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Saturday, January 03 2015

The basic components of a lawn sprinkler system include the irrigation controller, pipes, sprinklers, and the irrigation or sprinkler system valves. Irrigation valves control the flow of water to the sprinkler system. Each valve is responsible for one area, or zone, of the lawn sprinkler system.

Automatic sprinkler valves work by electricity. Wires lead from the irrigation controller, or timer, to each of the the valves. A solenoid on the valve receives electric signals from the main controller. To locate irrigation valves, one usually needs to determine which wire leads to which valve from the main controller.

Inside the valve is a diaphragm, or rubber plug. When the solenoid receives the signal from the controller, it tells the diaphragm to open, allowing water to flow through the pipes, or close, to shut off the flow of water. Damage to the wiring or solenoid can cause the valves to fail.

Ways to Find Lost Valves

1. Lawn sprinkler valves may be above ground, but often the sprinkler valves are placed in a valve box and buried, making it difficult to find lost valves.

The most cost-effective way to find irrigation valves is to estimate the irrigation valve location, and probe the soil gently in that area. This is not recommended unless one is sure that the lawn sprinkler valves are protected by a valve box. Otherwise, probing the soil may result in damage to the solenoid, the valve wires or the sprinkler system pipes.

To find lost valves, picture the layout of the irrigation system. Note where the wires enter the ground from the main controller, and visualize the path of the wire. A common irrigation valve location is near the corners of the house or main building, and/or just downstream of the backflow preventer. In most areas it is illegal to install underground irrigation valves without an approved backflow preventer.

Probe the likely location to a depth of about six to twelve inches. Listen for the hollow sound of the buried valve box. Dig carefully to avoid cutting the PVC sprinkler pipes or damaging the wires. While this valve location method is sometimes effective, the location of buried valves and valve boxes is an educated guess. Irrigation valves may also be in the middle of a zone, or in seemingly random places. Many a homeowner has dug up the entire lawn in an effort to find lost valves.

2. In automatic sprinkler systems, a third way to find lost valves is to follow the wires from the controller. The wires run alongside the PVC pipe to the irrigation valve location. Dig small holes every ten feet to trace the wire. Be careful not to cut the wire. It is helpful to note that buried irrigation valve wires rarely run under driveways. Sometimes this location method will find the buried lawn sprinkler valves. Again, one can dig up a large portion of the lawn while trying to locate irrigation valves.

3. Turn on the zone in question, and note which sprinklers are the first to pressurize. These are the sprinklers closest to the irrigation system valve.

4. Give Gwinnett Irrigation a call at 678.733.6831 for a free estimate.

Posted by: Gwinnett Irrigation AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Gwinnett Irrigation
Monroe, Ga. 30655
Phone: 678.733.6831

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