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mikecase00

Unregistered

1

Wednesday, April 13th 2011, 7:12pm

Leaking Weathermatic 12000 valves

My builder put in weathermatic 12000 series valves (10) when my house was built in 2006. Middle of last summer I noticed my valve boxes were full of water. I tracked the problem down to leaks from several of the valves, and have recently replaced the diaphragms on all of them. Problem is, they're still leaking. It seems like nearly every valve will spurt out a little water as another valve (usually next to it in the manifold) turns on or off. The problem has to be the seal between the diaphragm and the valve body (as they're leaking between the upper and lower half), I just can't think of anything else to try now that the diaphragms are replaced. My next step is likely to replace the entire valve with a different make and see if I fare better with a different design, but I thought I'd check here to see if there was something else to try first since it's a lot of work. Is this a common problem?

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

2

Thursday, April 14th 2011, 1:17am

I've seen this a lot, not often on a 5 year old valve though..

Sounds to me you have water hammer issues from have high water pressureor over extended zones, or you didn't tighten the bolts down hard enough. The valves are fast acting closing valves.. The new codes say water flow should be 5 Feet per second or less. So if you have a zone with a 1" pipe that's pushing 15 FPS because it's over extended ( However with the excess water pressure can handle the demand ) When the valve closes all of a sudden, this water just comes to a halt and the valve takes the brunt of the damage.

A few things

Get a pressure reading- If it's higher then 80 psi install a pressure reducing valve

Flow tests- by using your water meter caculate how much water is being used per minute per zone.
Basically if you have a 1" pipe pushing 15-18 gpm you should consider re-nozzling the zone / possibly splitting

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,055

Location: Metro NYC

3

Thursday, April 14th 2011, 2:47pm

I've seen that with the WeatherMatic Silver Bullet valves, but it doesn't have to be a critical problem if the water isn't leaking 24/7. One or more "burps" as valves shut off happens because the cover material can flex. If you don't have a operating surplus of at least 10 psi in each zone, you have to live with the system as is, or just replace all the valves with something else. ~ It might be possible, depending on the controller, to install a master valve, and have it shut off before the zone valves do.

mikecase00

Unregistered

4

Thursday, April 14th 2011, 4:55pm

Thanks for the replies. It's been a while since I looked at the pressure reading, I'll take another when I get home, but IIRC it was about 100psi. The bolts are all tight. Not sure on the water hammer. How would I calculate whether my zones are "over-extended"?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,055

Location: Metro NYC

5

Thursday, April 14th 2011, 7:23pm

At a supply pressure of 100 psi, you are going to see those covers flex. They added reinforcing ribs on the covers to stiffen them them, after this flexing was reported on the earliest Silver Bullet valves, but the material is still the same, and it still flexes. It happens to be a strong material, so not to panic.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

6

Thursday, April 14th 2011, 9:05pm

Yeah like boots said it's not the biggest deal in the world as long as they aren't leaking 24/7

Actually an easier step then calculating your actual flow per zone- while the zone is on, turn down the flow control control until the point of where you see the system loose flow to the point of the heads not spraying correctly, then back it off a bit so it's working.. Then turn off and on the valve and see if it's leaking.. Although this isn't telling you any numbers it does tell you that you have excess FPS going through the pipes

A proper way to check gallons per min is to write down the last 3 to 4 digits of your water meter, turn the zone on and run it for 2 min, write down your end result- then convert the cubic foot to a gallon

Using a flow chartyou can see a 1" ( in this case) sched 40 pipe shouldn't be doing more then 16-18 gpm safely
So if you are doing 25gpm, this is more then likely your issue..

Install a pressure reducing valve and install smaller nozzle sizes to help reduce flow.

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