Old Zone Location?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by mx315, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I recently took over maintenance at a townhouse development that has two old irrigation wells. I replaced one 23 year old timer with a new ESP and started the process of tracking down all the zones, some haven't worked for years. I have 3 zones in particular that I need help with. When I turn on the zone I can hear and feel water going through the pipes under my feet, but no water ever makes it to the surface. I was guessing that the supply line is filling up all the way to the valve and the valve is damaged or disconnected and not allowing the water to the heads... should I start searching for valves to check for problems there? Or does it sound like something else going on?
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,220

    You have a can of worms...I assume the water sound ends, right? With a system that old the solenoids (any" short" notices on the new clock?) and
    diaphrams could be shot. With three zones down, I would be thinking a common wire has shorted, but given the age, the chance of all three going
    down over the years is good. Do the pumps start & "deadhead". Any idea
    where the valves are? Set of plans (hope against hope)? Gotsto find those
    valves. I'd think there would be a contractor in your area with a wire locator. Hydraulics, power, vacation.
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Drip zones maybe? Very hard to tell by your description and not being on site. I'd recommend that you contact a good local irrigator that has 521 locator experience.
  4. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Sorry about the description... there are 12 zones on this well total and only 3 of the zone are not working. I have tested the others and got all the busted pipes and heads marked with flags for repair, but these three don't spray at all. Mike the water sound does end, that's why I was thinking it was filling up to the valves and then stopping. I was planning on going by elimination to find where the zones were supposed to be spraying. They have no paperwork for the layout of the zones or any idea how it's supposed to work. So I took a Google map and started making my own with the zones that I have found so far. So I was thinking that if I find everything except those 3, then I could narrow down the location of the valve. I just wanted to make sure I was going in the right direction of thinking my problem was a valve (wiring or solenoid ect). thanks
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,231

    Drip zones would be my guess. Or else valve not fully opening. Or tree roots choking pipes.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    This is a valid technique. You may discover that all important areas are being watered and that changes may have been made and you have "dead" valves no longer supplying viable irrigation areas. There may have been changes made over the years that no one is aware of but the valves/wiring were left intact.
  7. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    If it is a strong volume of water (not just a trickle flow), don't discount the chance that the water is leaking underground and filling up a cesspool or drywell.
  8. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I don't believe there's drip irrigation anywhere... We've crawled through every bed on the property during the cleanup and saw no drip lines. I don't think it's leaking underground because it has really good pressure and everything I've worked on has 1/2 lines, so when there's a leak it goes about 30 feet in the air. I'm betting on bad valves or dead zones. Thanks for all the help, you saved me alot of walking... this place is about 16 acres.

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