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Thread: Leaking Sprinkler Valve

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Leaking Sprinkler Valve

    I have a slight leak on one of my sprinkler valves. I will probably replace the top of the valve. How do you determine model/mfg of valve without completely cutting it out? Is that the simplest repair? Advice appreciated. According to the Mrs. I'm not very handy but I thought I would try this. Thanks

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Your problem may be as simple as a small stone in the valve and all you need to do is clean it. If you take the top off, be very careful as there as small parts that can be lost in the blink of an eye. Since you appear to be a real novice with these things, it might be worth your while to have a professional handle this. If more than cleaning is needed, a pro can have everything back to top condition very quickly. Often valves are solvent welded into the manifold so it really is a tricky DIY job, especially with no knowledge of what you are working on. I'm a little curious as to why your irrigation water is still on in December.

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    Gary, thanks for response. I'm not using my system now but noticed as I was walking in the back yard a wet/spongy area near valve box and once opened it was full of water, cleaned it out and it slowly filled back up. Odd because I have not had the sprinklers on for several months(lots of rain in Atlanta) so this leak is new.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    My brother-in-law lives in Lawrenceville, so I'm quite aware that the drought there is over! Not knowing just how your system is designed, it's be bit hard to speculate on just where or what the problem is. Typically, there should be a master shutoff valve going from your water supply line to the back flow preventer. This valve should be off in the wintertime. If that valve does not shut off completely, then there will be water in your irrigation side. Did you have the lines blown out for winter? If not, you really should before it freezes hard. When that is done, the shutoff valve should be checked and replaced if necessary. Bottom line is, there should be zero water in the system in the winter time at least where freezing is a possibility.

  5. #5
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    My brother-in-law lives in Lawrenceville, so I'm quite aware that the drought there is over! Not knowing just how your system is designed, it's be bit hard to speculate on just where or what the problem is. Typically, there should be a master shutoff valve going from your water supply line to the back flow preventer. This valve should be off in the wintertime. If that valve does not shut off completely, then there will be water in your irrigation side. Did you have the lines blown out for winter? If not, you really should before it freezes hard. When that is done, the shutoff valve should be checked and replaced if necessary. Bottom line is, there should be zero water in the system in the winter time at least where freezing is a possibility.
    I agree with 90% but there is not way to rid you sprinkler system (complete) of all water. Not gonna happen.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Igor Kirianov's Avatar
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    Did not want to start a new thread on the same subject, so I'll just shoot it in here and bump it up. I've recently repaired my irrigation system where a wire was corroded or broken in a few places causing 5 zones (out of 8) not to turn on automatically. I dug up 4 valves to run a new wire and in the process discovered that 3 valves (Toro) have slight leaks. One valve is leaking from under the diaphragm twist-on cover and a couple others at the female connector to the pipe. The leaks are not significant when depressurized, like a drop a second but it gets a bit worse when the corresponding valve is turned on where water might puddle under the valve a little. Question, should I go ahead and replace the leaking valve and use something like JB Weld or something to patch up the leaking fittings or replace those completely with new fittings and reclamp or do not bother and assume it is a normal condition of a valve? Trying to decide what to do while I have the area around the valves all dug up. Again, the leaks are not at the level where the ground will get soggy around.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    A leaking valve an cost you a bundle. Replace it.

    If you have plastic valves: UV can ruin them quickly. Install brass valves.

  8. #8
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    A leaking valve an cost you a bundle. Replace it.

    If you have plastic valves: UV can ruin them quickly. Install brass valves.
    the plastics in sprinkler valves are UV-stabilized, and sunlight isn't an issue with them

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Igor Kirianov's Avatar
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    forgot to mention, I guess, that the valves are below ground, in valve control boxes. if anything, the damage might be caused by freezing if the irrigation system had not been winterized properly. It wasn't me as we just bought this property 3 months ago. We are in the NE where it could get a bit cold.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Have the lines blown out with compressed air in the fall. I remove my back flow device and store it inside because I'm afraid that even a small amount of water might remain and freeze. Maybe not, but it's too easy to remove it in the fall and put it back in the spring and be certain.

  11. #11
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    It is possible for a system shutoff valve to have a very tiny leak, which lets enough water into the outside plumbing to cause freezing damage, even after everything is correctly winterized, Usually, however, the freeze damage will be in above-ground plumbing.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Igor Kirianov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Have the lines blown out with compressed air in the fall. I remove my back flow device and store it inside because I'm afraid that even a small amount of water might remain and freeze. Maybe not, but it's too easy to remove it in the fall and put it back in the spring and be certain.
    Thanks. I am planning on blowing out the system in the next few weeks. The backflow device is the valve sitting on the water line between the main shutoff and the line to the irrigation system? I'll snap a picture to confirm.

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