Slow leak sprinkler head

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by LSUExplorer03, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. LSUExplorer03

    LSUExplorer03 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Location:
    Colorado
    I want to say up front that I've already done a fair amount of research and tried to fix everything I can think of to resolve this issue, but nothing is working. I have a sprinkler head that is slowly leaking. It don't believe it's the low point in that line and it's leaking 24/7, so it isn't a low point drain issue. I assume it has to be an issue of the valve not fully closing. I've already taken apart each jar-head valve and cleaned off the diaphragms and flushed out the valve. That didn't work. Then I completely replaced the valve that I believe controls the sprinkler head that's leaking. It's still leaking. I have also replaced all 3 diaphragms in the 3 valves within the sprinkler box (in case I am mixed up with what valve controls what line). I've also replaced the leaking sprinkler head in case that for some reason is the problem (even though I knew it wasn't). Needless to say it's still leaking. What else could be causing this? I'm out of ideas.
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Is this city water, irrigation pump & well, or your domestic well water, pump and pressure tank? I list several thing that you can do. Not all need to be performed but do whatever you feel is best your setup. I put allot in here Please inform us when you resolve your issue. From your comments and what you have performed, I'm suspecting a siphon effect is draining the system but I could be wrong.

    If you have city water, the new water meters are very sensitive to water flow. It's one way to know if you have a leaky flapper in the toilet or the flush valve is constantly running inside the home. A digital meter there is an arrow flashing in the LCD display, an analog meter you'll see the three pointed wheel spinning when water is flowing. With no water being used and the irrigation system not running, check the water meter. If you see movement then water is flowing somewhere. Then shut off the main valve to the irrigation system and check the meter again.

    If it was a leaky valve, all sprinklers heads for that zone would be emitting some water. First try turning off the water to the system so there is no pressure behind the valves. Operate each valve from the controller to release any pressure. Check the leaky sprinkler and if water is still weeping out, it's draining out the water for that zone. It could be a siphon effect going on. It may not be the lowest point for that zone but there is a lot of water sitting in the pipes. If it stopped leaking with the main shut off, then it is a leaky valve.

    If it still leaks remove the sprinkler head. Water will fill the hole when the sprinkler is removed. Use a shop vac to remove all water instead of waiting for it to drain into the ground. REmove another sprinkler in the same zone so the open pipe will act like a vent. Then use the vac to try to suck out as much water from the pipe as possible. Let it sit for a day until the water stops coming out of the pipe. Use the shop vac as much as possible. Now turn on the water main to the irrigation system but do not operate anything. Look at the removed sprinkler fittings and wait for any water to appear.

    By turning the solenoid 1/4-1/2 turn counterclockwise, the valve should open. Keep doing it until the leaky sprinkler is shooting water OR use the manual operation at the controller.


    If all else fails, https://www.rainbird.com/homeowners/common-design-problems

    Rainbird: 1800® Sprays, 3500 Rotors and 5000 Rotors with a Seal-A-Matic™ (SAM) Check Valve stop the problem of low head drainage and eliminate puddling. Or use Rain Bird Rotary Nozzles which deliver water at a lower rate, allowing sufficient soak-in time to prevent run-off.

    https://www.rainbird.com/products/rd1800-series-spray-heads
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  4. LSUExplorer03

    LSUExplorer03 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thank you for all of that information. I've already done the one step you mentioned -- in order to stop wasting water, I turned off the main ball valve leading from the house to the sprinkler system and that stopped the leaking. I should maybe note also that I already dug up the ground around the leaking sprinkler head. When I have the main water on, that hole fills with water, but now that I have that main valve shut off, the leaking has stopped. I assume I can be confident that means I have a leaking valve? But again, the problem I'm having is that I bought a whole new valve and just replaced that the other day and it's still leaking. In my sprinkler valve box in my yard, there are 3 valves that control 3 different zones. I'm wondering if I have my valves confused. Maybe I replaced one of the valves that feeds a zone that is NOT leaking? That is what I'm going to do next...make 100% sure that I have my valves correlated with the correct zones. I'll use the method you described with the solenoid -- thanks for that tip! Actually as I'm writing this response and thinking about it, I bet that's my problem...the valve that I assumed is feeding the zone that's leaking is incorrect. I bet I replaced a valve that was fine and I didn't touch the leaking valve. I'll check back in and let you know the result. Thanks again!
     
  5. LSUExplorer03

    LSUExplorer03 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ok, problem solved. I had my valves mixed up and I initially replaced a valve that was not the leaky one. This weekend I was able to properly determine which valves control which zones and I replaced the correct valve. No more leak. Thanks WorthFlorida for the words of wisdom. Cheers!
     
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