View Full Version : Sprinkler/plumbing help

05-27-2013, 07:13 PM
I was trying to put off turning on the sprinklers as long as possible but it's time. The front lawn is starting to make us look like the Clampetts (not that I really care all that much) and Bec is on my case.

When I turned everything back on, there was a leak on the ball valve that connects the backflow valve with the line to the sprinkler system. So I went and bought a new ball valve. The kid at HD looked at me a little strangely since my arms look like I got in a fight with a cat. I actually just got stuck between the engine and the firewall trying to reach the t-case and transmission breather valves on my FJ. I would've preferred the fight with a cat.

Came home and stared at the valve for awhile.


<VillageIdiot>How do I get that thing off?</VillageIdiot>

There's also a leak at the next threaded junction right before the pipe goes into the ground. What do I need to fix this stuff besides a bigger wrench?

05-27-2013, 08:15 PM
Need pictures due to so many variations in manifold set ups.

05-27-2013, 08:19 PM
BTW, You tube is sometimes a good resource

05-27-2013, 09:01 PM
Need pictures due to so many variations in manifold set ups.

Yea, I s'pose that could help. The ball valve with the blue handle is leaking from the threads closest to the backflow, the left side.


Cruising the intertubes now...

..:: Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk ::..

05-27-2013, 09:05 PM


05-27-2013, 09:20 PM
Looks like you'll be learning to sweat pipes unless there's a disconnect on either side not shown in the picture. Strictly based on the picture... You'll need to shut off the water & cut the copper pipe on the right side in an effort to remove the manifold. Most likely your manifold is broken but hopefully it's just a small crack in male threads. At any rate, replace what's cracked & reinstall with a disconnect this time. Sweating pipe is easy if you've got the copper pipe & fitting cleaned (shinny) really good. apply flux to both pipe & fitting before attaching. Solder flows towards the heat so only apply heat to direction you want the solder to flow. Take your time, clean every thing really good, and be patient for the heat transfer- your solder sucks in when it's hot enough. Get the yellow container of gas, the blue takes too long to heat the pipe. You tube would be your friend for this procedure


05-27-2013, 10:14 PM
After you get one cut off, the other can be removed, and replaced. Looks like there is a leak coming from the red handled valve as well. With the labor involved, I would replace both valves while it is part, and only one sweat joint is needed.

05-28-2013, 08:37 AM
thanks for the input

05-28-2013, 10:43 AM
Is that the position those valves were left in all winter?

05-28-2013, 11:02 AM
Is that the position those valves were left in all winter?

no it wasn't. i was turning them on and off yesterday trying to see where the leak was coming from.

06-06-2013, 05:40 PM
Well, still having issues but they're getting easier. Before I left town this week, I installed all new copper around the backflow and ball valves. Replaced everything but the lines that went into the ground and into the house. No leaks. Yay.

I got home from the airport a couple of hours ago. Just went to go and try to turn on the system and I have a few funny zones. As soon as I turn on the water at the solenoid, the heads pop up even though the timer box is off. It's my limited understanding that if a zone doesn't shut off, there's an issue with the diaphragm in the valve. Is that correct? Do I need to replace the whole valve or are they serviceable?

Since the system was already on last year when we moved in, I noticed one other thing. None of the wiring connections in the ground have twist caps on them. All the connections are just bare wire. Is that normal or should they have caps or been soldered?

06-06-2013, 06:31 PM
So your valves should have three settings- off, auto, and on/manual. In the "on" or "manual setting" it doesn't matter if your control box is "on or off"- its a manual override.

Regarding wire caps, many don't have them. I think there's something like 3v tops running through them.

06-06-2013, 10:31 PM
Do you know anyone who might be able to take pictures? (sarcasm mode)

Anyhow, if someone blew out your system, they may have left each solenoid unscrewed 1/4 or so turn. That's how you can force one station on, unscrew the solenoid a bit.

When you turn it back on, you might need to go into the box(es) and make sure each solenoid is snug.

I don't know, but this may be a ploy to get you to "hire" them for $xxxx to "fix" your system even when it isn't broken. Just sayin'... I'm sure there are competent and honest sprinkler service dudes out there. In fact, my buddy is one of the good guys, and tells me about the crap he finds that others left as a "problem".

Hope you get it fixed before your yard gets fried. Mid 90's this weekend baby!