted.

robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

8

Sunday, August 5th 2007, 10:28am

o.k. finally I found the valve. what an ordeal. Anyway, when the zone I was having the most trouble with kicked on, the line sounded sort of bubbly, sort of gurgling. I could hear it inthe ground. i just followed it and it lead me to the valve box. The box is full of mud. i removed the mud. Any hints on the gurgling sound. should I just replace the valve? There's alot of water in the box. Is it okay to take the valve top off and inspect with some water inside?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,464

Location: USA

9

Sunday, August 5th 2007, 12:48pm

Congrats! Now you know valve's getting power. Good job!
Is it ok to have water in the box. That's a loaded question. But for the simple purpose of changing a diaphragm you'll be ok. You might want to ask yourself where the water in the box is coming from. Good luck!
If I can't fix it, it's broken!

robo

Active Member

Posts: 7

Location: USA

10

Thursday, August 16th 2007, 2:15pm

o.k...got an expert out and we figured a few things out. unfortunately, afew days after the heads got weak again. he thought it was a root, and it probaby was. tonight I manually operated the valve and the trouble zone works great. so, a few questions:
1. when you manually operae a valve, how do you shut it off. I can't get it to turn off, other than shut down the water.
2. is there a ogica reason why a valve would supply more pressure under manual operation as compared to using the control box.

thanks.

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