i noticed one of the sprinkler heads leaking when the water is off.
the system still waters fine but that head seeps when everything is
off. i thought i just needed to replace the one head so i removed and
capped it. when i capped it the other two heads in the zone started
seeping(more of a fast leak...spray up a little). the leak seems to
come and go...if i turn if off and on a few times it may stop leaking
but only start up again next time its used or what not. the sprinkler
system was self-installed by the previous owner and i don't know where
anything is under the ground. what could it be?
Most likely because there is some dirt getting into it. Typical
sprinkler valves have a very large and pretty soft rubber seal. Dirt
(typically sand or grit that comes in with the water) can get stuck on
that seal. We have experienced this problem frequently at home.
Here is a set of possible cures (in order of easy to hard):
0. Turn the valve on again, off again. If you get lucky, the dirt is
swept out. If you get unlucky, more dirt gets stuck on it.
1. Take the valve apart. On most valves that can be done by
unscrewing a ring of screws that hold the top on. Then clean the
rubber seal, maybe with a little brush. Look for grit stuck in the
2. If you regularly find dirt, then flush out all the lines with clean
water. Open all the sprinkler heads completely, and flush as much
water as you can through it. If you can disconnect the valve and
lines completely, it is an even better idea to backflush all the
lines leading to the valve (flush them with the water going the
3. The rubber seal is supposed to be soft, not cracked or hard. If it
isn't soft, replace the rubber seal. For most consumer-grade
valves, you can't get rebuild kits, so the easiest thing to do is
to buy another valve of the same exact model, and only use the new
seal (save the rest for future cannibalistic repair).
4. If nothing has helped yet, then the water source is continueing to
bring dirt into the system. To prevent recurrence, install a
strainer or filter in the water, upstream of the valve. But if you
have dirt or grit in the water, you'll have to regularly clean the
strainer or filter, otherwise it will plug up.
Note: When I say "dirt", I mean particulates that are large enough to
block the valve open. This has little to do with the color of the
water (it might be completely clear, with some sand being dragged with
it). And it has little to do with the question whether the water is
sanitary and safe to drink.
The address in the header is invalid for obvious reasons. Please
reconstruct the address from the information below (look for _).
sounds like unless the valve is bad, you are seeing the remaining water in
the line leak out the sprinkler head.
Run the sprinklers, shut them off and watch the leak. If it stops after a
while, that's probably what's happening.
The valve for that zone is not completely closing when it is turned off.
You have to find the valve and rebuild it (if you can get the parts) or
replace it. Either way, without knowing where the valve is, you're in for a
lot of digging.
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