Strange valve situation...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, May 14, 2007.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Had a valve today do something strange that I've never encountered before. It's a 2" Irritrol Century Plus and I opened the actuator to check out a sprinkler's adjustment. It fired manually like normal and approximately four minutes later it suddenly just shut down. I went back to the valve, closed and then reopened the actuator and the valve wouldn't fire. Made sure the pitot tube and bottom holes were free of debris or other restrictions. Went to the clock and attempted to fire it but again it wouldn't come on. (I'm certain the valve had been working from the controller because the zone was amply green.) Only way it would fire (either manually or automatically) was by opening the bleeder screw. Ended up changing it out with a top end job and all is well again. Any guesses as to what happened?
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I have a jargon question for you: What do you mean by actuator? I have always called the electric solenoid activated adapters for converting manual valves to automatic "actuators". (Superior, Irritrol, etc.)

    Or when you say "actuator" do you instead mean the internal bleed lever that sits under the solenoid on Irritrol valves and turns about 90 degrees, lifting the solenoid assembly slightly and allowing the upper chamber of the valve to bleed downstream? (as opposed to the external bleed screw that bleeds to atmosphere.)

    Just for clarification purposes ya know...
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Air bubble?
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I've seen valve air lock, but manually bleeding them usually solves the problem. ANY chance there was an obstruction in the bleed path you missed? Or, how did the diaphram come out? Stiff enough to not open with only the solenoid port, but pop with the manual bleeder? I've seen ports that were partially obstructed act this way. You can even hear the water moving through the solenoid port, but not enough water moves to allow the valve to open.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I know this is probably not it, but fairly similar situation. I have serviced a system here for 3-4 years now, and numerous problems due to the clown that installed it. System is 4-5 years old now. Last year this situation happened where the valve would turn on, run for 10-20 seconds, and then shut off. After screwing with the valve multiple time, I called Ewing and talked with them over the phone trying to get some advice. On a hunch, I dug up past the valve (it is a drip zone) and found an inline pressure regulator which is often used on drip. but it was backwards. Fast forward to this past Saturday, and another drip zone was doing the same thing. Dug it up, flipped the regulator, and all works fine.

    I think I had posted about it last year.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    The lever. You can actually tell the era of a Century Plus by the actuator lever. When they first came out with them they were straight. Now they're crooked to clear the two bolts/nuts by the solenoid.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Can't really guess at air being the problem. Bleeder screw worked fine. I'm leaning towards pitot tube problems (which these valves encountered at one time) but really can't say.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Seemed like I had plenty of water coming out of both ports when I removed the solenoid. So much that I got my sunglasses soaked. :)
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    No regulator on this line as it is a turf zone. I've seen it's connection to the main line due to digging up to replace valve box in the past.

    Just a big mystery.

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