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JeffLeites

Unregistered

1

Sunday, October 1st 2017, 10:11pm

Low flow improves with open bleed screw

I noticed that the flow to my sprinkler heads was lower than it had been in the past. I found the problem to be in my Champion 3/4" brass actuator. The valve handle was in the full open position. I opened the bleed screw while it was running, and the water started raging through the system like it had before the problem. I closed the bleed screw, and the water kept running through the system with good flow, but it seemed like it still had better flow with the bleed screw open... at least by the sound of the water flow (it was starting to get dark at this point). So my question is, is it normal for the value to open more with the bleed screw open than in normal operation, and if not, what can I do to fix it?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

2

Sunday, October 1st 2017, 11:05pm

I don't know which model Champion actuator you have but a new diaphragm should fix you up.
Champion's out of business but if you look around you can find what you need.
The 800 series diaphragm should work on the large brass actuator.
Maybe you can post a pic. Go to www.tinypic.com, upload your pic then cut and paste the "forum" code to your post.
champion diaphragms I've bought from this guy.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (Oct 2nd 2017, 1:25am)


JeffLeites

Unregistered

3

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 10:36am

Low flow improves with open bleed screw

I just fired it up this morning, and the flow was low again until I
opened the bleed screw, so it's going to require some attention.

I
don't see the rubber diaphragm between the top and bottom showing, so I
guess it's the 2004 or later classic version. Interestingly, it looks
like almost exactly like my Orbit actuators which also don't have
visible diaphragms, but on the Orbit web page, the diaphragms do show.
I'll open it up to see exactly what I have. I'm sure I've seen rebuild
kits in the local stores, but maybe I'll just find some debris gumming
up the works when I go in.

JeffLeites

Unregistered

4

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 2:01pm

I'm afraid matters have gone from bad to worse.

I open up the actuator. It has the small internal diaphragm. I didn't see anything wrong with it, so I just cleaned it up, and put everything back together. I also ran some water through it before putting it back together.

Now it works when I open the bleed screw, but when activated electrically, there is only a small trickle of water coming out of the heads.

Just for grins, I slipped the solenoid coil off of an adjacent actuator, and put it on the bad valve. Same results, just a trickle.

When I had it apart, I didn't see any kind of mechanical connection from the solenoid to the bottom of the actuator, just a hole, so I don't even know how that works.

I don't want to invest in a diaphragm because I don't think that's the problem, so unless you have another suggestion, I think I've going to have to by an new actuator. :cursing:

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,133

Location: Metro NYC

5

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 2:21pm

....Champion's out of business.....
Champion was merged with Arrowhead Brass, but I don't see anything from their website but an "under construction" notice. I think they still answer the phone.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

6

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 4:14pm

Maybe the solenoid plunger is rusty or has debris in there keeping it from opening up.

JeffLeites

Unregistered

7

Monday, October 2nd 2017, 6:49pm

I'm going to have another shot at it tomorrow. I think there was more to the solenoid then I observed. I wish I could find a good diagram of it. This one has the coil in a square frame that slides over a post with a slotted top. It is somehow attached to the top of the actuator. I have a feeling that somehow the post with the slotted top is suppose be removable from the top of the actuator, maybe by unscrewing via that slot at the top of the post. My thoughts are that the plunger and the small water ports are inside (like I said in my previous post, I didn't see any moveable parts in that area before so I didn't understand how it worked). With any luck, I'll find the problem there.

A minor annoyance is that the handle is not held on by a nut. The handle is threaded on to a slotted stem. I probably went to far in removing the handle by turning it past the point of fully opening the valve, and now, when the handle is screwed back on, turning the handle to open the valve, just unscrews it from the stem X( That's a minor issue since it can be adjusted with a screw driver in the stem slot.

JeffLeites

Unregistered

8

Tuesday, October 3rd 2017, 12:34pm

I took it apart again and also took the solenoid out of the solenoid chamber. The plunger works fine, and the holes are clear. I don't see a thing wrong with the diaphragm, and since it works with the bleed screw, I think the diaphragm is working anyway. I've had it. I'm off to the store to get a new actuator. I'm going back to plastic. I can't see playing 3 times the cost for brass when I didn't get the longevity I was expecting :cursing:

JeffLeites

Unregistered

9

Tuesday, October 3rd 2017, 3:02pm

Final chapter - The only passage I couldn't check was the one from the below the solenoid chamber on the lower part of the actuator flange that leads to the lower part of the actuator under the diaphragm. I couldn't get a wire through it the way it's angled. So maybe that's were it was blocked. I got sick of working on it, and for $19 I solved the problem with a plastic Lawn Genie actuator. I may have another look at the Champion someday when I'm not so frustrated. :S

Replacing the actuator took much longer than expected. I brass actuator was stuck, and I didn't have enough room to work on it without taking the valve off... which was also stuck on the supply line. I eventually persuaded it to come loose, and then got the actuator off. Putting it back together was also a huge pain because the union nut on the valve was difficult to get threaded back on.

In the end, it's all back together and working. I HATE PLUMBING!!! :cursing:

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