Sprinklers not popping up

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by AZ1JoeT, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. AZ1JoeT

    AZ1JoeT New Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    I've had my sprinkler/drip system for 8 years. I have three zones up front (drip line, sprinklers, sprinklers) and two zones in the back (sprinklers, sprinklers). Everything has worked fine. Until now...

    We had an unusual freeze a month or so back here in Arizona. The freeze damaged the anti-siphon pressure vacuum breaker (Watts, Series 800M4). I purchased replacement parts (white disk that prevents backflow, spring, O-ring). I replaced them, but had to leave out the spring for it to work. There didn't seem to be enough pressure to push up the disk with the spring installed.

    Ignoring that problem, I simply left the spring out. The drip line looked to be working. I did not winter seed my lawn so I did not think to check the sprinklers.

    Fast forward to now-- when I would like to turn on my sprinklers-- and they only leak water. None of the heads in any of the zones pop up.

    So.. I assume I have a pressure problem, but how do I isolate it? When I manually turn on the sprinklers I can hear water flowing through the system. I can also see water rapidly dripping from the pipes connecting the main water line to the "water system box" in the ground. I assume that whole apparatus above ground is the Watts 800M4.

    Could the freeze (it was only one night) have damaged the entire vacuum breaker?

    Sorry for the verbosity. Here's a picture of the situation. Any thoughts?

  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I suspect you have a water supply problem, not a pressure problem. I would bet the root of the problem lies in the back flow valve. As far a freeze damage from just one night of freeze, yes, that's all it would take. I think you would be well advised to just replace the back flow preventer and be done with it.
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  4. AZ1JoeT

    AZ1JoeT New Member

    Mar 18, 2007

    Thanks for the reply. What is the "back flow preventer"?

    I replaced an internal piece in the circled area of the picture I posted. The piece was small, round white plastic and looked like it moved up and down (determining on the water pressure) to allow water to go to the sprinkler "control box" but not flow back into the pipes. The small, round white piece I had was ruptured from the freeze.

    Are you suggesting I replace the entire metal apparatus?

    Thanks again.
  5. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    The back flow preventer is what you have circled, however I don't know what those other two devices are? Perhaps check valves, but what is that other 3/8" fitting screwed into the side?

  6. AZ1JoeT

    AZ1JoeT New Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    I have no idea what any of it is.

    The two pieces (connectors?) are identical. I have never used them for anything.
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