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Active Member


Monday, June 22nd 2009, 2:57pm

Too much water pressure???


I had a sprinkler system installed 6 months ago and recently have experienced some issues that could be related to having too much water pressure. At some point something happened to cause a surging problem that eventually blew out all 3 of the valves. Not sure if it was a power surge or something to do with the water pressure. The sprinkler guy that installed the system told me to contact a plumber which I did. He said that I needed to have a pressure monitor installed because 105 psi is too much pressure so I paid him to install one and of course now I have NO water pressure what so ever since it appears that he installed one designed for drip irrigation systems. What I am hoping to learn is whether or not they make one that is designed for sprinklers (to handle 65 psi or more) not drip irrigation (which seems to limit it to 8 psi or less). I cant find anything like that on line that sepcifically mentions irrigation - just normal household plumbing. I was under the impression that the Rain Bird sprinkler valves would do that - but then that wouldn't explain what happened to cause the initial problem. What little disposable income I had has been given to the Plumber that now wont return my calls or emails and my entire lawn is dying and I am so depressed. Can anyone help with some suggestions???



Posts: 2,336

Location: USA


Monday, June 22nd 2009, 7:52pm


Are you sure the regulator the plumber installed is for drip? Is there an adjusting bolt where you can turn up the pressure? I wouldn't mind seeing a picture of what the plumber installed. Plumbers are a pet peeve of mine. Keep your hands off my sprinkler systems! Here's an easy regulator to use. You can simply dial in the pressure you want. It's accurate enough. Scroll down to the pressure reducing pictures. Look for the one with the guys hand on it. Would work well for you. No pressure gauge needed. They sell this at Ewing. Possibly Hydroscape or John Deere.

One more thing. It's possible the plumber didn't turn the water supply back on all the way.


Active Member


Monday, June 22nd 2009, 8:40pm

too much pressure

Thank you sooo much for the quick reply. The one that he installed was the Lowes and its all plastic and of course now that things have all gone south I remember seeing it saying something about 8 gpm or something like that. Doesn't look anything like what you have sent me (thanks again) but more like something like this.

But of course the one that I have doesnt have the higher ratings. I will check to make sure that he turned the water all the way back on - that could be it. I actually tried to get a sprinkler guy to come look at the problem but he told me that I needed to speak to a plumber. I live in California so I am not sure if I have any of those places around me but I can generally find anything on the internet. While I have you do you have any idea what would ahve caused the pressure to surge to the extent that it destroyed the valves? Could it have been a power surge? The sprinklers would make this weird sucking/thumping sound for hours (if I wasn't home to stop it) after they shut off - with all 3 zones squirting bits of water. The only way to stop it is to turn the water off at the main - but of course I get home hours after they shut off and the damage was done. Many Thanks for all the help! :thumbsup:



Posts: 2,336

Location: USA


Tuesday, June 23rd 2009, 1:54pm

Plumbers blah

The plumber needs to give you your money back. I don't understand why the sprinkler guy wont do the job either. Inexperience I suppose. If I was you I'd be very angry.

California has all three stores I mentioned. At least So. Cal. does. You could ask them who they recommend.

You asked what caused the problem. My guess it's it's a combination of high water pressure and high water flow. Let's wait and see if the new regulator cures the problem.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,305

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, June 24th 2009, 6:01am

Surging is a phenmenon you see when a zone is drawing too much water for the supply plumbing to deliver. Now, good plastic zone valves will withstand surging, even with 105 psi on the supply side. That can let out valves bought at Home depot or Lowes. Even a small amount of slope on a zone will allow most of the water to drain out at a low point, and when the zone next turns on, you have a period of extra-high flow as the air is pushed out of the heads, and it is during this time that the surging can be at its worst.

As for adding a reducer, it may not be practical, if there isn't any excess pressure in the zones right now, when the surging ends. All pressure reducers have friction losses that have to be figured into the total picture.

One trick to try is installing smaller nozzles in the existing heads, since smaller nozzles equals less flow, and hopefully less surging. Another trick is to install heads with built-in check valves at low points, so lines stay filled with water, and startup flows become less than with lines filled with air.

If all else fails, reconfigure the system to have less heads per zone, adding as many zones as is needed to correct the existing design flaws.

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