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Rainbird 42-SA

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by skeebum, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. skeebum

    skeebum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I'm not in the irrigation business, but am a fairly handy person. I used to be contractor.

    I've been trying to replace a pescky rainbird 42-SA. I have tried 2 different replacement heads. With each attempt I get a leak up through the screw driver adjustment hole. The leak will stop if gentle pressure is applied to the top, but restarts when the pressure is removed.

    Do I just have rotten luck and have purchased 2 faulty heads, or is there some fundamental step that I am missing. The head should just screw onto the fitting, right?

    Any comments or sugestions would be most welcome.

  2. Why did you replace the head in the first place?
  3. skeebum

    skeebum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    The old head had a leak. It appeared to be around the entire circumference of the head (bad seal?). I called the Rainbird installer who put the system in. A tech came out, charged me $75, said the head needed to be replaced, but that he would have to order the part. 3 weeks later, no word from the installer (several phone calls have been made), the lawn is suffering from a lack of water, and I decided to change the dang thing myself.

    And now here I am. No worse than I was before, a few dollars poorer, but still with a system that has a leaking head.
  4. Is the head leaking while the zone is running or only leaking once the system is shut down?
    Does the head leak all the time even when the system is off?
  5. skeebum

    skeebum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    When the zone is running, the head appears to operate just fine. When the zone is off, there is a continual leak coming up through the hole where you would place the screw driver to adjust the arc of the spray (the +/- hole) This leak was evident with both of the heads that I installed.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,694

    Low head drainage, maybe. The adjusting screw isn't supposed to make a tight seal, since either end of it is on the 'exterior' of the head.
  7. You could be having a term called low end/head drainage as wetboots stated. The lines are draining out of the head. If the head leaks all the time, even hours after the zone is off, then more than likely you have a problem with the zone valve.
  8. skeebum

    skeebum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thank you both very much for your input. It certainly sounds like this could be the problem. This zone is in the lowest part of the yard, 15-20 feet below the house (and the zone valve). It's interesting that none of the other heads in that zone have manifested the same leak.

    I'll take a look at the zone valve when I get home tonight. As I recall from previous inspection, replacing that on my own might be a little more than I want to bite off.

    Thanks again
  9. I'm wondering about that "Tech" you had come out. If it is low head drainage and/or a seeping valve you got ripped off. For an experienced irrigator that is elementary stuff to troubleshoot. I'd ask for a refund if you want to spend time on it.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Here's before/after pictures of classic "valve weep-by" where the valve diaphragm (usually) allows water to weep like a dripping faucet. The water will always find it's easiest point of relief which is usually the closest sprinkler to the valve or the lowest sprinkler in the zone. It will not stop until the valve is repaired/replaced.

    La Joya Valve Weep-by 7-19-07 IV-01.jpg

    La Joya Weeping Valves Followup 7-31-07 IV-01.jpg

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