Sprinkler valve problems

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KineticoUser

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I have two different valves and two different problems. My Orbit 57626 will work when I loosen the bleed screw, but won't turn on when my controller sends power to the solenoid. The solenoid works properly, both with the power on and off. The diaphragm looks like new. If power is on and I manually open the screw, water flows. If I close the screw, water continues to flow till power is turned off to the solenoid. The controller can turn this valve off, but not on. What can I check next?

My second valve says WaterMaster 57223. That one works fine with the controller, but when I turn the lever for manual operation, I can hear some water flowing, but it isn't enough to turn on the sprinklers. It's as if the lever isn't pushing the solenoid plunger far enough away to let water flow. What do you recommend for this problem?
 
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WorthFlorida

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Both valves probably need new diaphragms. You cannot go by looks alone. Over time the diaphragms get stiff and doesn't flex. The screw is a bleed screw and it will open the valve to allow water to flow and close manually.

If you hear water flow after the valve closes it is sometimes water is draining from the sprinkler system especially if it is on a hill. The lower sprinklers will spit water as the pipe drains and other will allow air to be sucked in. noise travels quite easily through water.

Do try this:
With the valve closed, turn the solenoid about a 1/4 turn or more counter clock wise and the valve should open. Tighten it up and the valve should close. If the valve gives you problem with this method it's a bad diaphragm.

Here is the best video on how irrigation valves work. All brands work essentially the same.

 

KineticoUser

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Thank you for your response. Maybe a little more information might help. This is at my rental house. The tenant was complaining about squealing noise when the sprinklers started. I checked it out and discovered the diaphragm was bad on on my 57223. I replaced it, and it has been working fine, other than the bleed lever won't allow me to manually turn it on. I thought maybe either the lever is worn or the solenoid the gardener replaced is designed differently than the one that was originally on the valve. I'm thinking the different design doesn't allow me to lift the plunger high enough to start the process.

On the 57626, you could be correct about the diaphragm, as I need to unscrew the solenoid completely out before water starts flowing. On the 57223, the plastic ring always starts disconnecting from the rest of the diaphragm when the noise starts. The 57626 doesn't have that plastic ring, and it appears to flex well, so I didn't think it was the diaphragm. I'll order a diaphragm for that controller and see if that fixes the problem.

Also, I have yet to figure out the reason you can't just buy the 57223 diaphragm. The package always has two different diaphragms, and I haven't the faintest idea what the purpose of that second one is.
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WorthFlorida

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"squealing noise when the sprinklers started." ???????

Is the noise just for a few seconds as the sprinkler heads pop up or continuous. It's not unusual to hear a little noise as water starts to flow. The diaphragms can vibrate a bit before pressure builds up. Not sure what type of pipe you have but sometimes it is just easier to replace the valves to all the same type. There are some old ones out there where replacement parts get somewhat difficult to find.
 

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When the diaphragm ring holding in the washer starts disconnecting, which I've found common when the diaphragm goes bad, the valve tends to squeal. It's the brown ring in the photo. The sound comes from the valve, not the sprinkler heads. I shared my tenant's description that led me to check the system, not mine. As I stated, I fixed that problem before posting here. The problems I've described are in the valves and have nothing to do with the sprinklers or the PVC lines. I'm not going to get rid of all my clothes just so I can replace them with multiples of the same item. You may care about everything looking identical, but I don't.
 

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As I expected, changing the solenoid to the smaller type fixed my inability to manually turn it on and off. It now works fine.

Changing the diaphragm on the 57626 jar valve has done absolutely nothing. I can still turn it on manually by turning the screw, and the water continues to flow till my controller/timer shuts it off, but the controller/timer won't automatically turn it on. Does anyone have a suggestion for this issue, or do I need to replace the valve completely?
 

WorthFlorida

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As I expected, changing the solenoid to the smaller type fixed my inability to manually turn it on and off. It now works fine.

Changing the diaphragm on the 57626 jar valve has done absolutely nothing. I can still turn it on manually by turning the screw, and the water continues to flow till my controller/timer shuts it off, but the controller/timer won't automatically turn it on. Does anyone have a suggestion for this issue, or do I need to replace the valve completely?
Just to fill in the blanks, the controller is active for this valve, you turn the screw, water flows and then you close the screw and water continues to flow until the controller times out and voltage is removed from the solenoid?

1) Could be a voltage problem from the controller. Swap the two zone wires at the controller. If the problem stays with this jar valve, it's not the controller.

2) At this jar valve, turn the solenoid about a 1/4 turn ccw or more until the water flows. Then turn it CW to turn off the water flow. Test again, if it still fails

3) You'll need a volt ohm meter. Voltage at the solenoid can be anywhere from 18v-29v but it should be around 22v-26v AC. Do check the wire nut connection for any corrosion. If you read a low voltage say 18v's, measure the voltage at the controller, if it remains low disconnect the zone wire. If the voltage jumps up, suspect the solenoid.

4) with the ohm meter disconnect one of the solenoid wires and measure the resistance. It can be from 20-60 ohms. Below or above the solenoid is bad. https://school.sprinklerwarehouse.com/parts-repair/how-to-use-a-multimeter/

5) If you don't have a multi meter, just replace the solenoid.

6) Another quick test for the solenoid is remove the solenoid and have someone turn on the zone at the controller. You should feel it operate by a click noise and you'll feel it.
 
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