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?