crazy

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by docslandscaping, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. docslandscaping

    docslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Here is my problem. Have an old sprinkler system, and cannot figure out as to why we don't have the pressure that we need. We have searched for a leak and can't seem to find one. Also, we try to run system manually, no matter what section you try to turn on only one section will come on. Your thoughts???
     
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    First... What is your definition of "manually?" Are you going to a specific valve, opening the box and turning the actuator on the valve to the ON position? Or are you going to a controller and firing the valve through a MANUAL function?

    Sounds like something is shut down somewhere.
     
  3. ESprinklers

    ESprinklers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I'm with Purp on this one. We're going to need some additional information. What is your static water pressure? I'm apt to suspect that when you say manually turning on the valves, you are doing that from the controller.

    There are a few things that could cause low pressure at the heads. If all the heads are acting up the same way, I would look at your actual pressure coming into the system to confirm that is sufficient. You could also have a damaged backflow device. You could also have an obstruction in your main line piping, or a master valve not fully opening. A leak in your mainline piping could be on possible culprit.

    Like I said, we could use a little more information.
     
  4. kozmo

    kozmo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    It sounds like the one zone is stuck on.
     
  5. ESprinklers

    ESprinklers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    After re-reading your post, it sounds like Kozmo might have hit the nail on the head. If the one zone that always comes on no matter which zone you activate, that would account for the lack in water pressure. When you cut on a different zone, can you go see if that one zone that always cuts on is still flowing water. It might not be much more than a dribble, but if you combine that zone with any of the others, it could account for the pressure loss.
     
  6. docslandscaping

    docslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    First, thank you all for the information. Yes, by defining manually, I mean on the control box.
    There is a definate lack in pressure, but I cannot figure out as to why. When you let the system run through its cycle the first 4 zones work (and some not as well as others). The last 2 don't work at all, but they did sporadically last year. We don't have any moist areas, therefore finding a leak has not surfaced.
    I'm sorry I don't know the static water pressure
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    The solution to your problem is to sub out the repair to an irrigation company. You have stated in multiple threads you are not yet licensed and you do not present the knowledge necessary to acquire a license at this point. If doing this kind of work is a goal, sub it out until you can meet the legal requirements to complete the work. If you get caught attempting to do irrigation repairs, you could place your ability to ever become licensed in jeopardy.
     
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Being there is the best way to diagnose anything. Not being there we're only guessing and giving suggestions. We have run into so many screwy things over the years that sometimes it takes a lot of investigative work to figure out exactly what is going on. And then in some zones on the same system it could be a combination of things that don't even relate to the other zones.

    As far as lack of pressure some of the things to look for would be an isolation valve or backflow device partially shut down or not working properly.

    There is also the chance that the system was designed incorrectly where you have more GPM on a given zone than the supply GPM can now handle. This can also reverse apply where the supply amount of water has degraded over the years even though the system was properly designed and worked well for years. You can test this by capping off a few sprinklers in a zone and then firing that zone to see if the remaining sprinklers come up strong.

    Another cause could be valves not properly opening. Open each valve manually at the valve and see what happens. You can fire the zone from the controller and listen/feel for the solenoid humming or use a solenoid tester to see if it's viable. If you're getting power to these solenoids then the problem is probably the valve itself.

    If the first four valves fire via the controller and the last two won't then you could have a wiring, controller or valve/solenoid problem for these zones. You could also have an isolation valve shut down but this would be unlikely on a residential system since they usually don't have secondary isolation valves like large systems would.

    Irrigation repair work is a lot like detective work and most of us like a good mystery to solve. However, we incorporate years of experience into our techniques that are neither easily explained in written form nor are always sequenced the same way. We are presented with a problem and depending on what we actually see the investigative techniques just take over to isolate particular problems.
     
  9. docslandscaping

    docslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Purphaze, thanks for the information. This is a screwy one and will take in all the information to better solve this problem.
    Dicmudpuppy, I understand your reply and appreciate your concern, but you do not understand the whole situation. We have only surfaced the problem, and the main reason I am doing this is because he is my preacher and does not have a lot of money. In other words, I am doing this for free. I do not attempt to know everything about this matter, that is why I am asking those who do. I was not looking to get reprimanded on the matter, but someone who does want to have more knowledge to troubleshoot other problems. Speaking of knowledge; I never stated anywhere I was not knowledgeable of this matter. I may not have the answer to this problem, but I have repaired systems many times. Sorry, that it is against some codes, but you make money any way you can sometimes (this is my second year). By the way, as of yesterday I am enrolled to get my irrigation license, hence the initial thread. I don't know how you would arrive that I am not knowledgeable through 2 responses.
    We came to this site to become more knowledgeably in our profession and to help others if possible. Or at least, that's what I was searching for. I hope your day goes better
     
  10. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Actually, I formed the opinion on your aptitude for this project from this and other posts and haven't heard anything yet to change my mind. Taking that lack of knowledge personal would be your prerogative. Doing repair work without the appropriate licenses, certificates, insurance, etc. is the fight professionals in this industry fight everyday. Your other post (here in irrigation and I can't figure that out) was about getting a fert or pest license as well. I hate jumping through hoops to meet code, but it is situations like this that make me wish we had irrigation licensing here in Kansas. It makes the fly-by-night, trunk slammers, or whatever you want to call them illegal. It doesn't stop them from bringing the industry down, but it does provide a deterrent and sets a bar for what reputable actually means.
     

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