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RB Valves sticking.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    I came to a house to blow out and the owner had all the bleed screws out. I had already hooked up when I noticed this. I turned the screws back in but 2 of 6 valves now would not close.

    The weather was cool. Maybe the mid 30's. Diaphragms need to be closed manually by taking the cover off?

    I also have had several of the older RB valves (gray ones) where after I opened with the bleed screw they will not close again and have to manually close them as stated above.

  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Usually a valve not closing is a sign of a weakened or torn diaphram. Not sure if this would be true whether running water or air through the valve. I'm not a winterizer so I'm not up on what would make these valves unresponsive so I too have a couple of questions out of curiosity.

    How far are the valves located from the blowout point? Can "too hot" or "too strong" of compressed air distort a diaphram (or its seat) if the valve is located close to the blowout POC?
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    When in doubt, winterize with the controller. (when the solenoids don't have twist-to-open-valve capability)
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    A rainbird valve will stick open if a small rock or even a grain of sand gets stuck on the diaphram.
  5. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    I won't use the bleeder screws for this reason... I don't like using the valves to blow out the system but if I do I'll only use the solenoids...

    For whatever reason... bleeder screws always stick open on me when blowing out a system...

    the only way I've gotten them to close was to open another valve, and open up the air to the system very slowly.... this sometimes only works if I let the valve sit for a few minutes to give it a chance to "settle?"

    or you can hope you have enough air to run multiple zones at once
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Sounds a lot like finicky flushometer valves on toilets and urinals. :D

    True story: Vice principal at one site turned off the domestic supply to the school because she thought it would shut down the water to a broken quick coupler valve that had been run over by a contractor. When she turned the domestic back on a toilet in the staff room stuck open and flooded out the office. She didn't know that district protocol is that any time the domestic water supply is shut down Maintenance Department plumbers need to be on hand. They go building to building checking for faucets that have been left on or flushometers that might stick just for this reason. LOL :rolleyes:
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Bleeder screws on the larger valves are the same way and sometimes take as long as 5-7 minutes to shut down the zone. This is about the time "unauthorized persons" start panicking thinking they've broken something and crank down on the flow controls to shut the dang thing off. LOL

    I have resorted to chiseling off the top of the bleeder screw and removing actuators and flow handles from valves when presented with continued problems on a valve by do-gooders of this nature. Unless they work in irrigation and realize that loosening up the solenoid (along the lines of Hunter actuators) will turn on the valve they'll stay out of the box. I've even had a valve "retrofitted" like this being reported as vandalized and of course immediately rolled Code 3 to take care of the problem. Not! :D
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Some valves don't like air. They just don't. Be REAL glad most of the old thermal hydraulic valves have given up. The reason a valve manually opened w/ the bleed screw doesn't close is because the diaphram "inverts". It opens to a point beyond what it is "supposed" to do. Almost any valve with a bleed screw in the flow control and a metering pin will do this. You can close this valve by shutting the air (or water) off and using the metering pin to push the diaphram back down. Be careful that you do not bend the metering pin. If you have a zone that will not open, find a head on that zone and remove it and connect your air through that head. Try to blow another zone while connected to this zone. When you get air back through the valve, then you know you have cleared the zone valve. This may seem drastic, but it beats repairing freeze damage. Average it in, remember how profitable the overall blow out season is, not how your not making much on that problem system. Keep notes, because those valves that do not like air are repairs waiting to happen next year. Also, a few valves do not backflow like you would excect. Some of the Hunter valves will not backflow air pressure unless you crack the solenoid, but they only act this way sometimes. If you ever have the privledge of blowing hydraulic valves..........once the zone opens, do your best to clear it in one pass. The old toro pin type valves often do not open the second time around. Feathering the air sometimes helps a valve that doesn't want to open.`
  9. I haven't ever had problems with many of the valves...but.....metering pin type valves (HR-1 and Toro 264 series) I have had some problems....but I like winterizing by turning the valves on manually....I hate to go inside too many times....luckily with the 185 I am using this year, I can blow out 4 valves at a time, so if a zone sticks...so be it.

    Dana...ty for the couple from yesterday..just so you know, you might have trouble with them this spring....I blew them out through the test co..cks.....sorry! ;)
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    You blew out throught the test co..cks? You chump!!! Way to try and stir things up. I guess the other 400 we've done so far that way will all be broken too then huh?

    thanks for doing those, it freed up today a bit.

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