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Friday, May 4th 2018, 1:01pm

One Zone Low Pressure - What do I do next?

Alright guys, I've been looking for answers on the forum. I've found a lot of people on here having the same problem, but I'm a little unclear on what to do next. I'm looking for guidance.

First, some background. Moved into a new house last fall. Ran the sprinklers for 3 months before I winterized them. Everything seemed fine from my recollection. I also felt like I did a good job winterizing them. Maybe I didn't. The house has 5 zones, 2 in the front, 3 in the back. Approximately 3-4 heads per zone. It's poorly designed in my opinion (rotors/sprays mixed on same zone, single row in a lot of places, very few heads have head-to-head coverage, etc) but it gets the job done with even grass so I haven't made too big of a deal out of it. One day I might redo it, but too many irons in the fire right now.

Anyways, I turned the system on yesterday and I noticed that one of the three zones in the backyard was barely coming on. The heads were coming up, but the rotor on that zone was shooting about 3 feet and the sprays were very weak. There was also one spray at (what I believe is) the end of the zone that is only bubbling out (I think it was still extending though, not sure). All other zones were fine.

Things I've done so far:

  • Taken pressure readings on the supply line. 80 psig static, ~55 psig when the good zones are running. ~20 psig when bad zone is running.
  • Used bleeder on valve to manually activate zone. Behavior is the same.
  • Disassembled valve to check for problems. Nothing observed.
  • Checked for leaks in obvious areas. Nothing observed.

What's the next step in the troubleshooting process?

From everything I've read, this behavior is indicative of a leak in the zone piping (poly, btw). Short of just starting to dig the line up, what can I do to help pinpoint it? I don't even really know the routing of the line so digging it up would be tough anyways.

Do I start capping heads? What do I look for? I've read of people just turning the zone on and letting it run for hours until they see water. I'm hesitant to do that. My backyard is pretty well sloped in all directions so I would bet the water is going to show up somewhere off my property anyways.

Any advice you guys can offer would be much appreciated.

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