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Thread: Huge water bill - need help

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Needhelptampa's Avatar
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    Question Huge water bill - need help

    Hello, we returned from vacation to our sprinkler on in the backyard. The irrigation panel was unplugged yet the sprinkler was still running. I was able to stop the flow by turning the lawn genie water valve off. Now it's about finding the leak. Also I looked at the valves today and there is a leak on the main valves as well as moisture in the valves where that zone is connected. Guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    The plastic ball valve close to the ground isn't quite shut off. In any event, Your sprinkler system does not have an acceptable backflow preventer, so you want to take care of that as part of the repair process.

    A one-size-fits-all solution starts with removing what you call the "Lawn Genie" and replacing it with a Pressure Vacuum Breaker, which is the actual code-approved device that should have been there in the first place. A secondary addition that will provide effective insurance from leaks further down the line is anther electric valve, like the ones you show in a valve box, that will feed the entire system. That electric valve is known as a "master valve", and it receives its power from the terminal on your controller marked MV ~ and don't use the cheapest possible master valve you find at the home center (although a Lawn Genie brand valve will be sufficient)

    You have other issues in that system. water flowing from a sprinkler head 24/7 indicates the valve feeding it is not completely shutting off.
    Last edited by Wet_Boots; 11-19-2013 at 08:35 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    You need to install the following:

    1. A new shut off valve. Go witha brass valve.
    2. A new anti siphon valve. Go with brass, not plastic. Brands like Armstrong, Superior. Plastic ASV mounted outside fail quickly.
    3. No "back flow preventer" is needed if you use an anti siphon valve (which IS a preventer).
    4. Make sure risers to the ASV are plumbed.

  4. #4
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    You need to install the following:

    1. A new shut off valve. Go witha brass valve.
    2. A new anti siphon valve. Go with brass, not plastic. Brands like Armstrong, Superior. Plastic ASV mounted outside fail quickly.
    3. No "back flow preventer" is needed if you use an anti siphon valve (which IS a preventer).
    4. Make sure risers to the ASV are plumbed.
    No No No !!

    Please do not post incorrect information. Drinking water quality is at stake.
    There is nowhere on our planet where an antisyphon valve of any style or construction is code-approved to feed downstream zone valves. Such construction is an absolute fail. Any atmospheric vacuum breaker is approved only for limited periods of being under pressure, and every single manufacturer of atmospheric vacuum breakers and/or antisyphon valves will confirm this.

    Why this isn't evident to every Californian, I have to wonder, given that countless tract homes in Socal feature a few of those antisyphon valves grouped not far from the front door. That's multiple ASVs, as in one for each zone, as provided for in the plumbing code. NOT one ASV feeding valves located downstream.

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Come down to CA and I'll show you how we do it here.

    We have millions of ASVs here (4 to 12 in every house) and very few back flow preventers.

    Nobody ever died from poor water quality to the best of my knowledge.

  6. #6
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Work on your reading comprehension. Try to understand the Florida poster's use of an antisyphon valve as a master valve to feed multiple downstream valves is a complete and utter fail. California does it all ASVs - one for each zone, and no valve of any sort is ever found downstream of a properly-installed ASV. That is code.

    As for dying of polluted water from backflow, it's been done.

    It has happened in California.

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