How do I find valve?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    I have a new customer as of yesterday. We have one zone that does not function at all. The customer just moved in a week ago and knows nothing about the irrigation system.

    We can visually see the heads although they do not operate. The controller does not have anything connected that would operate this zone. ????
    There are several wires in the contoller that are not hooked to anything. When I jumper from active zone on controller to any of these wires, I get no result.

    I tried my ohmmeter between known common and these wires and all read the same. zero.

    At one time, these heads did operate according to customer, but I cannot find the valve. :confused:

    Thanks in advance to all gurus for helping the dumbasses here:cry:

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,386

    There's always a dowser
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Do you have a wire tracer?

    I don't, so my method would be to find the head nearest to a known valve, dig it up and start potholeing following the lateral line until you find the valve.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,386

    You can sometimes rent a tracer. I'm beginning to think the ubiquitous Progressive 521 has a resale value above the norm, just because it is so universally recommended.
  5. Midlo Snow Maker

    Midlo Snow Maker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    intersting, get a 521
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I use a device called a "cricket" I don't know about the availability in other areas as a local guy invented and distributes it. Its a small electronic thing you attach to the clock, you must first shut off the water and open any valve to relieve pressure. This thing makes the solenoid fire repeatedly very quickly causing a chirping/clicking sound. If the valve is not too deep you can hear it.
    It is available at Sprinkler World in Phoenix,AZ
  7. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    progressive 521... I used my 521 on eight different jobs last week hunting valves and bad wires.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    We have that too, it only works if the valve is connected, since he was not getting a reading between any of the wires and the common my guess is the valve is disconnected in the box as well.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I don't dowse but I do witch. :) Dowsing finds water while witching finds voids...................

    521 Locator..........

    Cricket......... seen it work fine on shallow valves.

    Intuitive searching as to where the valve should be and probing with a probe (not screwdriver... I try to stay off my knees as much as possible)................

    Potholing and following the lateral route from smaller pipe to larger pipe (doesn't work on small residentials where all the pipe may be the same size)..................

  10. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    purp so you're a witcher? Lacking the facts and technical end of that I'm not quite convinced. I know plenty of people who are.

    This one guy though last year was telling about someone who witched his property.

    he said, "Yep, he started at the perimeter and spiraled his way to the center of the field. Once in the the center he said "nope, no water here". I thought "heck I could have told you the same thing standing across the street"

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