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DVF valve leaking around solenoid

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ohenry, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. ohenry

    ohenry LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Hoping someone can help with this. I installed two new Rainbird DVF valves with Rainbird drip kits (filter, pressure reg) downstream.

    Now, both valves are dripping VERY slowly from around the solenoid. If I stand and watch them, I can see a droplet form around the bottom of the solenoid, and then slowly run down onto the valve body.

    I have already checked the following:

    -- Shut off water, removed solenoids, inspected, flushed, reinstalled.

    -- Valves seem to operate fine when I turn them on and off manually (by turning solenoid or external bleed screw).

    -- The drip lines downstream do not seem to be leaking when valves are off, so I don't think valves are leaking when off (ie, torn diaphragm, etc.). Of course, at this low rate of drippage, I probably wouldn't be able to tell.

    The only thing I can think of is this: If I understand how these solenoids work, I guess it's possible the dripping water is actually backflow -- water flowing from the driplines back down against the valve -- and it is leaking out from around the solenoid. But it doesn't seem like the head pressure would be high enough to cause this -- the lines don't rise any higher than grade, valves are in a box about 6" below grade.

    By the way, I installed two other DVF valves on same system, for sprinkler circuits -- these do not seem to drip.

    Any idea why these solenoids would drip? That's very clearly the source of the drip. Thanks.
  2. eagle irrigation

    eagle irrigation LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    The O-ring on the solenoid is defective. We had this same problem mid summer on a dozen or so dv 100s and jartops. Rain Bird was aware of the problem and sent our supplier a case of individually wrapped replacement o-rings. If you cant get the o-ring, you have replace the solenoid. The valves would function normally and shut off completely, they just dripped from under the solenoid.
  3. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    ive seen quite a few recently doing the same.

    We havent had to replace any o-rings though just remove teh solenoid and retork it tightly.
  4. It can be caused by an over tightened solenoid also.....
  5. ohenry

    ohenry LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Possibly I have overtightened it in the process of messing with it to try to get it to stop leaking.

    If so, do you think I've damaged the solenoid/threads/O-ring by overtightening?
  6. If anything it will pinch the o-ring, so remove solenoid and inspect the o-ring....
  7. Keen

    Keen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Have your RB rep get you some if the new Yellow O-rings...problem solved.
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    Had same problem in 2 differenet cases we installed this past summer. Finally stopped with some removal and re-install, but definitly the O-ring.
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,388

    Try taking a greese pack and a flag .Use the flag to scoop out some grease and grease the o ring , usualy works.
  10. Nonetheless we shouldn't have to be worrying about brand new valves. Haven't run into this issue yet but I suspect I will now.

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