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pkulk

New Member

Posts: 3

Location: USA

1

Sunday, October 29th 2006, 7:03am

Please help - Soggy ground - valve problem?

Hi
We recently started having a problem in parts of our lawn. There are 2 patches, each about 4'x4' that are very soggy and soaked through with water. The problem is specific to those areas but appears to be spreading slowly. The two areas are not near each other - at least separated by 25 feet and are around the corner from each other (our garden is an L shaped area - in the backyard and to the side of the house)
The person who helps maintain the lawn etc. said this is a problem with the valves. There are 3 valves and one shows some dripping, the other 2 are dry on the outside - no signs of leakage. His claim is that the gaskets in the valve are blown and that is causing water to drip through continuously at a slow rate. That water is coming out continuously through the sprinklers and making the ground soggy.

Some things that dont support his explanation-
1. I cannot see any sprinkler heads that drip or continuously leak - even the ones in the middle of the soggy patches
2. the patches are in 2 areas only - if there were a valve problem like he says, shouldn't other sprinklers be affected too?

I have very little experience working with irrigation systems except setting the timers and testing the valves.

Can anyone comment on what may be the source of the problem and a test to check this? If you think its a valves problem, would you recommend trying to replace the valves myself - I am fairly handy around the house, just never needed to do anything with the irrigation system. If you think this is not a first timer's job, would you say what would be a reasonable amount to pay for the install? I figured about 25 for each valve plus about 50 for 1hour of labor = 125. Thereabouts.

Thank you for reading this long post patiently.
Please help a newbie.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,457

Location: USA

2

Sunday, October 29th 2006, 7:56am

Hiya, I'm thinking the gardener is right and the water is indeed coming out of the sprinkler heads. Take a closer look. If the top of the head has water on it then it's probably coming from there. What that means is there's something wrong inside the valve. The water can't get to the sprinkler without getting past that valve. Put your ear up to the valve which waters that area and I bet you can hear a slight hissing sound. I'm assuming both sprinklers are on the same valve. If not then you have two valves with a problem. This isn't a guarantee it's the valve but from what you've described, having it leak in two areas at once then the odds say that's what it is. Unless you have a main line running through there with two leaks. Which is rare. Also I see quite often soggy spots from people who are still watering on their summer schedule and the ground is saturated. I get calls all the time from people who think they have a leak when it's just surface water. But since it's a 4x4 area i'm saying valve 98%. Is there actually standing water? If so it's going to be your valve. Soggy could mean over watering but the small size of the area indicates valve to me.
Valves are usually easy to fix or replace. The leaking on the outside of the valve probably isn't causing this problem. It might not even be that valve. It's something internal where the diaphragm meets the seat. Probably debris or pits in the diaghpram. You mentioned 2 hours to fix the valve. It depends but that would be max time for a pro. It's probably a few minute job. Give me a call I'll do it for 100. =) Good luck to you!
If I can't fix it, it's broken!

pkulk

New Member

Posts: 3

Location: USA

3

Sunday, October 29th 2006, 9:28am

Thanks for your reply mr. fixit. i will try running the specific zone to see if both areas are on the same valve. it is soggy but no water standing. we have been monitoring the watering schedule and just changed it in september. in fact, after this soft patch appeared first, we reduced the timing just to see if that had an effect. but that did not affect anything.
thanks for your reply, i will give you an update.

pkulk

New Member

Posts: 3

Location: USA

4

Sunday, October 29th 2006, 9:28am

Thanks for your reply mr. fixit. i will try running the specific zone to see if both areas are on the same valve. it is soggy but no water standing. we have been monitoring the watering schedule and just changed it in september. in fact, after this soft patch appeared first, we reduced the timing just to see if that had an effect. but that did not affect anything.
thanks for your reply, i will give you an update.

SprinklerGuy

Supreme Member

5

Sunday, October 29th 2006, 10:30am

Depending on the type of valve, it can be repaired as effectively as it can be replaced.

some types of valves I recommend replacing rather than fixing as the repair may not last as long as it should..or the parts may not be easy to find...or other reasons.

To gut a valve completely....in my area you would be charged between 50 and 75 for the initial service call including 1/2 to 1 hour of labor + the parts...between 25 and 35....

To replace all three valves I generally let people know it will be approximately 100 per valve for parts and labor combined.

Good luck.
Sprinkler Solutions, Inc.
Arizona and Colorado
www.sprinklersolutions.net

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