Finding valves WO wires

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
Let's say the wires got ripped out and nowhere close to the actual valves. What would you do besides deductive reasoning? Keep in mind this is in warm season grasses which totally cover a valve box and then some.
 

Delmarva Keith

LawnSite Senior Member
My guess is you don’t have access to the wire fragments still connected to the valves or you wouldn’t be asking the question. Fish-tape in the main and a locator. Digging and cutting and repairing access points will be involved if the system is set up the way I’d imagine.

Also a little curious who ripped up the wires and did’t bother at marking the severed ends? I had a stump grinder operator do that once. I try to get in there ahead of time if at all possible. I tell the guys of course go ahead and break whatever they have to but at least mark where you broke whatever it is. If that’s not possible, then a lot of $$$pelunking is sure to follow.
 
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ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
New to me system. It may be fairly easy just thought I'd get some ideas before I start my search.
 

Michael - Toronto

LawnSite Member
Fish tape the main or backwards through heads, whichever seems like you should be able to get to the valves easier... locator on the fishtape as needed.
Exactly. I had to find a dozen valves that were buried a long time ago - with no site map and no idea at all where the valves were. I used an electrician's fish wire, shoved it down the main line until it hung up, then pulled it out and scribed an arc on the ground with the end of the fish wire.

Sometimes, I would only discover an elbow, other times, I'd discover a pinched main line because of a tree root (good thing to find!), but eventually, sooner or later, I would find the valve.

You might want to make up a stick with a long thin spike on the end (I suggest a foot long spike) to allow you to prod the ground at the end of your arc - if you get lucky, you'll hit the top of the valve box and that's where you dig.

Michael
 

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