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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm visiting my brother-in-law and I'm already inloved in the lawn :lol:

He has one irrigation head that was leaking. The irrigation guy had supposedly fixed it but it was leaking this evening.

I pulled the entire head off the line and looked it over. I didn't see anything obvious. Even with the head off there was still a slow leak. I went to the 2 valve boxes and checked that each valve was closed. It's perplexing me since it's only one sprinkler head but removing the sprinkler head didn't stop the leak. I turned the main valve off and it stopped enough for me to look at it. It's the last in the series so I'm not sure if it's the elbow piece or the line leading up to it.

Any ideas?
 

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The line shouldn't be pressurized causing a continuous leak. The valve should shut off all water flow to the zone when closed. It's common for the lowest head in the zone to leak for a little while after the zone is turned off if the heads don't have check valves in them. Sounds to me like the valve has some debris in it causing a little bit of water to leak by.

I noticed one of my zones doing the same thing over the weekend. My system is on a well and I know a little sand gets pumped through the system. I just turned the zone on for 30 seconds or so then turned it off. It flushed out whatever was caught in the valve and now it isn't leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
J_nick said:
The line shouldn't be pressurized causing a continuous leak. The valve should shut off all water flow to the zone when closed. It's common for the lowest head in the zone to leak for a little while after the zone is turned off if the heads don't have check valves in them. Sounds to me like the valve has some debris in it causing a little bit of water to leak by.

I noticed one of my zones doing the same thing over the weekend. My system is on a well and I know a little sand gets pumped through the system. I just turned the zone on for 30 seconds or so then turned it off. It flushed out whatever was caught in the valve and now it isn't leaking.
It is the lowest head in that particular zone. I checked the valves in the box to make sure they were closing all the way. One of them (no idea which zone it controls) was pretty caked in dirt. Not sure how it opened OR closed. I cleaned out a lot of rocks/pebbles/sand out of the end of the line and the sprinkler head.

Were you meaning debris by the head or by the valve in valve box?

The only time water stopped leaning was when entire system was cut off via main shutoff valve.
 

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Debris in the valve inside the valve box. I don't know what valves he has but I know mine could be buried in dirt and still work. The only moving parts on the outside of mine is a flow control and a manual start/stop. In normal operation having dirt, rocks or anything on the outside shouldn't matter.

On the inside is a rubber diaphragm that is open and shut by a electric solenoid. My bet is their is debris where the diaphragm meets its sealing surface.

Right by the yellow piece in this cutaway:



Depending on what brand style valves he has it will look a little different but most work on the same principle.

By being able to stop the leak by turning the upstream valve off I have no doubt that the valve is leaking water by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
J_nick said:
Debris in the valve inside the valve box. I don't know what valves he has but I know mine could be buried in dirt and still work. The only moving parts on the outside of mine is a flow control and a manual start/stop. In normal operation having dirt, rocks or anything on the outside shouldn't matter.

On the inside is a rubber diaphragm that is open and shut by a electric solenoid. My bet is their is debris where the diaphragm meets its sealing surface.

Right by the yellow piece in this cutaway:



Depending on what brand style valves he has it will look a little different but most work on the same principle.

By being able to stop the leak by turning the upstream valve off I have no doubt that the valve is leaking water by.
Yea his valves look like that pic (but I'm not sure that most do not). Any way to clean that out aside from taking valve apart (like a clean out valve? I can open that small valve used to let the pressure/water out but not sure debris will come out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I took the valve apart. No debris. The rubber diaphragm looked so so. Wasn't old/dry/rotted/cracked. Just didn't look as fluid as it should. Looked a little bent and wasn't going back to round shape. I cleaned it out anyway and put it back together in the off chance it just wasn't seated well.

Turned system back on and sure enough a slow trickle from the lowest sprinkler head. Guess he needs a new rubber diaphragm on that valve.
 

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5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
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Make sure you cycle on and off via the controller after doing this work. Some times the solenoid valve or the diaphragm needs the pressure from the water to fully close. It is explained better in irrigationtutorials around the min gpm.

You could also swap diaphragm with another valve to see if the problems moves.
 
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