My sprinkler heads only spray about half the required distance, too
little water pressure for head-to-head coverage, despite careful
caluclations during the design phase. However, when I loosen the
solenoid on these old valves, voila! Works just as it should! Is this
an indication of faulty valves? Would replacing the entire valve
likely solve the problem? Perhaps just the solenoid?
BTW, if I leave the solenoid loose, the valve doesn't shut off, so
that's not an option. :/
Yup, common problem. Replace the whole thing and then plan
on doing it again in not too many years. All of the major
manufacturers appear to have cost-reduced these things to
the point of making them total crap.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Thank you both for your input. Perhaps I'll try taking the valve apart
and seeing if I find a crud deposit. Otherwise, it's new valves for
I agree with the statement that these valves are pretty crappy. I
bought Orbit valves because they came in a three-valve assembly and
that's just what I needed. I don't think I'll purchase any more Orbit
in my lifetime. Hopefully Rainbird is of a higher quality.
Rainbird is (or at least was), but Orbit did a real good job at
displacing them from the Borg.
It sounded as if he was manually operating the solenoids, rather
than letting the electronics do it. The most recent orbits have
had real crappy manual levers, some of them literally break
off the first time you touch them. One of my orbits has also
gotten to the point where the manual lever, while unbroken,
only slightly (if at all) activates the valve (old style has a metal
pin in it that's supposed to be friction fit at one place, but
it slips). Yet, they all work just perfectly via electronics.
I'd recheck the calculations. It's _really_ tricky to get right
sometimes, and DIYers can be way too optimistic. Eg: not taking
into account pressure-versus-flow rate. Just because you read
60PSI attaching a guage to a faucet valve, doesn't mean you can
pull 15gpm at 60PSI.
Orbit's saving grace is if something breaks, they'll send you
a replacement free. Apparently forever. Sometimes considerably
more than you ask for. I had a solenoid that stripped the
threads (frozen) and two broken manual valve levers. They sent me
three almost complete valve assemblies (missing only the main body),
and six levers.
When the controller died - a year past formal warrantee, they sent
me a new one no questions asked.
The only _truly_ annoying part is that they seem to have changed
the valve design three times over the past 10 years or so and
replacing these valves to swap in a whole new one (even if you
got it as a free replacement) can be a PITA in terms of disassembling
[I've got 8 valves. First 3, around 10 years old, have one that
doesn't work right manually, but is otherwise fine. Second 3,
about 8 years old, are working perfectly. The last 2, about 3 years
old have been where I've had problems. Partially my fault, because
blowing out the lines on this particular setup is difficult and
I get lazy sometimes.]
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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