Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sprinkler Valve Won't Turn Off

This from John:

Craig, I bought your Irrigation Repair DVD a while ago, it's a very good information you presented. Recently, my son turn on my irrigation system after the winterization and I have the problem with one zone (I have 24 zones system): it keep spaying the water even I turn off at the controller, so I have to turn off the main water supply to stop this bad zone! I think the valve or the selinoid is broken, what do you think? Please give me some advise. I don't care if I have to replace both the valve and selinoid.

24 zones? My goodness you have a big yard!

What has happened is that the valve has failed. Sprinkler valves fail in three main ways.

1. They don't come on at all. This can be electrical or mechanical.
2. They won't turn off . The same as above, however the problem is really mechanical, because if the diaphragm is not the problem, sometimes the plunger in the solenoid will stick in the up position, but this is not common.
3. The valve will "weep". This means that it does not close all the way. In this scenario the solenoid has nothing to do with it.

You will need to find the valve. In a 24 zone system I guarantee you they will not be in a centralized location!

You may need a valve locater to find the problem valve. I occasionally have homeowners email me at about buying a wire tracker, and I advise them to just pay somebody $85-100 an hour to locate their valves. It's far less expensive than paying $595 for a wire tracker.

In your case John, with 24 valves, you might break even on the wire tracker, and have a tool that you can now charge $85 an hour for.

I know that you have the sprinkler repair video, but for those that don't, click this link for
diy sprinkler repair. I have a free video there called sprinkler valve repair.

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