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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Turtle II, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. Turtle II

    Turtle II LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    I have a fescue and mixed lawn in a low lying area. I have several spots where the ground has large 5 X 10 ft wet, soggy spots.

    I have 2 zones of a 6 zone residential sprinkler system in this area. Each zone has 5 heads. I wonder if my pipes are leaking, but the pump never turns on. I mean never---unless something is turned on.

    Is it possible to have a small leak and the pump not come on???

    Appericate any info / advice!!!!

    Turtle II
    eastern, NC

  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I'll toss out an idea and then step aside for the experts to wade in on this. Is it possible that the lines are draining out into this area each time after the system runs? I've seen that occur.
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    If you're using a pump there should be a pump relay switch that turns on only when the timer turns on a zone. Similar to a master valve. So if no zone is running then there should be no water going from the well, thru the pump and to the system. If it was on city water with no pump, I would say a valve is not shutting down completely. That would send water slowly past the valve all the time. And if you have auto drains, the water would leak thru them as there would not be enough pressure to seat the auto drain.

    Possible leak in the lateral lines, but if it is always wet long after it runs then most likely not. Could be the auto drains as Lanelle said. If there is only one drain at the end of a slope, ALL the water from the pipe will drain there. If a system is put in with auto drains there should be multiple drains thru the zone.

    I hate auto drains. Won't install them.
  4. Turtle II

    Turtle II LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    There is allot more to these systems then I thought.......
    System was installed in 1996 under original homeowner.
    I am the 3rd owner.

    I dont know if it has an auto drain feature.
    The home water system is hooked up to city supply. The sprinkler system and all yard faucets are hooked up to a pump and well.

    Is there anyway at all for water to be leaking without the pump turning on??? It seems like the pump would have to come on to pull water from the well.....

    Turtle II
  5. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    You didn't mention if the wet spots are lower than the rest of the yard. If that is the case than the heads in that section is seeping water after the section valve turns off. Simply rewire the controller to allow these low lying sections to activiate first, shorten the time and the soil should dry out. If that dosen't solve your problem advise again.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    You already stated it is a low lying area. What is the elevational difference in feet between the other non wet areas and this problem area.

    What make and model sprinkler heads are in theis area. Some heads come from the factory equiped with check valves to prevent or minimize low head drainage. These check valves are generally good for 7-10 feet of elevational difference. We might be able to tell you if a check valve is intalled knowing what head it is.

    Observe the head(s) for a period of time after the zone shuts off. If there is an elevational difference in the zone piping of even a few inches the lowest head(s) will have water seep out for awhile since water wants to seek its own level. This is assuming no check valve. Greater elevational changes will drain more water.

    If this condition occurs 24 hrs aday 7 days a week then you have a valve leaking interanlly. You haven't stated if your pump is controlled via a pressure switch or electrical relay or if it is a submersible pump or above ground. Is there a pressure tank on the system?

    Usually piping and fitting leaks will find you, you don't have to find them. There is also the possibility do to soil type and elevation you are overwatering in those areas and no problem exists.
  7. Turtle II

    Turtle II LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152


    These systems are foreign to me.....
    even though its in my yard!!!!!! (duh)

    I am trying to figure out the whole concept.

    I have 4 out of 10 heads in these two zones that have serious pressure problems. The two zones went off for 20 minutes each morning.
    The four heads didnt want to pop up or rotate........They have continious pressure and should pop up. They would flood the whole place (undergound) in a large area....Over 5 thousand sq. feet in about three different spots. They are toro heads and some rain bird heads too.....A rainbird electric timer........

    I also know that I have a 4 valve manifold assembly hooked up to a pump thats electric.... Its all in a pump house.....

    I shut the pump off at the breaker box........Now if it clears up I will know for sure that the system needs major repairs.......

    There should be no way for water to siphon out of the well with the pump shut off ,,,correct???

    These two soggy zones are on a lower level then the pump sits at though,,,,,so could there be some kind of siphon----and major leak----without the pump turning on???

    Sorry if this is not masking sense,,I am really seeing all these system parts for the first time.....

  8. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Unfortunately I believe that you need the services of an on site, experienced profesional. Thanks for asking.

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