tips or help on unseens sprinkler system leaks....

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by rbig, May 29, 2010.

  1. rbig

    rbig New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm a 70yr old tinkerer. My son bought a house across the street from us. He works most of the time, so I am working on yard stuff. The sprinkler system pump was a mess of slag heaped up. Don't know what happened, but whatever it was made it eat itself. This turned out to be why the neighbors quit watering their yard some years back. I bought a new pump and put it one.

    Had a problem getting it going, and came to this forum for advice. Guys told me exactly what it was I was doing wrong (installed wrong), and got me going.

    Basically, it has two zones. One is the front yard, and two is backyard. I've got zone one going great! It has 8 sprinklers (yes---given time, I may make it three zones), and runs fine.

    The backyard is a bit more problematical. It's a huge backyard, and is rimmed with tall azalea bushes, sometimes stacked several deep. Sprinklers tend to "get lost" inside tall bushes.

    However, I think I've got 5 located. One was busted, so repaired it. There are two areas where sprinklers mightbe, but can't find any track of 'em.

    When I run the zone two, the five known ones come on, and get pressured up nicely, then suddenly die. I think I have a leak somewhere. Problem is I can't find it. I would like to get a helper and I run the pump, and really see if we can find where the leak is.

    Would appreciate any advice on how I can find where the water is going

    When I run the pump, I act as a bleed valve for the pump. If I don't know where water is going, I use the primer valve to bleed it with. I don't want to be pumping for any length of time into something blocking it.
  2. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    Is it a pressure boosting pump or a pump for a well that is activating the sprinkler system?

    You might want to start capping off the five known heads. That will increase pressure to the unknown heads or the leak. When you find each new head, cap that one off also and so on .... Then, eventually you will turn the zone on and the pump won't come on.

    Mick
  3. rbig

    rbig New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Florida
    Not sure. It's called a jet pump. 2hp sitting on top, and is both a well pump and sprinkler system pump.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the pump is running and the pressure drops, you are NOT pumping into a "blocked" system. Let the pump run and try to find somewhere that the water comes out of the ground. Irrigation systems are shallow, so any leak with enough water supply WILL show up on the surface eventually.
  5. rbig

    rbig New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Florida
    Good point. I'll do it. Thanks.
  6. rbig

    rbig New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Florida
    Well wouldn't ya know: it's now rainy. Have to wait for rain to be over. Might be several days, from forecast. I'll report back once I can do this.
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