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Thread: sprinklers won't turn on

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Emily Verstraete's Avatar
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    Default sprinklers won't turn on

    I tried to turn on my sprinklers yesterday after they have been dormant for the winter. Only one of the three stations will turn on. What could the problem be?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    One possibility is the common wire (usually white) is broken. That wire is linked from one valve to the next, usually connected with waterproof wire nut. If the connection is lost after the first valve in the chain, #1 would work but the follow valves would not. You didn't mention which valve in the chain comes on, so this is just a stab in the dark. Waterproof wire nuts can be purchased, but regular nuts with silicone packed will work just fine too.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Go to each valve and try to turn on manually, by slightly unscrewing the solenoid one turn or so. You may have to disassemble some valves, blow out the bleed ports, maybe replace some solenoids. And of course dont rule out wiring problems as mentioned by gary

  4. #4
    irrigation tech. mike1059's Avatar
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    As gary said the most likely cause is a bad wire connection if station 1 comes on but 2 and 3 do not. If 2 or 3 comes on and the others do not check the flow control knobs in the center of the valves. Sometimes if the knob was turned partway down a slight change in pressure will keep them from opening.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member casey.robert.irving's Avatar
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    Default Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by mike1059 View Post
    As gary said the most likely cause is a bad wire connection if station 1 comes on but 2 and 3 do not. If 2 or 3 comes on and the others do not check the flow control knobs in the center of the valves. Sometimes if the knob was turned partway down a slight change in pressure will keep them from opening.
    I agree 100% with both of them.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Emily Verstraete's Avatar
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    What if my station 2 turns on but not 1 or 3?

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    I think Jimbo gave you very good advice by trying to operate the manually. did all 3 valve work when tried manually?
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  8. #8
    irrigation tech. mike1059's Avatar
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    If all valves open manualy and all the valves are in the same valve box it is most likely the wire connections. If they are in differant boxes it could be a broken wire.

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