Irrigation System, New homeowner

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Jason7613, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Jason7613

    Jason7613 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hi all,

    I searched for a thread that may have asked a question with a similar system. I am a newer homeowner and last spring we installed an in ground system. It has eight zones (due to pressure issues with using six or seven) and I am trying to learn how to dewinterize my system for the spring time. I've watched a good amount of youtube videos but unfortunately I am still stuck because the videos don't have the exact system that I have. I was going to pay someone (and will if I have to but I truly would like to learn this on my own.

    I have two covers on the ground next to each other where the spout is and each cover once opened shows four things (I am assuming this is for the zones as there are eight in total) but not sure where to start. According to the videos I've watched and articles I've read, there is a shut off valve and something where I need to close off before opening the valve inside by the water main.

    Here is a link to pictures which show the four valves in each, and a close up of the two that look slightly different than the others.


    http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/jason7613/library/Sprinkler System

    Any advice is very much appreciated, and I can take more/better pictures if needed.

    Thank you very much
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017
  2. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Hi Jason,
    Not knowing what state your system was left in lets start by working with what we got. In your valve boxes on top of each valve there are bleeder screws. (In one of your pictures there is even a label on one of them.) Make sure they are closed by trying to turn each one clockwise. They are most likely already closed but its worth a quick check. Next you need to find the backflow preventer. If you know where the valve is in the basement to turn on the water for your sprinklers follow that pipe to where it exits your house. The backflow preventer *should* be immediately on the outside of your house at that location. Backflow preventers have test cocks on them that are often left open in winter. Once you have found the backflow preventer you can close the test cocks using a standard screwdriver. The trick - at least on mine - is knowing if the test cocks are closed or open as its just a quarter turn without any type of positive stop that most closed valves have. My advice if you're not sure if they are closed is to turn on the water part way and go outside and see if water is coming of of the test cocks. You may get a little wet but you'll find out fast if you got it right or not.

    Once you have the water on you can manually test a zone by loosening the bleeder screw on a valve in the valve box. Its normal for the bleeder screws may leak a little water when opened manually.

    -rick
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. Jason7613

    Jason7613 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Rick thanks for your advice. Sorry it took me so long to reply but it's very much appreciated. In my county a backflow device is not required so I do not have one installed I believe. I am going to follow the instructions and reply back. I know they are labeled however I wasn't confident if I had to just turn one, two or all. Complete rookie here lol.l, but anxious and willing to take the time to learn
     
  5. Jason7613

    Jason7613 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    So I tightened the bleed valves, opened the valve that comes into the home from the outside system. Then I turned all of the bleed valves counter clockwise, tested one zone (water comes on and I can see the valves leaking for a minute or two) but for some reason the heads aren't popping up? I know they are running but even the ones that are above ground (in flower pots) aren't spraying much water out. I'm thinking either maybe the ground is still too cold (not sure about that as it's almost May and the weather has turned) or maybe I'm missing something else. Do I turn the bleed valves loose all of the way counter clockwise or just a quarter turn? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Don't want to add to your problem, but New Jersey does require a back flow prevention device if you are connect to city water supply. I think all states require it. Some are more attentive about testing them annually than others, but they are required. You can Google it and read the regulations if you doubt me.
     
  7. Jason7613

    Jason7613 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Nope not doubting you but I'm on Long Island NY (Suffolk county) and while they 'encourage' it, it's not required. Nassau County requires it. Only reason why I know is because I made a call to the town to verify.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    It would seem you live where federal law is ignored, but that's not uncommon. Back flow protection is also called cross contamination. Suppose you have your irrigation system connected to your domestic water supply. This could be either city system or your own well. Now, imagine a dog taking a dump on top of a sprinkler. With out cross contamination protection, your domestic water is in danger of being contaminated. Dog poo is not the only means of contaminating the supply, just an example. There are several kinds of BF, all should be certified annually to verify they are sealing properly. This is not a DIY job, but not costly. When a unit is found to be leaking, the inspector can make needed repairs on the spot and that's cheap.
     
  9. Jason7613

    Jason7613 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Gotcha and thanks for the advice and I'll be sure to look into this further now.

    As for now, any ideas on what I could be doing incorrectly to turn them on?
     
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    I can only tell you how my system works. In the fall I have the lines blown out. The water is turned off where it branches from the main feed from the water main. This is a stop and waste valve, so the water between that point and the BF is empty. When the lines are blown, the zones are turned on, the air applied, then the zone valves are turned off. The controller is turned off. When it's time to turn the water on, the main valve and the controller are turned on and that's all there is to it. If the BF inspector comes before the water is turned on, he will do it before he inspects and certifies the BF. If he comes after the water is on, he will inspect and certify the BF and we all live happily ever after.
     
  11. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Hi Jason,
    A quarter turn on the sprinkler valve should be enough, however turning it a half or even a full turn shouldn't cause any problems so that is one thing to try. Generally sprinkler valves are either open or closed so you don't have to worry about it being only partly open. Also I don't think its a problem with the lines being frozen. What it sounds like is the valve to the system in the house isn't fully opened so check that again. Another thing you can try is running one zone from your timer. I think all timers allow you to manually run a zone at any time without first having to enter a start time. If you are unsure how to do this with your timer you can probably look up the manual online.
    -rick
     
  12. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    There is really no "dewinterizing" for a irrigation system. With the water turned on, just manually activate each zone at the controller and wait for the water to come out of the sprinklers. Depending on what type of sprinkler heads you have, the filter screens in them can get clogged up. Mold will grow inside the pipes and when the water flows for the first time it will dislodge off the walls of the pipe and sometimes clog up the sprinkler head. It called maintenance.

    If you are on city water you absolutely need a backflow preventer. It doesn't matter what code reads, it's only smart. My son spent a day in the hospital because there was a leak at the water meter, (in Florida they are just below the ground outside the home). Fortunately my granddaughter, who is a diabetic, didn't get sick. It could have killed her. There are many cases where the whole family got sick because after spreading chemicals in the lawn, the house pressure dropped enough that it sucked water from the irrigation water (through the sprinkler heads) into the house drinking water.

    From HD site. Since you're in freeze country this is usually installed in the basement.

    [​IMG]
     
Similar Threads: Irrigation System
Forum Title Date
Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum Bringing an irrigation system back to life May 25, 2021
Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum Any suggestions to improve or correct things in this irrigation system design? Mar 21, 2021
Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum Irrigation pipe trench depth Why deeper than frost line if you winterize the system ? Mar 21, 2021
Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum Regarding water flow rate for in ground irrigation system Jun 27, 2020
Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum Water hammer in irrigation system Jun 19, 2020

Share This Page