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Saturday, July 7th 2012, 5:58pm

2 valves stopped working, will not turn on manually either

Hello all,

I have a system with 5 stations. Recently when I went to turn the system on, something weird happened. The first 2 stations that control the front yard did not work. The timer would count them down as if they were working, but no water comes out of the heads. Then, when the timer gets to station 3 for the side yard, it works perfectly for stations 3, 4, and 5 (4 & 5 are in the back yard). I have only been able to locate 1 of the 2 valves in the front yard, but on the one I did find, I attempted to turn it on manually. When I did, I turn the bleeder and the solenoid itself until water seeps out, but the heads never came on. I am at a loss as to why I cannot turn them on manually. Also, I don't understand what could possibly cause 2 stations to not work at the same time. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.



Posts: 2,323

Location: USA


Saturday, July 7th 2012, 7:42pm

Maybe the flow controls are turned off. Off = all the way clockwise.
Maybe there's a shut off valve for the front yard somewhere turned down.


Sunday, July 8th 2012, 10:37pm

I have Rainbird valves. I believe they are the DV series valves. I've tried turning both the bleeder screw and the solenoid itself. I turned them counter clockwise until water is barely shooting out of them, and the heads on this zone do not come on. Can you tell me more about the flow control. Is there something else besides those 2 things that I need to turn? Those were the only 2 that I found. PS thanks for your help so far.

Oh and I have a double check valve on the main line. Both valves are open. There aren't any other shut off valves that I can see.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Texas Penny" (Jul 8th 2012, 10:59pm)


Monday, July 9th 2012, 9:36am

Extra knob in middle = flow control.
You may/may not have it.

No signs of broken pipes anywhere?
Since you can't find 2nd valve we can' tell if it's on same line or not.
Any recent construction/digging?


Monday, July 9th 2012, 10:27pm

After my last post I looked up pictures of the valves and discovered that mine does not have flow control. I haven't seen any signs of broken pipes. This may be a dumb question, but if there was a broken pipe somewhere, wouldn't the water surface and runoff somewhere when the station was turned on at the timer? There hasn't been any construction or digging on my property. Thanks for the help.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,298

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 5:00am

maybe a wire outside got cut - no electricity going to the valves


Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 8:21am

"....wouldn't the water surface and runoff somewhere..."
Yeah but water is funny. First, the broken pipe could be far from the valve.
Second, and my favorite, is that water will show but it doesn't care where.
I've had water from a broken lateral run down a slope under the sod and show up 25+ feet from the break.
A few months ago my neighbors main line to the house cracked and the water showed about 10' from the meter.
It was broken about 1' from the meter.

Start someplace you know. Backflow maybe. Walk probable path of pipe. Take a long probe, like a 3/8" piece of rebar. if nothing is obvious probe the soil as you go, looking for soft spot.

It's also possible the pipe isn't broken but clogged or collapsed. I just did a repair where the drought shifted the soil enough that the walk to the front door settled. The concrete settled down on a main line and pinched off all but 1/3" of it so we had almost no flow.




Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 8:26am

Guys I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your help. I am going to try to inspect further for pipe damage of some sort. Also, if a wire was cut and not sending any power to the valve, would that affect my ability to open the valve manually. Since I can not open it manually with the bleed screw, I kind of ruled out a damaged wire. Maybe I was wrong in assuming that?



Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 8:31am

You're right.
The wire won't affect manual operation.



Posts: 2,323

Location: USA


Tuesday, July 10th 2012, 11:04am

Open the screw farther. Not the solenoid but the bleeder screw. Take it off if need be.
If it still doesn't come on try tapping on the valve with something to unstick it.
If none of that works look for a shut off valve for the front yard.
I suppose there could be two bad diaphragms.
Simple to change on that valve.

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