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Need Help Finding Valves

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by X-mow, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. X-mow

    X-mow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    We just took on some new Lanscape maint. accounts this season and we have to take care of maint. and repairs to the irrigation systems.
    We didn't have any experience with irrigation but everything has worked out OK considering.
    But here's the problem a couple of properties have stations that won't work and I can't find valve boxes or anything to begin to look for the problem.
    How would I go about finding them?

    As I said earlier I have very little experience with irrigation systems but I think I could have done a better job of irrigating these properties. (I'll post pics later so you can see what I mean.)
  2. Leo's

    Leo's LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    a cheap way to do it is use a Rain Bird Valve Clicker, don't know the full name of it but what it does is make the solenoid on the valves chatter when you turn them on by the controller, the only bad thing is sometimes it is hard to hear them if the are buried deep under the turf, or if the solenoid is bad it won't work.
  3. X-mow

    X-mow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Thanks for the reply I'll look into that.
  4. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 214

    I just picked up a Pro-Tech version of the old Progressive Stationmaster 24 after someone stole mine with my tone receiver and Fluke meter from my truck. Anyway the new Pro-Tech Pro-48 has a solenoid clicker on it. I picked it up yesterday and used it tonight to find a stuck valve that was buried under a spruce in no valve box. Twenty pairs of wires laying open on top of it and it was about 12 inches down. I looked for it some time ago and couldn't find it, tonight I shut off the main, connected the tool and walked the property twice. The second pass I heard the clicking and found the valve. Probably would have found it on the first pass if I weren't so deaf.

    Pro-Tech has a web site.
  5. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    Also, the Weathermatic SL1600 controller has a built in valve locator into it. Might check into that. I think the contractor price on it is $74.95 at John Deere Landscapes.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Or you can follow the dang wires!
  7. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 659

    uhhh, wire tracker any one????

  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    That would be my choice also. 521 and a sharpshooter.
  9. It was so obvious I felt no need to even mention it.

    What about witching sticks? Coat hangers bent in a long L shape? Metal detector? Stethoscope? X-ray Machine?

    Or you can really look like a scrub and follow the dang wires...dig them all up to follow them, then put all the dirt/grass/rock back as pathetically as you can so the irrigation tech knows where the wires are when he comes out to replace 50 feet that you broke inside the insulation as you pulled on them trying to loosen them up. We always appreciate the "HELP" we get from you landscape guys...in fact, that "HELP" keeps us in business.

    How about a big THANKYOU!!!!!

    Seriously, I hope you didn't include these repairs in your monthly fee? If you did, I hope it is simple repairs etc. If you have included this type of work, valve location, in your monthly fee, I hope to heck you are getting a nice piece of cash each month. If you haven't included it in your fee...I sure hope the contract and the guy making you sign it didn't talk you into doing irrigation repairs at a set, crappy price like $27.50 per hour like all the other crappy contracts I've seen. Why???? Because if you aren't locked into either of the scenarios...you could call a pro to come find and fix all the valves for you, leaving you free to do what you do best eh?

    Good luck
  10. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    I had a plumbing problem a few years ago and this jamaiican guy shows up to fix it and has a long wire walking through the yard im thinking the guy is nuts and was about to call someone else. The guys wire points down he digs and is right on top of the water line.

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