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Sprinklers clogging up, need help

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Triple R, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    I just flushed out a zone for the second time in two weeks. The first time I was checking it the client turned on the zone and all the sprinklers were clogged so I told him to shut it off and removed the nozzle on the 570z. I thought the system was off since nothing came out, I was looking straight down the sprinkler when all of a sudden I got a face full of sand. I mean sand in my eyes, hair, ears, and even up my nose. After I hosed some of the sand off I went through and flushed every head out, the nozzles weren't clogged just the screens. Today I was called out again for the same problem on the same zone.

    Can anyone tell me how this one zone is getting full of sand? This zone has about 6 Toro 570z's and a 1" Hardie inline valve. The property doesn't have a well and none of the other zones are affected. Also there is plenty of pressure on this zone. Any ideas?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    My guess is that there is a large amount of sand in the pipe from when it was originally laid.

    Or there was a recent repair and the repair man got the line totally full of junk.

    Dig the pipe up and cut it and see if theres a layer of sediment sitting on the bottom.
  3. Luke in Nebraska

    Luke in Nebraska LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    My guess is that you have a leak on that zone. After the water shuts off it sucks the sand back in the pipe.
    BrandonV likes this.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    I wouldn't think there is a leak, but maybe the heads are set too low in sand, and as the system drains, they could be "suckin' sand'.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I've seen something like this once before, but only once in 20+years of slinging mud. Is this zone in a sandy area? A series of autodrains can cause fluid sand to sucked into the system. Especially the old brass ones. The newer ones have that cloth filter over them, but if the filter has been torn or chewed through, and there is another drain lower than it on down the pipe, a draw effect can occur. Thus, "sucking sand" is possible, but very uncommon. On that issue though, it makes itself worse because the drain letting the sand in will be blocked open until it flushes itself back out. In this way, it keeps the area around the drain wet enough to allow the sand to be very fluid the next time the zone shuts off. IF this is the case, good luck findig it :) but it should ge great for your bottom line trying to get it fixed. IF all the heads are affected, look close to the valve. this is a common point for such a drain to be placed.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    On that note, does anyone here install automatic drains?
  7. Luke in Nebraska

    Luke in Nebraska LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    It should not be too hard to find if it is a spray head station. All he has to do is turn off all the heads,turn the station on, and look for the leak.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,578

    Not in years and years (and years) - I don't think drains made a lot of sense unless you could pitch the pipe in trenches or had an oddball property with so much slope that one could have a central location for some manual drains (never much trusted the old auto-drains) - I think some mfr pitches for heads with side inlets was the ability to add an auto-drain at the bottom.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I agree, I've never installed one, and don't plan on it.

    I have however, removed plenty of nonfunctioning ones.
  10. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    I don't think the sand is being sucked in through the sprinkler heads since the nozzles weren't plugged but the screens were.

    I am assuming an autodrain is for winterizing a system, if so we don't get cold enough to need them.

    The homeowner thinks there may be a break in the line that is causing the sand to be sucked in but I checked the system when all the heads were plugged, there was a lot of pressure, and I didn't see any water coming out of the ground. The only place on the property that may have sand is under the driveway where the lines run under. The system is about ten years old and this is the first time there's been a problem other than replacing a sticking diaphragm. This problem just has me wondering where did the sand come from? Could it have come from the city water supply?

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