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Thread: HELP! Newbie w/sprinkler problem

  1. #1

    Default HELP! Newbie w/sprinkler problem

    The sprinkler system for my yard is set up by zones. It has a programmable automatic control that activates the operation of the sprinkler one zone at a time. The problem is one zone is continuosly running non-stop even when system is off. The only way to turn this off is to shut off the main faucet for the whole system. There are 9 zones, but there are only 7 sprinkler valves. Iíve tried turning them off one at a time to isolate the faulty valve, but couldnít identify the valve for the faulty zone. Even when I shutoff all valves, the faulty zone is still running. What could be the problem? I donít know much about sprinkler system, all Iíve done is replacing heads. Please help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    DIY Member teamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    If there are nine zones then there should be nine valves to shut off each one. Sometimes a valve will be stuck in the open position. I had the same problem a few years ago and I disassembled the valve and cleaned all of the parts and it worked ever since.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Omaha, NE


    You must have a 2nd valve box somewhere in your yard with the 2 other valves. One of those is the malfunctioning one, since you still have water flowing to that one zone even when you shut off the 7 valves in the main box.

  4. #4


    I agree with the above responses. However, one other long shot you can try. Remove the power to the timer and or the low voltage transformer and see if the flow continues. If it does not, you have a timer problem. As I said it is a long shot, I would also suspect the valve.


  5. #5


    I agree with SteveW. Gotta have 2 more valves located elsewhere.

    So, you have 7 zones that operate fine via valves you can identify and 1 zone that's on all the time. The question is, what is the state of the 9th zone? Always on or always off?

    Also, are you SURE you have 9 active zones? Some controllers have capacity for more zones than are actually on the system. When you shut each valve, are you doing it manually or through the controller?
    Last edited by prashster; 08-07-2006 at 12:04 PM.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  6. #6


    My system has space for 18 stations, but I have only 15. Remember the difference between a program and a station.

    What is the brand of the control box. I will try to explain this with my Rainbird.

    I have space for programs A - B - C and D. But I only use A and B. So just because you have 18 stations and 4 programs, that doesn't mean all have sprinkler heads or valves.

    First, set the control to SINGLE STATION, and THE BOX SHOULD DISPLAY STATION ONE then press ON. Locate where that station is and mark it on a sheet of paper. Then go back to the control box and press OFF. Then press NEXT and on, locate that area where your sprinklers are on, and then go back and turn that one OFF. Just keep going through this until you see all your sprinkler locations and have written them down.

    To the right of the box panel is a vertical area when you can set the programs to A - B - C or D. When you are running through the OFF/ON drill above, look to see whick letter that vertical panel is set to. Remember, you have say, 8 sprinklers for A, can have 2 set for B and 5 set for C. Each program operates like it was the only one.

    For example, I have 15 stations set for Program A, 2 stations for program B and none for C and D. So station 1 runs once a cycle on program A, 2 runs once - through station 5. The for station 7, it runs once on program A and once on Program B (once on the 2 am cycle and once on the 5 pm cycle)

    Be sure you day and time are set correctly for the currrent time.

    So there are stations (your actual sprinklers) and Programs (usually up to 4 programs - that A B C D area to the right). Then there are start times for each.

    Perhaps what has happened is the power went off and it set to start at 12am and end at 12 am and so it just keeps running.

    Go through Program A and all it's stations. Check the time each one shows. Go through each program and all that program's stations. Write it all down.

    Then look in the display box at the top and you will see the watering days. The dial can also be moved to 'watering days" and will display the days your current system is set for. By pressing NEXT you can change the watering days to every day, odd days, even days or do a individual setting all your own.

    The only thing my unit will not do it run the programs (A and B) on different days. I have not figured out a way to do that.

    So I have programs A and B in my tablet. I could use A B C and D but don't

    I have 18 possible stations. For program A, I run 15 and for program B I run stations 6 and 11 only. I run each station 18 minutes 4 times a week for Program A and for stations 6 and 11 they run 5 minutes on Program A and 5 minutes on Program B.

    Once you figure out the difference between programs (A B C or D - a set of stations) and stations (actual sprinklers) and watering days and start times and station times (the later is how long the sprinkler actually runs) you can locate the problem.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Riverview, Fl.


    Could someone have unscrewed the little manual on/off screw on top of the valve. Most valves have them. If it is unscrewed enough to leak water, the valve will stay open.



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