Sprinkler System?

Hi guys- I just got a new house, and am having trouble getting the sprinkler system turned on. The controls turn on fine (it's electronic), but can't get the things to turn on and spray. The house was sitting without power/water for over 8 months, so not sure if that has something to do with it or not. The controls are all programmed as they were originally, and are fairly simple and straight forward. I start up the manual cycle, but nothing happens in the yard. The wires running from the controls to the cylinders in the ground all seem to be fine. Is there something I am overlooking? What could be wrong with them? Is there another valve/switch or something that could be shut off preventing them from coming on? Again, I DO have power/water turned on now. I just don't know how to get the sprinklers to come on. Any suggestions? Thanks D
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

...
Check to see if there is a box with a manual water shutoff to the system. It will likely be wherever the sprinkler ties into the main water line.
If the system was left idle over a winter period, then this would generally be turned off to prevent problems with frozen pipes.
If the system was winterized and the water turned off, you might have to make other adjustments as well depending on the setup. (On mine, the backflow preventer has 2 screws which are turned to bleed water out of that "valve". It is turned one way to bleed the system and then turned back when the system is activated.)
Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also, there could be air in the lines, and it may take several minutes before you would see water coming into a zone. Be sure that you have given it enough time.
The suggestion to look for a valve near the point where the irrigation system ties into the main water near the front street is a good one.
The next thing that I would want to verify is to see if you are getting 24 volts to the zone valves. Check that with a voltmeter, at the point where 2 wires are connected to a zone valve.
Next, if you know how to **manually** turn on a zone valve, I would turn one of them on to see if you have water available in the system.
Also, starting with the first zone, I would run it for 15-20 minutes, and then walk around in that zone to see if you see water spurting out of the ground anywhere (look closely througout the zone) , which would indicate a leak, and would reduce the pressure so much that the sprinklers would not rise out of the ground.
Try these things and report back.
--James--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is awesome stuff! I live in AZ, so I've never heard of someone 'winterizing' a system- we run sprinklers year round here... but I'll definitely give all this a shot today. Thank you soo much! D

where
a
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ok- here's what I got... the water comes on when I manually turn the solenoid on (as well as the little pressure control knob on that solenoid), and shuts off when I close it. But, it will not come on going through the timer. I found that there's some wires disconnected on the back yard's solenoids, so there's one problem. But- the side and front yards the wires appear to be working fine. I did find that the fuse was completely blown in the timer, so I replaced that. But again, I can't get these things to turn on via the timer. Home Depot guys suggest getting a Voltmeter to test and see if I'm getting 24 volts at the solenoids or not. If not, I need to replace the timer. I seriously doubt that all 8 solenoids need replaced, so I suspect it's the timer.
Also- the solenoid on the side yard doesnt produce any water at all. I turn it on manually, and can't get water to come through it at all- any suggestions there?
Am I missing anything? Thanks D

given
24
turn
and
the
indicate
not
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

solenoid),
in
so
turn
If your system blew a fuse, there might have been a power surge that damaged the solenoids. I know it probably unlikely that every single one got damaged, but it is a possibility. The first thing I would do is to get a 24 volt transformer and take it to the valves and try to get them to operate from the local power source. If they operate, it pretty much means that you have a wiring fault. It might be that the common or ground line is broken. Someone may have accidentally cut the wiring. In that case you should do what the HD person said, and test the lines for continuity.
There is one other possibility. Some systems have rain gages that interrupt the common/ground wire. They sometimes are wired directly to the control box or they are wired in-line between the controller and the heads. If this is the case, make sure the cup that collects the rain is not full of water. That will prevent the system from working. I have had the exact same problem and after a lot of testing and diagnosis, I have checked my rain gage only to find that it is full of water and preventing the system from working.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just remember that once you get it working, you need to winterize before the ground freezes. The basic method is to turn off the supply and blow all the water out, a zone at a time. You can do it yourself with a decent shop compressor, or you can pay for a service to do it for you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He lives in AZ. No need to winterize. Same for me in Texas. I run my sprinklers once or twice in the winter if we go through a long dry spell.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm jealous. Every July I watch my 2 acre lawn wither and turn brown. And every year we say "next year" we'll get irrigation.
But next year comes, and that $6,000 goes to more important things. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can do it yourself if you're at all inclined. Rainbird has a free design service. Just rent a trencher, make your own trenches and install the pipe and heads. If you're short on plumbing skills, hire a sprinkler service to connect to your water service.
For 2 acres you can use pop-up impact heads which cover a 40 ft radius minimum.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.